Art in Windows: #LearnFromBixtethGardens
Venue: Art in Windows
Dates: 19/09/2020 - 29/10/2020
Times: All Day
By Victoria Hyam
Dates: 19 September – 29 October, 2020
Location: 5 Bold Place, Liverpool, L1 9DN
#LearnFromBixtethGardens is an installation by mixed-media artist Victoria Hyam. It chronicles the battle by local residents, workers and environmentalists to save Bixteth Gardens, the last green space within Liverpool city centre’s business district. Despite their heroic efforts, Bixteth Gardens was eventually flattened to make room for a nine-storey office block and a hotel.
The #SaveBixtethGardens campaign brought together members of the city centre community, who valued and utilised this small peace-haven within the surrounding bustle. It united people of all political parties, nationalities and economic backgrounds. Home to myriad wildlife, such as rabbits, birds, bats, bees and 52 mature trees, this park provided a space for all, yet despite the letters of objection, online petition and public demonstrations, it could not be saved from destruction. A truly shocking situation at a time when a “Climate Emergency” was publicly declared by Liverpool city council and when the mental and physical health benefits of public green spaces is being acknowledged.
#LearnFromBixtethGardens consists of embroidered photographic portraits of some of the campaigners involved, large landscape photographs taken 6 months after the battle was lost and embroidered Polaroids of Liverpool town hall. It highlights the capitalist culture that looms over the decisions made by those in power, whilst putting a face to those voices unheard (or ignored) by the decision makers. Political is personal, after all.