Transvoyeur Expeditions of the Biennial

Transvoyeur Expeditions of the Biennial … Liverpool and New York Artists
Written by Lucia Andrea Sweeney
22 September 2006

Transvoyeur New York artists Stephan Fowlkers and PJ Cobbs arrived in Liverpool mid last week in the lead up to the launch of the Independents Biennial 2006. However, when the Transvoyeur show was pulled they had more free time on their hands than expected.

In true New Yorker style, they embraced the vibrancy of the city albeit the circumstances of the exhibition not happening and having to sort a new venue. PJ Cobbs seemed to raise to the occasion with the insight the show will go on, a new venue is on the horizon. During their short stay was made memorable. The New Yorkers accompanied the Liverpool Transvoyeur artists to the presentation of the John Moores Painting Prize, which Gary ‘Dollman’ Sollar was short listed. The Transvoyeur artists, family and friends of Sollars’ arrived to encourage him during the announcement of the winner. The entourage wore the trade mark of the Dollman masks. An exceptionally talented artist, but missed out as a prize winner. Nevertheless, Sollars’ and etal were recognisable amongst the immense crowd in the Walker, as there was barely room for standing in the main area where the prizes were announced. He made a distinct impression on the crowds an onlookers, such as Tracey Emin, who eagerly announced the prize winners. Amongst the multiple faces of Dollman within the throng could be seen flitting around was Mothman in his gold lycra suit and antennas peeping through the crowd. Mothman, another Transvoyeur artist, who was in attendance to cheer along Sollars.

During the aftermath, people relaxed and socialised in the Walker. Mothman accompanied by New York artist, Fowlkes, found a new friend Peter Blake, reknowned pop artist. The artists discussed their experiences in their practices and after photograph shoot met up with the rest of the Transvoyeur artists and Dollman group. After the commiserations, this did not diminish Sollar’s, but everyone after the presentation went out to a local pub and the New York artists introduced to Liverpool night life. In merriment everyone cheered regardless of the Transvoyeur show being pulled and those who had heard on the grape vine and spoke to the artists shocked at this news. Furthermore, regardless of Sollars’ not winning it was still an exciting evening with new found energy and impetus.

After the local pub, the Transvoyeur artists went onto the Independents district to continue their celebrations at the A Foundation party. The New York artists, Fowlkes and Cobbs, were left in the safe hands of the Liverpool artists, while Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney and Tony Knox, returned to studio to consolidate future plans for the next stage of Transvoyeur opening.

Another New York artist, Raphaele Shirley, arrived towards the weekend. On Saturday the Transvoyeur Liverpool and New York artists met up at the View Two in Mathew Street to attend the Noise exhibition. This was an evening of various types of digital media projected, which then followed on to an array of musical talent. During this time appeared George Lund, as his alter ego the Funky Chicken, and responded to the projections and music in his own unique improvised performance intervention. He danced his heart out, celebrating the fact he is oldest surviving chicken at youthful age of 59. New Yorker, Shirley, smiled and commented overall on Liverpool and her experiences that it is a ‘party city’. Fowlkes was captivated by the energy and vigour of the city and regardless of the previous days events all of Transvoyeur artists were determined it would be a positive one.

Plans are currently underway to ensure the Transvoyeur programme is presented in the Independents Biennial 2006 with an extraordinary collection of art never seen before.

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