100 Seel Street – Signs of Life

image100 Seel Street. Signs of Life (Part 1: Liverpool) 6 – 23 November 2008
Thirteen artists tackle a derelict town house in the centre of Liverpool to create new installation artworks that respond to the suggestive atmosphere of the building. Stripped down to an empty shell through dilapidation, it is a view into the past; but one that is at once absurd, disturbing and poetic as each room conjures up disjointed narratives and fantasies.


Open: Thursday – Sunday, 1pm – 5pm

Signs of Life emerged out of a dialogue (Three Weeks) between artists, Pippa Koszerek and John O’Hare, it is the first project to involve artists from Final Intervention, a recently formed UK-wide network of early and mid career artists and curators interested in exploring overlooked and derelict spaces. Considering what constitutes a disused site they have both chosen spaces in their respective environments, South London and Liverpool that offer very different perspectives on notions of  ‘final’ and ‘Intervention’ taking the mystery of each location as a point of departure.

Bram Thomas Arnold explores drawing directly onto the different surfaces available within the dilapidated interior, drawings that wander through the building.

Justine Blau appropriates photographs taken from the web to create miniature 3D landscapes that deal with common ideas of Utopia and fantasy.


Anna Chapman integrates sonic manifestations of ‘hanging around’ with the existing soundscape of the building.

Gordon Culshaw undermines the privacy of the home whilst humorously discarding the evidence of surveillance so that the viewer quickly becomes obsolete.

Dave Dixon creates an impermanent installation using particle-based materials, quartz powder and dyed rice flour in a process-oriented exploration of the house.

Jemma Egan will appropriate one of the rooms as she tries to welcome birds back into the house.

Sharon Haward plays with lurking shadows of the spiral staircase that runs through the heart of the house to explore the forces of nature that have weathered and shaped the building.  

Ruth Martindale uses the garden overgrowth as source material to create objects which hover between functionality and uncanny artefact.

John O’Hare attempts to perfect nature through planting painted artificial trees, accenting the waning colours of the unkempt autumnal garden at Seel Street.

Laurence Payot responds to the patterns and shapes on the walls that have emerged through years of neglect, revealing the moment when reality becomes artificial and the artificial becomes reality.

Emily Speed responds to a book found in the house ‘The House Under the Water’ and constructs miniature and submerged landscapes amidst the dust and debris

The Unasked-for Public Art Agency announces a new heritage scheme for 100 Seel Street, playing with the aims and techniques of preservation.

Elizabeth Willow takes the intrusion of nature and the ivy creeping through the windows as a starting point for her delicate sculptural process.

This project involves artists from a number of networks including: Final Intervention, Post, Royal Standard, and Wolstenholme Projects. It has been generously supported by The Art Organisation who have facilitated the use of 100 Seel Street 

Watch out for: Signs of Life (Part 2): Colliers Wood mid-November