Saturday, 27 February 2010

Got A Ticket to Ride

Went on the train to Liverpool, in the rain, yesterday,  There was no lingering on the waterfront as the wind gusted off the Mersey, just enough time to take the picture above as we negotiated the building work going on to the side.  Today it has been bright blue skies, how contrary is our weather.

The reason for the visit was not outdoors, but inside warm and dry.  The Rothko Seagram murals are on display at the Tate until 21 March and this was our second attempt to see them. Last time we went it was a Monday, we discovered that this is the day the Tate shuts, Grrr.

The murals were as wonderful as I remembered which was many years ago in London. The Tate's room has subdued lighting and the walls have been painted grey  The hang is visually most effective and encloses you with six of the paintings.  The only quibble I would have was the open entrance detracts from the atmosphere as you can hear the hum of the people coming into the building.  But the painting still alter your brain waves in the same way as you gaze on and through them.  Rothko wanted the visitor to have the feeling of being caught in a room with the doors and windows walled-in shut so this hang does not quite attain this.

What I did not realise until I bought a book about his work in the shop (no visit is complete to a gallery without a bit of retail therapy) is that he originally painted 40 works in all for this commission but these are now scattered all around the world, although there is another enclosed room in Chiba-ken, Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art in Japan.

Leaving the Tate we lunched and then walked towards

china town.  The grey sky makes the building stand out quite well in this photo or you could have

 a black and white postcard version complete with Evel Penguivel.  This was part of Liverpool's Year of the Environment and the different types of penguin were used to symbolise and highlight the impact we all have on climate change.

Then we arrived at our next destination

the Anglican cathedral to see the exhibiton on the modern icons 'Icons in Transformation' by Ludmila Pawlowska but also I had never visited the cathedral.  It was one of the last ones to be built in this country, the first part was completed in 1910 but it would be another 50 years before completion.

The architect was Giles Gilbert Scott and here is his memorial on the floor looking towards the altar and small east window.  The late poet laureate and church lover John Betjeman said "this is one of the great buildings of the world...the impression of vastness, strength and height no words can describe".  He was right, the space and light are awesome, even though it was a dull day the interior was wonderfully bright and the ceiling heads for heaven with its huge span and space. So different from the medieval cathedrals I am used to, but modern construction has solved all the problems they had with holding up the weight of a vast building, however it is a continuation of the same tradition and workmanship.

We did not take the trip up to the tower to view the city from the top, this might be something to be left for a summer's day. 

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