New Works

Walker Art Gallery
2nd February - 14th April 2013

Written by Diane Jansen

I went with a friend to the preview night of fifty new works of recent acquisitions. It was strange walking through the dark galleries of masterpieces to the bright airy space of Contemporary Art. The first thing that drew our attention was an exhibition by Jonathan Froud called 'Shark The Soup’ (1984), which is two cases on top of each other with shard glass positioned as a floating shark on a sea bed of glass. He uses material which is inflexible. It was quite clever and very apt for Liverpool being a seaport but as yet I have seen no sharks!!!

Then we came across a small room which has a continuous four minute loop by Nancy Davenport (2004) of workers leaving the Jaguar factory. There is a surveillance camera on a workers car bumper which goes extremely fast and makes you feel quite sickly. This wasn’t filmed at Halewood and I believe it is in homage to two cult films from the 1970s but doesn’t tell you which films. The pictures in the room are of Jaguar workers which we found more interesting.

Upstairs at the top of the staircase is a wedding dress made of human hair and nylon by Thelma Madine and Ryan Edwards (2011) stylists at hair salon Voodou. It took eight dressmakers 300 hours over three months with 12 petticoats, 1,200 crystals and 250 metres of hair extensions. The weight is equivalent to 16 large bags of sugar. We thought it looked very itchy and something like Lady Gaga would wear.

Finally Yoko Ono’s Liverpool Skyladders (2008) which was featured at the Liverpool Biennial at St Lukes Church where members of the public brought along their donated ladders. The ladders are supposed to be a representation to take you closer to the sky. I don’t know about getting nearer to the sky as you would break your leg on a few as they are tied with string.

As there are fifty works I have just picked out a few. You would need a full day to look round, and a lot of reading of the narratives on the wall, to understand some of the exhibits. I guess contemporary art does challenge you and, as it’s at the Walker, it saves you getting windswept going to the Tate Gallery!

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Sorry Comments Closed

Comment left by Pauline Allsopp on 6th February, 2013 at 18:18
Love the review and humerous quips. See you soon for more entertaining outings to comment on! x