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‘When the City Speaks’ – Loft Space

jo_derbyshire_jan_2007.jpgArtist Jo Derbyshire in Loft Space Project

Review of ‘When the City Speaks – A Review’ by Artist Jo Derbyshire, Loft Space Project, Liverpool, England

Written by Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney, Photographs by Tony Knox. 20 January 2007

The ‘Loft Space’ project was unveiled today by Jo Derbyshire, an initiative conceived and curated by the artist. In the urban space of a house in Liverpool, once a location for the infamous ‘Bread’ television series in the late eighties and in the same area where ‘Boys from the Black Stuff’ and the ‘Liver Birds’ were filmed. A location synonymous with media, whether socio-political critique and satire on the community of the place.

This is the first in a series of exhibitions to be researched and developed by the artist with other artists to contribute and respond to the space and location of the house. The opening exhibition to this programme is a collection of Derbyshire’s recent and current art research and projects, titled ‘When the City Speaks – A Review’.

Derbyshire presents a collection of art, including her two large abstract expression pieces. These are faces with undertones of of Picasso-esque influence and similar the other, but in pastels, a fusion of mass of faces peering inwards and outwards of the two dimensional surface. They are described as psychoanalytical studies of form and tone and within the layers of each abstracted composition of the human face or head something different to be discovered and realised by each viewer’s perspectives.

Along the peripheral of the far wall is an installation of photographs and paintings. The photographs an anthology of visual records of generations gone before. There are mixed media paintings combined, which evolved from each live art intervention in different cities of ‘When the City Speaks’. This is project where audience participation determines the evolution of the art by contributing during the live art experience.

These canvases themselves become artefacts at the moment of intervention by the audience, but organic as they continue to the next urban and cultural space. Adjacent to these are a series of photographic images (documented by Tony Knox for Derbyshire) from previous incarnations of ‘When the City Speaks’. They present an archival record of the journey of the canvases in the installation and a visual understanding to the next stage of development in the context of this current project in the ‘Loft Space’.

The concept of the ‘Loft Space’ and Derbyshire’s interest in urban culture takes the concept of spatiality and re-addressed the urban to the institutional constructs where the art and visual dialogue become archive and artefact.

This is an immensely innovative project conceived by Derbyshire and in this first exhibition provides a thought provoking platform to the concepts of display, aesthetic form and function and art objects. I would strongly recommend a viewing to this exhibition, which runs for a week, 21January 2007 – 27 January 2007. This is by appointment only.
For further information or viewing contact the artist at or 07946353251. You can view more art of Derbyshire at

The programme for the ‘Loft Space’ continues with the following artists to explore diverse creative insights and interpretation of the space.

28 January 2007 – 3 February 2007
On The Waterfront by Irene McLoughlin.

04 February 2007 – 10 February 2007
Poetry Installation by Andrew Taylor.

11February 2007 – 17 February 2007
Pastel Series by Peter Worthington.

18 February 2007 – 24 February 2007
The Place where we live -Andrew Hodge and June Rose H.

25 February 2007 – 03 March 2007
Jazamin Sinclair and Karen Henley.

4 March 2007 – 10 March 2007
City, Regeneration, Redevelopment and Waste, ACEO’s.

11March 2007- 18 March 2007
Nietzsche’s Urbanised Icon by Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney and Tony Knox.

25 March 2007 – 31 March 2007
Book Launch Preview.