Friday, February 22, 2013

Picket paints out mural, wipes out volunteer work

After the original Picket closed in Liverpool, everyone did their best to embrace the new, slightly soulless replacement in the Music Ghetto neighbourhood.

A big part of that was the painting of a mural on the wall. Part of Liverpool's City Of Culture year, the mural wasn't just a big painting on a wall - it provided a chance for volunteers to get involved with making the space their own, and also attempted to soothe some of the sectarian tensions that still bubble away. A Daily Post piece explains how:

The artwork on the side of the New Picket, started in Septem-ber, united the skills of Belfast mural artists from both commu-nities – loyalist Mark Ervine and republican Danny Devenny.

They have joined community groups and artists from Liverpool.

The project, which follows a successful Beatles-themed mural in Litherland, involves re-styling the facade of the music venue, at the junction of New Bird Street and Jordan Street.

The mural, commissioned by the Culture Company, celebrates historic links between Liverpool and Ireland.
A fine ideal.

Trouble is, they've just painted over it:
AN eye-catching mural on the wall of Liverpool music venue The Picket has been painted over.

Bosses at The Picket, on Jordan Street, Liverpool city centre, say the artwork – which was painted in 2008 by a team of artists and volunteers from Liverpool and Belfast – had to go to make way for fire doors needed as part of a development.
Obviously, fire doors are very important, but you have to wonder how massive this escape route must be if it requires an entire wall to be painted over. I'm not a building expert, but I'd have thought that even if you had to knock through a wall to put a door in, you don't need to repaint the rest of the wall.

Hey, don't get upset, though. It's not like the mural was supposed to be there forever. Apparently:
Director of Love Culture Jayne Casey, who is on the board of the Picket, told the ECHO the mural had always been intended to be temporary.

She said: “People did have an emotional attachment to the mural and we feel sad it's had to go but we are having to move forward.”
Really, Jayne?

Did anyone involved with its creation know that it was only meant to be a temporary installation? Because reading the blog of the mural project, there's no indication at all that those involved thought they were doing a fleeting artwork.

One of the funders, the Federation Of Small Businesses, appear to believe they were chipping in for a long-term project:
Merseyside FSB National Councillor Alexis Lay who visited the wall on the side of The Picket today to see the start of the work said,

“The FSB is delighted to be able to support the Liverpool Mural Project. The mural will be a lasting reminder of Culture year and this is another great step forward in the ongoing regeneration of this important part of Liverpool’s business landscape."

Freddy Rylands, a local artist who worked on the project, didn't give the impression that he'd been told he was working on a temporary attraction:
What an achievement - something everyone can be truly proud of. Personally, it was a thrill to have a hand in something that will be discussed, studied, photographed and cherished for many years to come, not only by the people of Liverpool but by people from around the world - How many times in your life can you lay claim to something of that scale?
And the volunteers who gave their time and sweat to make the thing happen - what did they think they were doing? Senior citizen Joe Kelsall expressed a hope that it would "survive for many years to come".

And yet now it turns out that it was only meant to be temporary. Perhaps they should have mentioned that at the time, eh?