“You can spot the new students easily, They’re walking round with theirs heads craned upwards”
These words were spoken to me by an old gentleman, when I first arrived in Liverpool
He was referring to the newest arrivals to the city , being enthralled and agog at the amazing architecture in this city. I have never got over that initial awe and while I no longer amble around like a slack-jawed tourist, I do always have a camera ready (don’t we all these days) to take some reference shots of any building or site that catches my interest.
I lived on Lark Lane when I first started, so where better to start than outside my own door.
Shops were interesting to me as they changed around in that area frequently, they might also provide me with commissions from owners interested in promoting their shop or otherwise. My aim initially though was to create the image of one side of the whole street, my thinking – this would be neat, and commercial. Ive always liked what I used to call panoramic, but now we know as letterbox, 16:9, landscape etc.
The commission’s I received where for images for marketing and framed prints for their shop, their family and/or friends. A few pictures like Keiths, Milo lounge were commercial, but the majority, much less so. I approached other shops around Toxteth, Allerton, and Aigburth and started to do images where I liked the buildings. I thought about doing more commercial prints like the Liver Building etc but would be competing with others. I wanted to do the neglected buildings and figured they’d at least be unique.
The image above I made because I like the Job Centre on High Park Street in Toxteth. I like the church but its included to make the picture saleable. I took a small framed print to my favourite market, Granby Street Market, not having the best hopes for it when a lady who saw it bought it instantly. It turned out her father was the architect of the brutalist structure that I admired. She told me she didn’t normally “own up to it” but that I will have made her dad’s day. That made mine.
I live in Toxteth now and I couldn’t wish for better inspiration or place to live. The Architecture covers everything from the Ancient Chapel at the bottom of park road and the grandeur of Georgian to the redeveloped area of the Welsh Streets and sites such as the brilliant Toxteth TV, The Chinese Arch, even the forgotten places that still need attention.
Some great blocks too.
For prints for sale see the sidebar.