Artist John A Walker has sent us this picture of his Ferry ‘cross the mersey’ (2006) oil on canvas, 140 x 100 cm
Liverpool – designated the European Capital of Culture for 2008- is a city I much admire for its architecture, history and culture, and I have visited it a number of times during my life starting in the late 1950s when I was an art student in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
I went to see the John Moores Liverpool exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, to watch Liverpool play at Anfield, to research the Beatles Museum and to see the 1984 International Garden Festival.
On my last visit in 1984 I made the famous tourist trip on the ferry across the Mersey, a subject made famous in December 1964 by the pop music hit by the beat group Gerry and the Pacemakers. (The group also made a film the following year in which Gerry crosses the Mersey, sings his song and then rides a scooter to the art college where he is an art student.
In reality Marsden was not a student of fine art and in his autobiography he remarks: ‘The arty types weren’t my sort of people. John Lennon used to hang around with his flatmate from art college, Stuart Sutcliffe [both attended Liverpool Art College and played in The Beatles], but though we spoke we didn’t have much in common.’ p.19, I’ll Never Walk Alone: An Autobiography, [London: Bloomsbury, 1993].)
My 2006 painting of the subject was prompted by my memories of the 1984 Mersey crossing and intended as a homage to the city. I was also conscious of L.S. Lowry’s painting of the River and the Liver Building made in 1962 (it was recently sold for one million pounds). The painting has a plain wooden frame, light oak in colour, and is available for sale.