Alan Dunn + Brigitte Jurack - artists' statement, 4 September 2023

We are extremely proud to announce the decommissioning of RAY + JULIE as they join the 27 Club alongside such luminaries as Jimi + Janis, Amy + Robert and Kurt + Jean-Michel.

When we created RAY + JULIE and installed them on 1st November 1995 for a six-month window before London Road was to be redeveloped, we originally proposed taking two wooden chairs from the adjacent Furniture Resource Centre (now the Barbers Shop) and sinking them in cement and seeing how long they would last. The FRC and co-commissioners London Road Development Agency loved the concept but at the last minute asked us to make them in metal to last the full six months. Little did we know when first moving to Liverpool in 1995 that we’d stay here until this day, along with RAY + JULIE.

We only found out later that the plot had once been JEROMES photographic studio where the people of Liverpool would sit for their portraits. We thank all those in our adopted city that have sat on them over the 27 years. We have asked Liverpool City Council to invite any developers to include a plaque on their frontage linking to an online history of RAY + JULIE but in a sense their story lives on in public memory, similar to Esther Shalev-Gerz and Jochen Gerz’s Monument Against Fascism public artwork that is completely sunk into the ground.

When the first eviction notices appeared on RAY + JULIE about 10 years ago, we started keeping an eye out for alternative locations but in the end, this was their only home. This was where their name first appeared and where they were to live as placeholders until development. They've been named by The Guardian as one of the UK's Top Ten Secret public artworks, shared wall spaces with Bernard Sumner, Nikita Parris a.k.a. Keets and Liverpool Biennial textworks and been the inspiration for photoshoots, poems, books, exhibitions, short stories, CD covers, films, graffitti and a theatre piece with stunning Philip Jeck soundtrack.

We’ve requested the site is screened off so that RAY + JULIE can be removed with dignity. Thanks for all your interest, stories, support and pics over the years ... and in the 27 years, we never did find out who the original RAY + JULIE were (are) ...


Link to extended history of RAY + JULIE