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Further up in the air

Press Release

FURTHER up in the air

Linosa Close Sheil Park Liverpool

Sixteen Artists move into high-rise community in Liverpool

Jordan Baseman, Vittorio Bergamshi, Catherine Bertola, Leo Fitzmaurice, Anna Fox, Neville Gabie, Stefan Gec, Lothar Gotz, Gary Perkins, Paul Rooney, Will Self, Greg Streak, Tom Woolford, Elizabeth Wright

Phase Two

2nd Sept - 29th Sept 2002

Open studios 28th 10-5 PV 27th Sept 7-9

visits by appointment throughout September

Looking to be the most exciting phase of the project yet with eight artists working in the tower block during Liverpool's International Biennial. It will again bring contemporary art practice to Liverpool 's highest building. A soon to be demolished twenty two storey block of flats in Liverpool's neglected North end. The project will coincide with Liverpool's Biennial but provide a counter point to the glitzy razzmatazz of the international circuit. By bringing world class artists to live and work in an area shunned by high culture and chi chi restaurant society will make this a must see event for any art lovers visiting the Liverpool during the Biennial.

Catherine Bertola's recent work has involved creating installations and objects in a variety of different locations, each work subtly intervening with the space it is located. The work is produced in direct response to the architecture, history and function of the given place, using materials and imagery familiar to the site.

Taken by the quality of the light in his flat, unimpeded as it is by obstructions, and unmodified by any form of interior decor Leo Fitzmaurice works to form a counter point to this sense of vacancy by introducing reworked samples of colour rich packaging materials into vents, slots and nooks around the flat.

Neville Gabie has become increasingly interested in the history of the blocks themselves. He has set himself the task of tracing other identical blocks around the world being inspired to answer the questions; What are they like? How are they used and in what landscape do they find themselves? Are they, like the flats in Liverpool reaching a point near demolition, or perhaps being renovated for the next thirty years? As the first part of that process he will be 'soft-stripping' the interior of a flat to its cast concrete structure.

Stephan Gec's proposal focuses on the blocks obvious physical height and geographical position above Liverpool greatly increases its ability to receive radio signals and stations from considerable distances within the UK and Ireland . He is proposing to establish a work that will encompass this invisible world of information, music and language, with the rapidly emptying environment of the Flats.

Setting his work within the mythical story of Jack and the Bean Stork Gary Perkins will be pitting himself against the vagaries of the British weather and the micro politics of the block to grow runner beans up the entire height of the building.

Will Self's residency will be a unique exercise in combining elements of performance, the artefactual and prose fiction. Over a week - in two sections, each of three and a half days - Self will write a complete short story in flat 161 on the twentieth floor of Linosa Close. The one bedroom flat is south facing and will continuously present the writer with a view of the Merseyside skyline, juxtaposed with whatever activities transpire in the streets at the foot of the block.

Tom Woolford will be engaged in making a map from the confines of his flat in the weeks before the block is knocked down. He based the map on the views from his windows and on the information brought to him by the other remaining [ and non-immobile ] residents. Linosa Close, for me represents in real-life something that I've attempted to create in my own built structures [the towers]. It's a point of reference, a marker on the landscape; a vantage point [how far would you have to travel to find a higher point?] offering an aerial perspective-the perspective of the map- of the labyrinth below.

With its history and changing demography, it seemed incredible that through a natural reduction in residents, the new build on the ground could re-house the bloc. Elizabeth Wright explores this change from sky to ground living. My proposal is to mimic this movement of people by seemingly altering the balance of the topographical landscape of buildings roads and the surrounding open space by changing their relative heights. These ideas will be visually realised by producing a series of drawings based on the actual views out of the windows on different floors of the tower block. 

Phase one

Images attached

(Hi resolution scans available)

Not unlike walking into a cool hard-edged abstract painting Lothar Gotz has produced a stunning 3 dimensional painting that heightens our detachment from the outside world 13 floors below. David Mabb confounded by the sheer interest of what was already in the block jettisons any attempt to compete deciding instead to curate a gallery of found 'artworks' and bizarre artefacts. Paul Rooney working with a resident and her memories of the flat she recently vacated, has produced a sound piece of mournful and mesmeric beauty. Greg Streak fascinated by inverting the claustrophobia of the enclosed communal areas of the block, collects light from a distant source using lenses and mirrors to give us a fleeting and poetic glimpse of a place on the distant horizon.

For more info or if you would like to be shown around the project please contact Leo Fitzmaurice or Neville Gabie.