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.

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Beating the Bounds 23/11/21

On the 23rd November 2021, Liverpool Arts Lab Beat the Bounds of the Royal and Ancient Hunting Park of Toxteth, a distance of just under 10 miles. Our aim was to honour the park, and the spirits of the animals whose home it had once been. To deepen our connection with the land we dressed as the creatures that would have been found in and around the park.

We met at sun up on the waterfront, where we carried out a boundary ritual to begin our walk. We travelled widdershins, stopping periodically to make ceremony, to share poety and to hear stories of the land that lies beneath the story of the city. We a lot of stops along the way, we returned to our starting point just as the sun set.

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Beating the Bounds 23/11/20

In the year 2020, due to the ongoing pandemic, Toxteth Day of the Dead was postponed. Since its inception in 2018, Liverpool Arts Lab have been running a ceremony to Beat the Bounds of Toxteth.

On the 23rd November 2020 a Golden Acorn was carried around the the boundary of the Royal and Ancient Toxteth Park. To comply with Covid regulations, the acorn was transported by spoon and carefully transferred from one carrier to another. Each carrier provided their own, special spoon. The circumnavigation of the ancient boundary was completed in a relay of 9 stages. It took 4 hours to traverse a distance of approximately 9.5 miles. Only two people – The Standard Bearer (Simon) and The Boundary Beater (Mandie) – completed the entire route on this day. Perhaps they are the first people to ever walk this ancient boundary?

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Beating the Bounds 23/11/2018

“Now THIS was a rare vintage. The first Toxteth Day of the Dead proper was something truly special. The day I led ‘the 399’ on an historic Beating of the Bounds will live long in the memory (even if there weren’t exactly 399 of us – or maybe there were, if you count the ghosts…). The whole day was filled with wonder and highlights, and each person there will have their own. For me, the run-up to the event was just so exciting and impressive, seeing fellow Arts Labbers swing into action and pull together to create a truly collaborative and momentous event in just 10 days. 

On the day, I most loved forging brand new traditions, honouring our Great Spirits of L8 (especially me Mam), and highlighting the outstanding work done by local organisations. Singing The Power of Love as we left The Florrie, and walking in silence with everyone as we approached the laying of the first brick were moments to be treasured. Finally, I was most impressed with the attendees. Creativity and open-heartedness are the hallmarks of this merry band of fellow travellers, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. The whole thing felt mythic, and I was honoured to play a part. The building of The People’s Pyramid has begun!”
~ Tommy Calderbank

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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.

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Catch 23 07/07/2018

On the 17th July 2017 our friends at Festival 23 hosted an 14 hour arts extraviganza called Festival 23 at the Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield. Liverpool Arts Lab contributed a cornucopia of performance, DJ sets, cloud-making demonstrations and fortune-telling. We manned the desk and sold copies of our zine Beneath the Manhole Cover. The event was captured by LivArtsLab photographers and put together in a short film. Enjoy!

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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.

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