Street Life: Liverpool in Fashion

Mark McNulty and Victoria Spofforth
National Conservation Centre (16th June - 20th August 2006)

Reviewed by Alicia Rose

Street life is a continuous pool of ‘wants’ and ‘needs’, ‘suggestions’, ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’. It is what every human being has to face on a daily basis over years and decades. Human beings, getting themselves out and about, socialising, surviving, in search of life and meaning. Appearance, guise, trend and style are enormous and all-consuming traits of this quest for credibility on our streets. Two photographers have now strolled the walkways and concrete pavings from the Pier Head to St.Peter’s Square to bring their slant on dress and breeding that is currently on the streets of our Liverpool today.

All of the images are about people; they are portraits that show attitude, avarice, quirkiness and mood. Mark McNulty and Victoria Spofforth present their spectacular array of photographs on the first floor of the National Conservation Centre, Whitechapel, Liverpool. McNulty has an impressive professional history and his eye for quality and clarity shines through in his set of images. He is Liverpool born and bred, working and trading here in the city. The most stunning image (the best of the whole exhibition) is his awesome shot of Ziggy, Cathy and Addy in Sefton Park. Spofforth is a Bury St Edmunds countryside girl who now resides and works in Manchester. Her emphatic and gentle sensitivity displays itself with distinguished character in her images of mostly the older generation. The portraits are wholesome, real and have beautiful lucidity.

Together, these two photographers have achieved an astonishingly refreshing and uplifting display of people. Their representations show state of mind and direction of motion, and that above all else it is the ‘need’ to be valued as a human being that is the fundamental desire of each and every one of us.

The exhibition entitled ‘Street Life: Liverpool in Fashion’ runs until 20th August and comes highly recommended.

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