Liverpool Academy of Arts – From New York to Liverpool

imageFrom New York to Liverpool. Exhibition 4 November – 14 November 2008
An exhibition of works by Simon Pritchard, John Chatterton and the Cunard Yanks celebrating the music and musicians that the Cunard liners helped Britain.



A Collection of paintings by Simon Pritchard

Whilst looking forward to my 40th birthday trip to New York and planning my fourth exhibition at The Liverpool Academy of Arts, the obvious connections between the two port cities struck me immediately – that exciting moment on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 when the Beatles well & truly took Rock ‘n’ Roll back to America, Mersey style! And of course the journey of John Lennon, who started his life and career in Liverpool, then both were abruptly ended in New York City.  This is just one of the many stories of the twin cities.

imageThinking I had a good idea for an exhibition theme, I delved into the idea further and found many interesting & intriguing connections and the more obvious the link between the two cities became. From 1940s New York jazz and Sinatra to 1950s be-bop and Rock ‘n’ Roll, from Elvis on Ed Sullivan to Atlantic R ‘n’ B, from 1960s girl groups and Greenwich folk to the re-invention of Rock ‘n’ Roll with 1970s punk and the glam of Studio 54, the progression of New York musical history and pop culture mirrors that of Merseyside.

It seems that Liverpool’s unique position has left her throughout history somewhat isolated from the rest of the UK and instead, looking out across the sea to Ireland and further across the Atlantic to New York and therefore making it’s citizens a vibrant & unique people.  

During the 1950s over 20,000 young Scouse lads who were employed in the merchant navy or on the Cunard Liners were known as the ‘Cunard Yanks’ and became style pioneers bringing the flash of New York to the streets of Liverpool in the exciting clothes, hairstyles, records and cool Rock ’n’ Roll swagger they found in post war America.    

You will find here an eclectic collection of pieces which I have enjoyed creating from my own experiences, interests and passions. I have also included references to New York movies and pop culture, such as Charles Bronson and ‘Planet of the Apes’ that have been important to me throughout my life and much of the inspiration has been gained from our recent trip to New York and many visits to Liverpool.

At this point I’d like to thank my wife Susie for sharing the music and the passion with me and for helping out with the inspiration and creativity behind this latest collection of work.  Also to the following for the many hours of listening and viewing pleasure: Frank Sinatra, Debbie Harry, Buddy Holly, Ronnie Spector, John Lennon, Charles Bronson, Billie Holliday, Ruth Brown, Ray Charles, Joey Ramone, Dion Di Mucci and Elvis Aaron Presley among the many.  I love you all.

Hope you enjoy it!