Monday, 29 September 2014

Arthur Dooley's Last Studio Ransacked To Make Way For Flats. Its a Disgrace. Exclusive.

How long can Liverpool keep on losing links with its past and its history.
Arthur Dooley was a sculptor that I believe could not have come from anywhere other than here in my home town of Liverpool.
I fought to try and save herbert Tyson Smith's sculpture studio at the Bluecoat, predicting it would become a cheap and nasty gift shop. Guess what has happened.
There next to the garden was an evocative and inspiring glimpse of a man who helped form modern Liverpool.

He sculpted many of the reliefs on buildings such as Martins Bank Building with its slave iconocraphy and a lot of monuments around the town.

His stone carving that was on display at the Old Post office has been restored and is on show in the Met Quarter which now stands on the site. It may be slightly tucked away from the main drag but none the less with a little seaching you can easily find it. Herbert Tyson smith may have been accepted by the establishment and Liverpools merchant classes. Arthur Dooley never was although most of his work was for the clergy who also had a rennaisance in fortune after the second world war, where they were rebuilding and modernising building some godawful structures along the way.

Now another chance goes begging.

It was Arthur Dooley, I am led to believe who coined the phrase Paddy's Wigwam the Metropolitan cathedral of Christ The King, that is now becoming part of the accepted landscape, mainly by people who dont recall that it was Jerry built and leaked like a collander and needed extensive repairs within years.

Dooley was a character that did not hold back his punches, literally being a bit of a boxer himself he came to blows during one argument with The demolished to make way for the New Everyman........isnt that a sexcist term these days, shouldnt it be called the Everyperson.
 I know he would have been fighting against its demolition if he was alive.

He would also have put up a good fight to save Tyson-Smiths Studio.

Now his last studio in Seal street has been ransacked by cretinous property developers right next to the psuedo Liverpool Acadamy of arts that held a fantastic Dooley exhibtion in 2008.
The Acadamy of arts is a pale shadow of its original form that Dooley helped to recreate but none the less it had finance to stage a wonderful exhibition.
June Lornie who runs the present Acadamy has not been able to do anything to inform the public as to the impending disaster that has now unfolded I am informed regrettably, due to ill health.
So no one knew until it was too late.
Whether or not the Do Littles of this city would have cared anyway. 
Whether it would have interupted their Frapaccino lifestyle and they could have helped save it, is now hypathetical, or maybe just pathetical. 
A sad epitaph is now that no-one except the Dooley speculators care. Some of those speculators pretending to be interested in art that wouldn't know a decent sculpture if it fell on them. 
Dooley wasn't the best sculptor around.
 In fact he wasn't even a good sculptor, he got it wrong more times than he got it right. 
But he had something inside him that drove passion which is what we all are now familiar with. 
He fought for  things he believed in.
 Its not his fault that in Brain Drain Liverpool he didn't have a tradition of artistic training for the working class and he became a metalworker first and then used his experience to manufacture emotion by default. Dooleys son Paul told me that upon his fathers death in 1994 the phone never stopped ringing with people who wanted to buy his work, sensing a upward trend they now wanted to buy his art, when for decades he had struggled to pay the bills.
This is his studio almost intact at 34-36 Seel Street he was a active member of the Liverpool Academy. He campaigned to have the right for Liverpool artists to show their wares outside the Bluecoat. He is slowly being recognised as an important man active in town planning not afraid to have his say.
Remember Him.

I warned about this years ago. It is a sad day when one of Liverpool's ebulient characters studio is ransacked to turn it into …......flats.


  1. Hello Wayne. I am sorry to say that your facts are not correct as regards Dooley and the Seel Street Workshop. It is correct that the workshop was indeed ransacked and in such a manner that showed complete and utter disrespect to all Dooley related matters. Who carried out this sinful act ? None other than Arthur's son Paul. It was merely days after the death of Alan Johnstone, the Dooley estate manager that Paul wanted to start removing the items in order to make a quick buck via EBay. Did Paul consider giving anything to to LJMU archive for future reference etc, did he heck. You can find a percentage regularly on eBay. As regards Dooley not being a good sculptor,that is your own personal opinion and should be stated as such. As regards June Lornie and the Liverpool academy of arts not being able to notify the public of certain circumstances due to little time etc then I can confirm that all tenants in the building had been given notice back in January 2014 that the building was to be demolished some time after August . The new owner even offered Dooleys basement workshop for the site of the Academy of arts,fully refurbished at a cost of £100 per week, but this proved to expensive and was turned down.

  2. Yes the pieces have been coming up on ebay, most have them have been.......lets say finished off by Paul Dooley who does have a right to them, but it does show how much he thinks of his fathers legacy when he just knocks them out to the highest bidder.
    Beware these pieces were in fact left in varying states and may have been cockeyed up.
    I have pictures of all the wares that were left in the studio to compare.
    Beware if you are buying them that you dont buy the one that has been ......shall we say finished off.