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An inspiring International Women’s Day

8 March 2013 by Lisa

Etching of a woman having a 'back street' abortion

Etchingsfrom Paula Rego’s abortion series.

Happy International Women’s Day! This day is the perfect time to stop and think about which women might be inspiring to you. Outside of family and friends, one person who I find inspiring is Portuguese artist Paula Rego. Two years ago I visited her dedicated museum ‘Casa das Histórias’ (‘House of Stories’) and was blown away by her work. It spans from etchings to installations to dramatic, large-scale paintings.

I admire her (and her work) as she is not afraid to show the experiences of women, especially exploring subjects which are often considered ‘difficult’ or controversial. You also get an idea of her personal experiences too, which I also find inspiring as I think she must be quite brave to expose her feelings in this way. Her work often has a sense of fear running through it – a feeling she has recently admitted is still a constant in her everyday life.  Read more…

Women in Print

4 March 2013 by Laura

Kaylee Jenkinson tells us more about a new display at the Walker Art Gallery featuring prints by Bridget Riley, Thérèse Lessore, Paule Vezelay, Birgit Skiold and E.C. Austen Brown.


Temporary display

Women in Print display.

“Friday 8th March is International Women’s Day (IWD) – a day for celebrating the achievements of women across the world.I have been working on ‘Women in Print’ a new display at the Walker (Room 8) featuring five artists who I have fallen in love with over the past few months! The Walker has a huge collection of works on paper – over 8,000 in fact – many of which are by women artists and have never been on display before.

One print from the display, ‘Coffee Bar’ (early 20th Century), was made by Thérèse Lessore who was married to the artist Walter Richard Sickert. Before they were married, Sickert loved her work so much that used to secretly make his friends buy her prints, paintings and porcelain for him – so that he didn’t appear too keen! Read more…

Louise Bourgeois

2 June 2010 by Laura

Visitor in gallery

Ears by Louise Bourgeois

The news that the French artist Louise Bourgeois died at the weekend from a heart attack represents the loss of a uniquely inventive artist.

It was during my first visit to Tate Modern, when it opened in 2000 that I was introduced to her incredible work. Produced as a special commission for the opening of the gallery, I joined the queues to experience for myself the imposing steel towers, I Do, I Undo and I Redo. Read more…

Discovering Paula Rego

25 May 2010 by Lisa

Inside of a contemporary art museum with paintings hanging on the walls

Exploring the ‘Casa das Histórias’

Earlier this month I got to visit Lisbon for the first time. Part of my excitement about discovering this new city, was the opportunity to also discover more about the Portuguese artist, Paula Rego. I’d read about her for the first time in a newspaper article before her dedicated museum, ‘Casa das Histórias’ (‘House of Stories’), opened for the first time at the end of last year. I was intrigued by her combination of innocence (e.g. ‘Little Miss Muffet’) and darkness (e.g. ‘Dog Woman’) and her representations of the experiences of women. Read more…

Whet your appetite for Liverpool Light Night

12 May 2010 by davidl

Accordionist Helen Maher brought some distinctive French style to the Walker Art Gallery today as filming took place for an item on tonight’s edition of BBC North-West Tonight (or ‘Nord-ouest ce soir’ if you like) for the upcoming exhibition High Kicks and Low Life: Toulouse-Lautrec prints, which opens this Friday.

A woman playing an accordion in a gallery with classical statues and sculptures

Accordionist Helen Maher in the Sculpture Gallery of the Walker Art Gallery © National Museums Liverpool

Helen will be just one of the many musicians taking part in a special Musicians’ Gallery as part of Art à la Carte, the Walker Art Gallery’s event as part of Liverpool Light Night 2010.

The French-themed event will also include the band Deadbelgian with tributes to Jacques Brel, jazz from Snake Oil Jass, and the Liverpool Guitar Society with music by the quintessential French composers Debussy, Satie and Ravel.

Visitors to Light Night at the Walker will be amongst the first to see the new Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition, along with being able to browse all of the Walker’s galleries, go on gallery tours, listen to French and English poetry readings and have French food in the Walker café. Download the full programme (pdf).

The gallery will be open until 10.30pm and admission is free. Vous y voir! Read more…

The skill behind ‘The Dancer’

28 April 2010 by Lisa

Artist working on a sculpture with a blow torch

Emma Rodgers has now put the finishing touches to ‘The Dancer’ and her display of the sculpture opens today in the Walker Art Gallery.

The sculpture was previously at the Castle Fine Arts Foundry in North Wales but has now taken centre stage in the ‘Emma Rodgers: From Sketch to Sculpture’ display.

The photograph above shows Rodgers patinating the bronze sculpture to create the desired finish. This is achieved by placing powdered chemicals on to the surface before heating them. This results in a chemical reaction which colours the surface of the sculpture. Different chemicals create different colours and it takes a lot of experience to know which chemicals to use to achieve the required colour. Read more…

Oh Come All Ye Women!

3 November 2009 by Lisa

Two women next to a small painting

The Singh Twins next to Ranbindra’s painting ‘Oh Come All Ye Re-eds’

Is football a new religion? Can being a female artist be an advantage in some cultures? These are just some of the subjects covered in a brief interview I did with acclaimed local artists The Singh Twins. I chatted with Rabindra and Amrit at the private view of the Walker Art Gallery’s latest exhibition The Rise of Women Artists, where Ranbindra’s painting ‘Oh Come All Ye Re-eds’ is on display. One of the main things I was interested to find out was whether they ever actually define themselves as ‘women artists’ or if they didn’t think about gender at all. Read more…

October’s caption competition

1 October 2009 by Karen

Man in uniform hugs a woman

Millais’ ‘The Black Brunswicker’ from the Lady Lever Art Gallery collection.

Post a comment to tell us what you think the caption should be for this image. It’s ‘The Black Brunswicker’ by Millais (more on it and a larger image on our main site). The caption we think is funniest/quirkiest/most inventive wins this month’s prize which is a rather nice hardback book, ‘Women Artists In The 20th and 21st Century’. The book features Tracey Emin, Rachel Whiteread, Georgia O’Keeffe, Barbara Hepworth, Frieda Kahlo, Bridget Riley, Kara Walker and many, many more, and ties in nicely with the forthcoming exhibition, ‘The Rise of Women Artists’ which starts at the Walker on 23 October. Read more…

Hanging around in the Walker

17 August 2009 by Sam

As regular visitors will realise, there are always small changes taking place within our galleries, even in the ‘permanent’ displays, as objects do occasionally get removed for loans or conservation treatment. An example is the painting ‘Elaine’ painted by Sophie Anderson, which is going to be included in the exhibition ‘The Rise of Women Artists’ at the Walker from 23 October 2009. Framing conservator Roy Irlam is using this opportunity to address particular areas of the painting’s framework, as access to this painting has been difficult due to its high position on the gallery wall. You can see photos of the de-installation in our Moving stories Flickr set. Handling and transport technician Paula Frew explains just how this large painting was safely removed from display below.


two men in hard heights lifting a painting with ropes and pulleys

Installing ‘Daniel in the Lion’s Den’ in the Walker

“The handling and transport team use specialised equipment for paintings at this height which include a block and tackle system used to elevate and lower paintings. Each block and tackle section is equipped to take a safe working load of 250kg which are suspended from a lifting strap (SWL 1000kgs) which is attached to a load bearing picture rail.

Another piece of equipment which is an old favourite of the team’s goes by the fanciful name of ‘Airwolf’. It’s a gas operated hydraulic lift that enables technicians to access the heights needed to reach the galleries picture rails. Read more…

Sculptures and inspiration

17 August 2009 by Lisa

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be allowed to tag along on a shoot of a video interview with internationally acclaimed artist, Emma Rodgers.

I went with our audio visual team to her house on the Wirral, where she has her studio. They needed to film Emma because her work is going to be included in our forthcoming exhibition ‘The Rise of Women Artists’ , which will be at the Walker Art Gallery from 23 October 2009 – 14 March 2010. This video would be used to create one of the interactive displays for visitors to explore in the gallery and also to make video clips for our website. Read more…

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.