Project Type: <span>Happenings</span>

Arts lab folk at the gate at Otterspool Park

The Journey 23/05/22

On 23rd May 2022 Liverpool Arts Lab and friends undertook a magickal journey through the heart of Toxteth Park. We met at the boundary stone on Smithdown Road. We passed through the city of the dead and crossed the River Styx to resurrect the spirit of the Liverpool White Hart. We took the hart to the confluence of the Lower and Upper Brooks in Sefton Park. We tracked the path of the merged brooks across Aigburth Road and through Otterspool Park toward the sea. Along the way we created a new recycled saint, read poems, told stories and set our dreams free on a flotilla of origami junks. We completed our journey with a picnic in the bowl of The Otter’s Pool.

The original call out, and some background information, can be found here

Images by Jane MacNeil, Robin Scarlett, Janet Fishwick, Ali Harwood, Marc Robinson and Jen Allanson.

Meeting at the boundary stone
Meeting of the stags
Passing through the city of the dead
Approaching the River Styx
Charon and Cerberus at the threshold
Pomegranate seeds in the Underworld
Crossing the threshold
The spirit of the white hart with the spirit of the forest
The Journey begins
Towards St. Agnes Field
The Magickal Childe
Recycled Saint Joan
Canonizing a recycled saint
Canonization (the aftermath)
Green Man at The Grotto
Telling tales of Captain Hook at the site where the pirate ship once stood
Saling ships of dreams
Honouring the Standing People
Not The Day of the Dead
The site of the Victorian aviary
Leaving paper cranes at the aviary
Paper crane
White Hart sitting at the Eros fountain in Sefton Park
Rest stop
Green Man at Arteros
Green Man at Arteros
Liverpool Arts Lab at the Bandstand
Photos op at the Bandstand
View across Sefton Park Lake
Across the lake
Art lab friends
White Hart at the top of the lake
Following the river
Arrts Lab folk in The Bakery
Getting supplies from The Bakery
Arts lab folk at the gate at Otterspool Park
Crossing the threshold into Otterspool Park

Picnic in Otterspool Park
Picnic in The Otter’s Pool
Forest spirits
Echoes of the Golden Acorn
The Damanhur Dance
The End (for now)

Beating the Bounds 23/11/21

The images below are from Liverpool Arts Lab’s Beating of the Bounds event, which took place on 23rd November 2021. The background to this event, and the invitation, can both be found here.

Peter and Tommy at The Briannia in at sun up
Lovely LouLou Bear
Dennis the Jellyfish and Steve Stag
Piper at the gates of Dawn
Follow the White Rabbit!
The Cae Mabon Stag’s Head
Fox Totem
Making new friends
Don’t interfere with the deer
Janet Blacbird
Enchanting Otterspool Cafe
Otterspool Park
Otterspool Park
The Green Man
Red Squirrel Robin
A real magical mystery tour
“Whats all this then?”
Hedgehog Mandie and Blackbird Janet in Leaf
Claudia Egypt Cat Mummy and The Golder Acorn
The Green Man
Lamenting at the meat isle in Asda
Scousers not batting an eye at animals in the shop
Arrival of Rat Simon
Magpie Ali Poet
Magpie Ali Poet Artwork
Rat and Hedgehog
They Sik him Deer…
Birdskill Luke
The Green Man Mysetery
Telling stories
Meeting friends
Drinking beer
Beating the Bounds
Saving the deer
Statue racing

Pigspurt’s Daughter & The March Of The Mycelium 23/08/18

On 23rd August 2018, a year on from The JAM’s ‘Welcome To The Dark Ages (and 24 years on from the duo’s infamous Jura boathouse money burn) their friend, muse and co-conspirator Daisy Eris Campbell returned to Liverpool to pay tribute to the a figure central to this whole story – her father, Ken Campbell.

First staging his heroic ‘Illuminatus!’ production in Liverpool on 23rd November 1976, the maverick director forever changed the make up of the city when he opened the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool alongside Chris Bernard and Chris Langham in Peter O’Halligan’s warehouse, known to local seekers at The Liverpool School Of Language, Music, Dream And Pun.

‘Illuminatus!’ had a profound effect on many people and did much to inform their future work – the JAM’s Bill Drummond and Daisy were no exception. That’s why the Hope Street Theatre at Liverpool’s Masonic Hall was seen as such a fitting venue for Daisy’s on woman-show about her dad, ‘Pigspurt’s Daughter’, when we were asked to co-host the event with Bido Lito!

We also of course needed to give Daisy a fitting welcome to the pool of life as an Arts Lab too, which is why we embarked on ‘The March Of The Mycelium ahead of the show, for reasons explained here.

Daisy was thrilled with her reception, and the show was a transcendental success! You can check out a collection of photos below – caught by Dan Dares, Jane Macneil, Jen Allanson and Tim Collins…

Onwards to CERN spores!

credit Tim Collins

The Arts Lab Skiffle Factory

The Skiffle Factory is a series of interconnected workshops, dreamed up by the Liverpool Arts Lab as a way to tap into the inherent DIY creativity in Liverpool. Paying homage to the homemade origins of the city’s music scene, the Arts Lab debuted the Skiffle Factory early in May at Liverpool Sound City 2018; offering the chance to build a song up from ground level in a collaborative creative process.

credit Slim Smith

With a workshop to build instruments, traditional and updated; a lyrics mine, which uses humuments and Burroughs style cut-and-paste to generate lyrics; a recording station, where tracks are cut on the classic DIY recoding tool, cassette; an artwork station to create the tape’s inlay and further the mythology created through the lyrics; and a music video workshop, utilising VJ FX with live footage, the Skiffle Factory works like a production line.

credit Slim Smith

There’s opportunity for the audience to engage in every aspect of each session if they stay for the duration, as well as opportunity to get involved in a specific part of the process. As many as can fit in the room are free to get involved in the workshops, with everyone’s contribution valued. There are moments that create unrestrained percussive soup, as there are moments that produce a focused and thoughtful jam.

credit Ali Harwood

Skiffle links directly back to the origins of Liverpool’s modern music scene. In the latter half of the ’50s, aspiring musicians began to make their own instruments, taking cues from the blues/blue grass bands Stateside. Gerry Marsden formed his first band, the Red Mountain Skiffle Group at The Florrie as an early teenager, whilst John Lennon’s career began with a skiffle group of his school-friends known as The Quarrymen (formerly Blackjacks).

Gerry Marsden

Having laid the foundations for the seismic Merseybeat explosion in the ’60s, this vein of DIY creativity ran through the punk scene of the ’70s with Eric’s and the Liverpool School Of Language, Music, Dream And Pun. The baton was carried through the ’80s by the likes of Earthbeat and Urban Stress. More recently by Urban Strawberry Lunch have kept this spirit alive, even returning to the creation of homemade instruments.

credit Tim Collins

With the Skiffle Factory, the Arts Lab looks pay homage to all that’s gone before, whilst adding a few new ideas into the mix; utilising electronics alongside the traditional to create ‘anarcho-techno skiffle’. The idea is to break down the creative barriers around making music, turning it into a fun and wholly accessible experience.

credit Ali Harwood

Here’s the cassettes we created over the weekend…

credit Josh Ray

+ the lost and found ‘Mellow Yellow’ tape…

credit Ali Harwood

And here’s a couple of videos…