Icons and Dreams

Genie in the Gutter
St. Luke’s Church, Berry Street
12th September 2009

Reviewed by Mari Jones

On Saturday 12th September, St. Luke’s church (also known as the bombed-out church) was transformed into a place full of people, music, art and culture. This was an event called Icons and Dreams, a community project created through the company Genie in the Gutter. This company offers people who have alcohol or drug problems the chance to become involved with various creative projects, ranging from art to film to theatre.

The day itself had a wide variety of activities and presentations on offer, all linking in some way to the main theme of icons and dreams. On the art side of things, there were artworks featuring sights around Liverpool and famous iconic people, and in the vein of Antony Gormley there was even a plinth on which people were able to have their own fifteen minutes of fame.

There was even a small ‘Odeon’ cinema for everyone to enjoy, which showed a short film of people in the project acting out various theatre monologues and comedy sketches, showing the diverse talents some of them have to offer.

There were not just the fascinating creations of others to look at though as there was also the chance for visitors, young and old, to get involved themselves. There was a place to make badges, create your own artwork, try your hand at art therapy and - in the one activity there that kids seemed to enjoy the most - make your own masks.

Local musicians and singers provided music for the day and attracted a large crowd, who were all eager to sing along too. And poetry readings which were written by people in the project and which were about their own personal icons and dreams were beautiful and touching to listen to.

As you can see, there was a lot on offer that day in the church and there was no shortage of activities for people to get involved with themselves, especially children. The atmosphere was lively and friendly with everyone eager to take part in something. It was also an event that showed just how important community projects like this are for people who might be struggling with their own personal issues.

So, hopefully, there will be more events in the future like this from Genie in the Gutter to showcase more of the talents that the people in the group are eager to use. Because as the company motto says: “We’re all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” (Oscar Wilde).

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