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A Londoner’s Views on the Liverpool Art Scene

From Rachael. Any comments?

Two years ago I bought work from a couple of Liverpool artists, they sell in London, the South East, North East, Scotland, Europe, the states, various places. As a collector this makes me quite happy. Yet these artists appear to go unrecognised in Liverpool and from what I can see, as a Londoner, they appear marginalised. Is there a reason for this? As a frequent visitor to Liverpool I took an interest in this.

Why do all the decent Liverpool artists seem to be in other markets now outside of Liverpool at various levels. I will list as an illustration Peter Chan, Paul Elliker, Gaynor Sweeney, Michelle Campbell, Jo Derbyshire, Derek Culley, Gary Sollars, Naïve John, Jazamin Sinclair, the people who did 59 Powis Street.

As something of an art historian I have been studying Liverpool, looking at local magazines etc I have noticed also that the writers of certain magazines are linked to some artists and give themselves ‘glowing’ reviews, particularly the grassroots magazines. It’s a pity if the artists I bought work from, a few listed above, (obviously I am biased ) if they did the same bout of shameless self promotion they may well be accepted in their own city. I will be hated for saying this but I think that these up and coming artist in a few years time will be fully embraced by Liverpool for their achievements and I can only say shame on you Liverpool. Lets hope you have the decency not to claim them as your own. It really puts me off coming to Liverpool as it has something of a whinge and clique reputation, something that hates outsiders and out of towners alongside its apparent ‘friendly’ façade. Saying that though I am looking forward to seeing some live art this weekend.

Another thing I have noticed is that you may have a monopoly on your hands, by this I mean that some of the ‘major players’ mainly based around the ‘art district’ and Rodney Street appear to have stakes everywhere, does this marginalise local art? Why blame property companies when something internal seems to be ask equally destructive to local talent. I wonder if they are all linked? Do these art organisations/foundations do it because they want to take ownership of everything? Why are they trying to control? from what I can see again its not a free for all but a shameless case of self promotion again for all those involved. I am glad London is not too much of a town without pity with a village attitude and maybe these major players in Liverpool are major here because they just cant get in on the markets elsewhere.