Liverpool’s Favourite Building is…

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And the winner is…. Liverpool Cathedral

The people of Liverpool have voted Liverpool Cathedral as their favourite building featured in Ben Johnson’s epic Liverpool Cityscape, currently being completed at the Walker Art Gallery.

Since the artist Ben Johnson took up residence at the gallery to finish his stunning painting The Liverpool Cityscape visitors have been inspired to vote for their favourite Liverpool building.

Liverpool Cathedral came first with 20% of the hundreds of responses. A close second was the Liver Building with 17% of the vote, followed by St George’s Hall with 12%. The Metropolitan Cathedral also made it into the top five.

Visitors’ favourite buildings ranged from pubs like the Pilgrim and the Philharmonic Dining Rooms through to favourite landmarks such as St Luke’s (otherwise known as the bombed out church) and Lime Street station. The wonderfully diverse range of responses is testament to Liverpool’s extraordinarily rich architectural heritage, proving that Liverpudlians really do love their city.

The top ten as voted for by Walker Art Gallery visitors are as follows:

1. Liverpool Cathedral
2. The Liver Building
3. St George’s Hall
4. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Liverpool
5. Port of Liverpool Building
6. St. John’s Beacon
7. St. Nicholas Church
8. Albert Dock
9. White Star Building
10. Walker Art Gallery

Ben Johnson said:

“What has been most evident from visitor’s responses is the enthusiasm and love felt for the city. From my conversations with visitors it is obvious Liverpool evokes great passion in its people.

At times it can be challenging to work in the gallery because so many people are interested in what I am doing and the processes involved but I’m looking forward to the finished painting going on display from 24 May so that people can get up close to the work for themselves and see their favourite building or area of the city in detail.”

Further information on The Liverpool Cityscape by Ben Johnson:

Ben Johnson, an internationally-renowned artist, has been working on The Liverpool Cityscape for over three years. At 8ft x 16ft the stunning panorama of 2008’s European Capital of Culture is the largest and most complex painting ever undertaken by the artist.

From a vantage point high above the River Mersey the painting covers nearly 170,000 hectares and boasts over a thousand buildings. Featured Liverpool landmarks include the Three Graces at the Pier Head, Liverpool’s two cathedrals and even the two football stadia to the north of the city. The painting also reveals buildings that are in reality still under construction. By using detailed architectural drawings the panorama includes the Museum of Liverpool on the waterfront and the impressive Liverpool One development as completed.

The monumental painting has been commissioned by National Museums Liverpool, with the Liverpool Culture Company and Professor Phil Redmond CBE and Mrs Alexis Redmond.

The painting will eventually be on permanent display at the Museum of Liverpool in 2010/11.

A series of free public talks by the artist run throughout the residency. Please check the website or call the information desk for further details.

The finished painting will be on display in the exhibition Ben Johnson’s Liverpool Cityscape 2008 and the World Panorama Series from 24 May to 2 November 2008 at the Walker Art Gallery. The exhibition will display The Liverpool Cityscape alongside Johnson’s other world cities series of paintings, including images of Zürich, Hong Kong and Chicago. This will be the first time that these works are exhibited together.

The exhibition has been sponsored by the University of Liverpool. Others who have supported the commission include David M Robinson, Liverpool Vision, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Ethel Austin Property Group, Barbara A McVey and Rensburg Sheppards.

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