Bingo and Burial: A Changing Landscape of Liverpool
A photographic exhibition by McCoy Wynne
The Atrium, Liverpool Daily Post and Echo Building, 95 Old Hall Street, Liverpool
9th June - 23rd June 2011
remarkable exhibition, held in the beautiful, light and airy Atrium gallery
space, compares two eras of architectural landscapes in Liverpool, separated
by 25 - 30 years. The later photographs, taken this year, duplicate, as
closely as possible, the same viewpoint and composition as the originals.
They are displayed in pairs with the earlier ones, taken between 1981
and 1986 on black and white film, partnered with recent images in colour
made using digital technology.
The contrasts are in many cases quite shocking, not least at the scale
of disappearance of industrial buildings. In some ways the temptation
to 'spot the (very obvious) differences' almost detracts from appreciation
of the quality of the photography. But perhaps that is the rôle
excellent photographers must accept - the better they document what occurs,
the more their images are presented from an objective standpoint, the
less the viewer may realise how much skill they have invested.
The earlier photographs were exhibited at The Open Eye Gallery in 1987
under the title “Private Places, Public Spaces”. The artists,
Stephen McCoy and Stephanie Wynne, say: "In the early 1980s many
of the sign-posts of Atlantic trade that built Liverpool; grain silos,
dockyard cranes, and warehousing; were being demolished, removed or relocated.
What followed was open space, vegetation, trees housing and shopping complexes."
The titles of the photographs are based on 1980s locations and street
names. In some cases the named streets no longer exist.
This subtle and stimulating show does not focus on the major or sudden
architectural alterations, such as the recent high profile developments
in the city centre. Instead, the images underline the constant and ongoing
structural change taking place within the city and facing its urban residents.
long associated with the phoenix, has seen more than its share of redevelopment,
whether due to economic highs and lows, war or industrial change. This
thoughtful exhibition is about the passage of time and waves of change
which have affected the environment of Liverpool residents. At the
same time, somewhat reassuringly, some references in the pairs of photographs
such as church steeples and landmark buildings remain visible, if semi
obscured in the later ones.
The enduring impression is of a disappearing world. Many of the photographs
spark the memory and remind the viewer of homes and workplaces which no
longer exist; the surprise is how soon they have been forgotten. This
is a valuable and beautiful documentation of this city's recent past.
Photographers Stephen McCoy and Stephanie Wynne formed the collaborative
partnership McCoy Wynne in 1998. They have a successful commercial photographic
business based in Merseyside specialising in the built environment and
location portraiture, and an active fine art practice.
Their work has been published many times, separately,
but more recently as McCoy Wynne.
Recent exhibitions include Liverpool Independents Biennial,
Shot Up North 2007 to 2010, and New Collectives, Summer Exhibition 2010
and AOP Collectives 2011 at Leonard Street London.
They were finalists in The Liverpool Art Prize 2009.