Great to see Mike Badger being commissioned to create a permanent sculpture for Cavern Walks and agree with his desire to not just produce another figurative monument the the Beatles and the past but to try and encompass the whole music scene and also add a bit of humour. It is suspended above the staircase so not easy to see close up but well worth taking a bit of time to study.
Read on for the full press release info..
Liverpool based artist and singer-songwriter, Mike Badger, who is well known by music enthusiasts as a founder member of The La’s, was commissioned by the boutique shopping centre to produce a themed-sculpture to mark the city’s third annual Beatles Day, taking place on Saturday 10th July 2010.
Cavern Walks, which is situated at the heart of the Beatles Quarter in Mathew Street, is built on the sight of the original Cavern Club and already houses the only life-size statue of the Beatles standing together in the UK, which continues to be a popular attraction for visitors and tourists.
The sculpture, which is entitled “A Musical Composition”, was unveiled to excited shoppers, Beatles enthusiasts and the press on Thursday 8th July. School children from St John Plessington Catholic College on the Wirral, which was recently named TES School of the Year, also attended the event as part of the school’s week-long art project on icons.
Mike Badger, 48, from Wavertree, who is well known in the art world for his amazing sculpture work using reclaimed materials, also currently runs workshops on recycled materials in schools and galleries.
He commented: “I’m delighted with the way the sculpture has turned out. I wanted to portray how the musical legacy of the Beatles still lives on by keeping the sculpture quite contemporary. My own entrance into Liverpool’s music scene happened on the same street as the Cavern so the area signifies a lot of importance to me. The idea was to use a collection of reclaimed musical instruments placed together in an assemblage, reflecting musical composition.”
He added: “I have made many sculptures from reclaimed and recycled materials and I enjoy allowing the objects themselves to inspire and determine the eventual finished piece. The main parody explored in the sculpture is that you can’t touch music but it can touch you and this is what I hope visitors will enjoy about the finished piece.”
The Beatles-themed sculpture features an assemblage of reclaimed musical instruments associated with famous Beatles hits, including a vintage Zenith guitar donated by Mike himself in honour of Paul McCartney who wrote some of his earliest hits on a similar Zenith guitar of the same era.
Paula Phillips, Assistant Head Teacher at St John Plessington Catholic College, added: “We were thrilled to be invited by Cavern Walks shopping centre to see the unveiling of the Beatles Day sculpture. The school children are currently working with Mike Badger to produce their own permanent sculpture at the school so seeing him unveiling his own piece of work provided great inspiration for them.”
Derek Millar, Commercial Director at Cavern Walks, which is owned by Warner Estates, added: “We absolutely delighted with the finished sculpture. Mike’s experience of both music and art made him the perfect candidate to commission the piece of work and we hope that shoppers and visitors to Cavern Walks will enjoy viewing the artwork. The sculpture will be displayed permanently suspended in the centre to celebrate not only Beatles Day but the immense musical heritage of Liverpool.”
Other commissions/demonstrations produced by Mike to date include: ‘Tin Planet’ in 1998-1999 by local hit makers, Space, ‘The beat goes on’ Local Music Exhibition at Liverpool Museum in 2008 and the Go Superlambannas and Go Penguins project in 2008-2009. He was also the installation artist for The Mersey River Festival from 2001-2004 and artist in residence for ITV Granada in 2006 to celebrate their 50th year.
After leaving The La’s, Mike formed The Onset and is currently concentrating on his solo work as well as a collaboration project with musicians from Nashville. Alongside his own musical career, Mike is also a partner in local record label ‘Viper’ who archive Liverpool music.