FOUR WORDS: WIRRAL curated by Alan Dunn (May 2021).
In 2016 Alan Dunn in collaboration with Metal Liverpool presented FOUR WORDS: JANUARY on the Media Wall opposite Liverpool Lime Street station. Interrupting the flow of commercials, the project invited people to present four-word statements about the complex month of January.
FOUR WORDS explore diversity and accessibility by bringing people together to reflect on complex issues. The social innovation of these takeovers lies in the breadth of participants, engaging with teenagers, retired seafarers, ancillary workers and ex-footballers from local communities alongside established artists.
This latest iteration uses Augmented Reality (AR) technology to imagine, create and share concrete poetry beyond the confines of buildings in post-COVID times. Artists Malik Al Nasir, Singh Twins, Steve & Phaedra Hardstaff and Joseph Cotgrave have been working with and inspired by the areas of New Ferry, Spital and Port Sunlight on the Wirral peninsula. Collaborating with community members and other artists including New Ferry CLT, Jo Lansley, the dog walkers of Spital and AR specialists Field, these FOUR WORDS explore hidden narratives of these areas around notions of hygene, imperialism, mythology and popular culture (image above from the mystery Bat stickerer of Spital).
|“I had the idea for this project during lockdown 2020, sitting at home and needing to savour and find out more about these areas that are all within a 4km radius of where I live. I wondered if we could look afresh at the familiar and I wanted to work with regional artists only and have socially-distanced walks with them in these places, just looking, chatting, researching and meeting people, gradually peeling back the layers to reveal stories that are not just history but part of people’s everyday lives who have lived here. I’ve been doing these FOUR WORDS projects since 2016, thinking that they are already too many words out there and not wanting to add many more, and I wanted to explore AR as it kind of reflects our interest in narratives that are hidden until you start looking. Some of the things we found were heart-warming, funny or occasionally disturbing but wanted this free app to encourage people to look further for themselves into various important topics.” Alan Dunn (January 2021)|
|Joseph Cotgrave at site of New Ferry explosion||Steve Hardstaff by a vintage lamppost outside Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight||Malik Al Nasir site visit, Port Sunlight||Singh Twins, site visit to Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve, with Lulu|
|A4 sign on the boarded up Dibbinsdale Tunnel||Close up of sign - bat information!||Tawny Owl at other end of 'Bat tunnel', photo: Mark Evans||Colin, Hilary and some of the 4 o'clock Club (3 in Winter)|
|Steve Hardstaff by Port Sunlight War Memorial||Singh Twins arriving for Dibbinsdale walk||Official Port Sunlight tour with David Lay of the Port Sunlight Trust||David by Poet's Corner, named after the now-gone recreation of Shakespeare's birthplace|
|Masked up for the headphoned Port Sunlight tour||The plaque referenced in Steve Hardstaff's FOUR WORDS||David's photograph of The Bridge Inn brigde (now gone). The poll voted 80% in favour of alcohol!||View of New Ferry from top of Shillings Building, including award-winning Edge & Sons|
|The butterly emblem of New Ferry and lingering devastation/development||Champions of Europe, in Port Sunlight||Malik referencing slave documents in Port Sunlight||Malik's work on his own slave roots|
|Community Development expert Paul Kelly inside Shillings||Explosion site, New Ferry||Lulu seeking her 79p pink ball in the Dibs mud||Some familiar and regular Dibs faces|
|Molly cleans her pink ball in the floods||Claremont Farm, Spital||Lulu near St Patrick's Well, Brotherton Park||Molly (Molly Salah) off to play with Lulu Suarez (aka Puppy Reina)|
|Sir Colin finds a lucky fiver before a LFC game||Dibbinsdale Nature Reserve|
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