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Behind the scenes: John Moores Painting Prize

2 October 2013 by Lisa

Woman sitting at a desk

Katherine in the John Moores Painting Prize office

There’s less than a month to go before call for entries for the John Moores Painting Prize closes and the team are already feeling inspired by the entries that have been submitted so far.  Here’s Project Assistant Katherine Lloyd to give us a peek behind the scenes…

” Having been a regular visitor to the exhibition over the years It’s really exciting for me to be apart of the John Moores painting prize team. I am particularly looking forward to being able to see the whole process, seeing the exhibition grow from initial registrations right through to the final exhibition.  It will be exciting to be part of  the busy schedules at the varying stages, working alongside the jurors and the artists and ultimately working towards the grand opening in July. Read more…

Autumn Gifts

30 September 2013 by Karen Taylor

beasties egg cups

If you go down to the Walker  today you may be in for a surprise! The new autumn ceramics ranges, Beasties and Forest Friends have finally arrived in the gift shop.

As part of the merchandising team I go to trade fairs every year to look for new and exciting products for the gift shops in all our museums and galleries. In February this year we found the Beasties and Forest friends ranges and I instantly adored Beasties with it’s contemporary yet nostalgic, tweedy animals. Read more…

“Weirdly Wonderful” – what it meant to be part of ALIVE

13 September 2013 by Dickie

Photo of Phil next to Rankin in Walker Art Gallery in front of a large photograph of Phil.

Phil Kelly with Rankin at the ALIVE exhibition

Guest blog from Phil Kelly who was photographed by Rankin for the ALIVE: In The Face of Death exhibition. Phil has myeloma, a rare form of incurable cancer. It is a life-limiting condition but he is fighting back through music. Read more…

Discover the Walker’s highlights

12 September 2013 by Louise

Self portrait of Rembrandt with light falling over the left side of his face

‘Self-portrait as a young man’, Rembrandt Van Rijn

The Walker Art Gallery now proudly sports an audio guide which provides a brilliant introduction to the gallery’s highlights. It only costs £1.95 and there’s enough on there to get several visits worth out of it if you don’t want to listen to everything in one go. Read more…

Summer scarves – perfect for in between seasons!

2 September 2013 by Lisa

Close up of an owl print scarf

Twit-twooo!

So we’ve hit September and we’re still lucky enough to have that little bit of sunshine left to keep us going as the summer comes to an end. But I always find this is an awkward time for choosing what to wear – do you get out your knitwear (fluffy knits are having a moment right now) or do you tough it out in your t-shirt?

Over on the Guardian’s style pages they are suggesting summer scarves are the answer and I think we’d agree. Lucy from our media office has been road testing one of the cute new scarves that have arrived at our online shop HQ and she reckons they are an ‘in between season’ winner. Read more…

We’re on Pinterest!

22 August 2013 by Louise

Painting of lots of small handles

‘Handles’ by Lisa Milroy

Lovers of Pinterest will be pleased to know that you can now find the Walker Art Gallery and Sudley House on there! For those of you who don’t know what Pinterest is, it’s an online collection of ‘pin boards’ where you can collect and organise pictures from the web by ‘pinning’ them onto themed boards. To make this nice and easy, Pinterest provide a bookmarklet that you drag and drop onto your browser, you then click this to pin a picture to one of your boards. This ‘pin’ is a link back to where the picture has come from. This means you can find out more about the picture or search for others.  Read more…

“There’s an alchemical energy in this painting…”

21 August 2013 by Lisa

Woman standing in front of a painting

Sarah Pickstone with her winning painting in 2012.

I’ve been listening again to the words of Sarah Pickstone, the artist who won the John Moores Painting Prize in 2012.

Call for entries for this  prestigious painting have come around again so it means we always look back to who the last winner was, as we also look forward to discovering the next winner in 2014!  Read more…

New Brighton – mecca for photographers

19 August 2013 by Sam

photo of people on a beach, wearing warm clothing

‘New Brighton 1976′ © Martin Parr Magnum Photos

During a social evening on the opening weekend of Derby’s Format International Photography Festival a couple of years ago I mentioned in passing that I live in New Brighton. The reaction of one of my companions, one of the charismatic team behind Cardiff’s Third Floor Gallery, was fantastic – a shocked “You mean New Brighton is a real place?!”

In many ways New Brighton is no different from many other seaside towns. In its heyday it was a bustling resort with people outnumbering pebbles on the beach and in the outdoor pool. Those days are long gone though, leaving behind a funfair and an army of ice cream vans that have somehow clung on stubbornly through the quiet times. So far, so unremarkable. However New Brighton gained a degree of notoriety in the 1980s with the publication of Martin Parr’s ‘The Last Resort’. Controversial, in your face and unflinchingly honest, the book is now considered a classic. A mark of its influence is the number of photographers drawn to the top right corner of the Wirral to pay tribute, such as Peter Dench, who made the pilgrimage in 2011 on the 25th anniversary of the book’s publication. His account The Last Resort Revisited perfectly describes the sense of nostalgia for the recent past that keeps photographers coming back.  Read more…

How Rankin’s ALIVE exhibition has offered a different possibility for discussing death…

14 August 2013 by Dickie

An orange post-it note left by a visitor to the Rankin exhibtion expressing emotion

Visitor response to ALIVE exhibition

Here’s a blog from Chrissy Partheni, Head of Museum Partnerships. Chrissy recently gave a talk to visitors about our Rankin exhibition and its connections with the Walker Art Gallery’s permanent collections: Read more…

Timeless beauty

31 July 2013 by Laura

Make-up applied in front of painting

To celebrate our new book, ‘Pre-Raphaelite Treasures at National Museums Liverpool’ we asked So Coco Rouge to create a  makeover, inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite style! Sian-Louise Auld from the Liverpool beauty salon has given us some tips below on how you too can achieve this timeless look: Read more…