Buttons, Buckles and Bows

Liverpool Academy of Art, Seel Street
10th – 26th February 2009, Mon-Fri 12-4pm

Reviewed by Paul Cassidy

Buttons, buckles and bows - a rather limiting set of peripherals one may assume. A new exhibition at the Liverpool Academy of Arts is actively seeking to dispel such musings however. The exhibition demonstrates just how far a simple button, buckle or bow can be stretched when infused with a little artistic imagination, and features various submissions from a multitude of artists spanning numerous traditions. From painting, to poetry, to costume design, no button is left unturned.

Standout pieces include paintings of a dominatrix nature by John Fellowes who utilises the humble belt-buckle in a tirade of indecency. The more abstract-minded will no doubt be drawn to the work of Sylvia Moss, whose interpretations of a button are directly influenced by the renowned works of Jackson Pollock and Sam Francis.

Declaring the exhibition open was left, most fittingly, to the Pearly King of Peckham, George Major. George - whose suit, hat, and tie consists of no less than 22,000 buttons and weighs half a hundredweight - introduced the opening night gathering to the conventions of cockney rhyming slang and expressed his seal of approval for the exhibition. George also strove to highlight the importance of his involvement in charity work as the Pearly King of Peckham, increasing attendees awareness of the longstanding London order of Pearly Kings and Queens with a presentation board of historical information relating to them which runs alongside the exhibition.

Buttons, Buckles and Bows is certainly an eye-opening exhibition that serves to highlight the wonders of the imagination through the collective pieces on display and their relationship to such simplistic, and thus often ignored, everyday items. Admission is - of course - free; don’t forget to collect your good luck button upon departing!

Printer friendly page

Comments are closed for this review