Friday, 21 June 2013

'Pass' Chair Designed by Ernest Gimson-Piece of the Week

These are remarkable chairs designed by Ernest Gimson.

Yes, we know most people think a chair is for sitting on, but if you study the evolution of design through the ages nowhere is it more apparent than in furniture design.
The way a chair sits is paramount to its worth, oh yes, and how comfortable it is, also matters to some.
 But sometimes comfort can give way to design because after all a piece of furniture is also there to look at.

You may have a surplus of chairs or tables, but sometimes just for aesthetic reasons it proves important to have something around you that you, can adore, that gives you pleasure.
If it works as a design and you can reliably sit on it well there you go.

This is a design which, at its time of manufacture has one foot in he past.
The splats on the back of the chair are taken from a French design.
The whole chair looks as if it could have come from an older period, which is of course something the artisans of the British arts and Crafts movement strived to achieve.

All the honesty and integrity of construction is evident in the design and I particularly love the way the upright support for the ever so slender armrest almost looks as if it had been speared into the frame.
As if a matador, had launched a pair of daggers diagonally, just to put a finishing touch on the carefully thought out design.

Apart from design this is an architectural important element of the construction.
They allow the narrowness of the uprights to astound you at the delicacy. They seem to float, those the arms that gently bend.
It is both a masculine and a feminine design for this reason.
Without the surprising part of its design you could never enable such a fragile looking armrest to function.

And function it does it is comfortable and is supportive of the back. You know it’s a craftsman made piece as all the joints are pegged.
It still feels fresh and modern today as when it was designed in 1907.
Edward Gardiner probably made this chair, on or shortly after that date.

It is known at The Pass Chair, simply because, a Mrs Pass commissioned the design from F.W Troop.

The design was used as platform chair for a church hall in Wootten Fitzpaine in Devon.
Also known a higher backed version, which is often described as The Chairman’s Chair.
Cheltenham Museum has a pair in their collection donated by B.J Fletcher who was the headmaster of the Leicester School of Art and also Birmingham Municipal School of Art.
Fletcher is known for his designs for Harry Peach of Dryad and it was said he was an exponent o the arts and crafts ideals.

That aside it is just a smashing looking chair.

This chair is now longr available.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Liverpool Everyman,Such A Tragedy-Why Did They Have To Knock It Down?

Yes it can only happen in Liverpool a city where the clowns in charge take a piece of culture and raze it to the ground and then make a full scale press assault in order to pull the wool over the eyes of the people.....and almost succeed.

Even all the luvvies who live and work around the Hope street area did nothing.
I was so bogged down with world heritage issues, and why should me and my colleagues do everything, to kick up a fuss over this tragic event being played out on centre stage right in front of everyone.
It is a deep regret, because both me and my colleagues at LPT have a social conscience and we now feel guilty for not arguing for its retention.
They even sold the fittings off on the basis of "Own a piece of history". This by the very people who removed the historical context.
The Everyman Theatre was not the best piece of architecture, there is no denying that, but it was this theatre that added to the cultural identity of the city.
From the 1960's and 70's it grew.
In the 80's there were some of the countries most iconic theatre and inspired films emanating from this little provincial place, with big ideas.
Some of its playwrights would become houshold names can you believe that.
I can even smell the grit and sweated determination that you felt emanating from the walls as I write.
I can conjure up images of actors pouring their hearts out, crying, laughing out loud, entertaining inspiring, motivating, moving boundaries in their art .
I recall seeing MacBeth with one of Liverpool's sons the actor David Morrisey, god it was an awful. thing.  It went on and on, made worse by the fact I had just had kidney stones removed and I felt I was being tortured both on and off the stage.
You are not supposed to criticise Shakespeare, but really, in Morrisseys dying scene that went on forever, I unwittingly spoke out, just under my breath, only to get a crack in the ribs "Oh just die will you so I can get home" Yes I have also been bored to tears there, but it all counts.
The walls were rich with history, the spirit that this place absorbed became a breeding ground for future generations.
Yes it was a little rough around the edges, reminding us of that cheeky little scouser that we all know that makes us cringe but instead you laugh and love him.
Yes the scruffy little kid down the road that looks a bit dirty but you know its only skin deep and its nothing a bit of soap and water wouldn't clean up.
So they have a bit of cash slapping around in Liverpool and what have they not managed to homogenise they think, The Everyman.
 And what do the uncultured clowns who are in control do.............they knock it down, and tell us its all going to be alright because we are getting a new one.
Its like buying a load of duty free cigarettes because they are cheap and then you remember you don't smoke. Did the NWDA have surplus funds they needed to offload.
They bulldoze it right in front of the noses of the posh little dears that can  now afford to live in the, now gentrified, as they now call it, The Georgian Quarter.
I don't begrudge them the money they have earned it, but my recollection is that it was the anger and oppression of a generation inspired by John Osbourne, Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard plays that made this place what it was. It had history in its walls.
The bricks oozed the heritage and the past words of artists that had found their feet there.
The cafe in the basement was an institution. It was the place that characters such as Arthur Dooley and the art teacher who taught Stuart Suttcliffe came to blows. Everyone has a tale to tell about the place it had character, and characters were attracted there.
It was a place for renegades, it was a place for actors and musicians. It was a place you could just have an unpretentious drink.
This was the theatre that saw fledglings such as Pete Posslethwaite turn into accredited actors. It was a breeding ground for actors who were in, Boys from the Blackstuff , some, shouting Gizza Job and went on to get a massive one, starring in Lord of the Rings.
 Willy Russel plays were put on there and were made into films.
But it all started with ordinary people. How can you measure the decades of people who had chatted and planned and plotted there.
Richard Hawley summed it up at a recent Philharmonic concert Live on stage he said "I cant believe they knocked The Everyman down. Or words to that effect.
And what do they do now, with "Our" Everyman, spend a fortune on destroying its soul, like they did in my opinion, with the Bluecoat that still had Herbert Tyson-Smiths sculpture studio intact. Will it demolition destroy its soul? Yes, it has for me.
But all we hear from Everyman and its dog is silence. Where is the alternative argument that we used to breed there.
It is being hailed as  a great success, Regeneration in fact.
I would prefer the gritty edge that it had, and with a little gentle modernisation you could have kept its unique-ness, the thing that made it special.

Gazing at the Tragedy that has befell my very eyes, everyone seems to have been taken in by it, not a murmurs of dissent from the masses its a real shame from a city that used to fight for its heritage.
They have knocked down an institution and are building a plastic replica of the very thing that should have been retained.............History and tradition obliterated. It wanted saving from itself and the people who ran it.
And for all the great playwrights, whose work was played there I say, sorry for what they have done, the Oligarchs of Liverpool have made  huge mistake.
This tragedy was sanctioned under Warren "War Zones" Bradley's stint as leader and has now, as with Central Library, been hijacked by Joe Anderson  And all this played out before the adoring public of the Daily Ghost getting the news from The Everyman-Playhouse PR press plumpers and its Directors Deborah Aydon and Gemma Bodinetz who have worked the system to their advantage.
I recently received a phone call asking me for money to contribute towards it. It now looks like they have run out of cash and are now begging bowl to the masses.

John Osbourne's most inspiring play that informed a generation that inspired so many writers and artists that performed at The Everyman was called,

 "Look back in anger"  And Yeah, I do!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Liverpool Banksy Destroyed-You Dirty Rat-Or Was It A Cat?

                                                     Now Here’s something to really get hacked off about.
 The Whitehouse Public House on the Corner of Duke Street Liverpool is in the Shadow of Gilbert Scott’s gigantic sandstone Cathedral and recently had become as Iconic a landmark after was claimed that the Graffiti artist Banksy hopped off a train and knocked a quick mural of a giant Rat in the dead of night on its facade. It was said this happened in 2004 and was then covered up in 2008 when Liverpool was European Capital of Culture.
The property had been left to decay and It was claimed it was to be preserved, after a repairs notice was served on the properties owners, but Liverpool is a city that is incapable of preserving anything of note these days be it old or new.

Several owners and as many promises later and the artwork has now been obliterated.

It has been hacked off with bolsters in what could be termed a savage act of vandalism by somebody who did not understand its significance and has underestimated its importance. You can see through the scaffolding it is now bare brick.

In today’s art-market it could have been worth more than the property that sold for £130,000 recently.

I smell a dirty rat aided and abetted by Liverpool City Council who need to approve repairs on a listed building of which this was one.....before they are carried out.

It seems hard to believe that you would do this without consultation to the masses.

What is the point of having a planning process?
It also opens up some interesting questions and not just why do pay a city council to preserve our heritage be it old or new, or in this case both if they let it be destroyed by property developers who do not care about Liverpool's Heritage.
Questions, questions?
If an artist paints something on other people's property without asking.
Can the owners of the property do whatever they want with it?
The public were taken by the fact that they have a Banksy in their city, but do the public have a claim over it?

I usually campaign for old things while I deal in 20th century and modern art so I would like to think I understand how people can be affected by something that touches their souls.
Art is like that and it is not for me to say what their taste should be. Young or old good art will last..........unless its in Liverpool that is.

This artwork can never be replicated you can never sum up the spirit of an original,  and destroying an original Banksy to put in its place, a copy is beyond a joke. It would be a repro.

This mural certainly was an asset to the area creating huge amounts of publicity on a national level.

Banksy has certainly touched a modern generation who are in tune with the meanings and the messages that he portrays in his art.

It warrants another question.
What is more important a listed building with a mural or the mural itself?

The owners are going to say we had no alternative and we will get someone in to daub a new one.
That will not wear with me it can never be replicated with a steady hand.
The same effect of waiting to be arrested in the dead of night is what gives graffiti art its spirit.

Like him or loathe him Banksy has created a whirlwind.
Some towns are proud to own one and recently an auction sale of a 4ft by 2ft slab of concrete with a Banksy on it, was put up for sale in a Miami auction room.

The auction was halted after a campaign by Haringey councillors.

Claire Kober, the leader of Haringey council, wrote to Arts Council England and the mayor of Miami, Tomas Regalado, to ask them to intervene to stop the sale but it appears the decision to withdraw the item came from the gallery owners in consultation with their lawyers. The FBI refused to confirm reports they were asked to investigate.
The sale was dramatically halted just moments before it was due to go under the hammer.

The Banksy had disappeared from a wall of a north London shop in mysterious circumstances After it had been daubed on a Poundland shop.
Slave Labour, a spray-painted artwork depicting a child making union flag bunting and seen as a critical social commentary on last year's diamond jubilee, was expected to sell for about $700,000 (£460,000

So while one council fights to save their Banksy in Liverpool we let them destroy ours.

So who polices Liverpool's Heritage Police. What was our leader doing.

So has the Banksy been taken off and put up for sale?

Have the owners sold it, or has it been shipped out in the dead of night to end up in America or just obliterated off the face of the earth?

Is it only Liverpool as a city that can disrespect its heritage in a manner that allows 46 listed buildings to be destroyed in the last 10 years.
This was a listed building with a famous artwork you couldn't make this up.
This combined with the fact that there are hundreds of decaying properties of architectural interest, it makes one think that consecutive administrations at Liverpool City Council don't have the ability or desire to understand our history. They just don’t care.

Then to make it worse they allow a modern landmark to be butchered in plain view with little or no consultation to the masses that pay their wages that feel this piece of modern art was done for them.

Lets Butcher a Banksy,
Now that’s real Culcha for yeh!