Liverpool: A City of Protest

Liverpool: A City of Protest

Exhibition at Constellations, Greenland Street
Thursday 20th July – Sunday 13th August 2017

Reviewed by Ritchie Hunter

“We wanted to create an art space as part of a drop-in; a place where people don’t necessarily come along to see the art, but where this is all around. So when they come here to relax they just sort of soak it up.” Amanda Atkinson explains the reasoning behind this new exhibition at Constellations on Greenland Street. On the walls are photographs, placards, drawings and paintings of ‘Actions’ on the streets. Some are professionally done, others are ad-hoc, as befits their creation and use in the heat of immediate passion, in the drive to counter injustice.

Amanda, along with her partner Alan and other artists, are based in a studio at the back of Constellations. Ley Lines, Amanda’s art group under the name Roads, had been on Victoria Street. Developers put paid to this by pushing them out, along with other organisations, notably the Small Cinema.

This area near Jamaica Street is now known as the ‘Creative Quarter’. It was once full of factories and warehouses. The café we sit in was a motor factor, and you can still get a sense of the garage by the size and shape of the building, its openness, and how the roof space is constructed with channel iron.

I can see what Amanda means about sitting amongst the art. Of course this is not a new concept, but there is a part of the brain that, while you sit chatting, processes the surroundings. And as Alex Large, DJ for the night, plays tracks themed to fit the ambience of the place and the mood of the images, Amanda tells me more of how this art was collected and her hopes for the future.

She sees this project as a way of celebrating the tradition of Liverpool protest in a cultural setting, but she’s also clear that the art she is showing has only scratched the surface; that it can be added to and extended to other venues around the city.

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