Liverpool Christmas Lights and Continental Market

From late November and during December the streets of Liverpool have been illuminated by Christmas lights in the main shopping streets. During the heavy rain and dodging in between the Christmas shoppers weighed down with their shopping bags I ventured out to see if I could capture some of the atmosphere.

Church Street

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Whitechapel

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Liverpool One Shopping Centre

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Church Alley towards the Bluecoat Building

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At the same time a continental market has been transplanted onto Church Street and Whitechapel with various traders from across Europe and North Africa and beyond selling all sorts of wares from carpets, lanterns, Christmas decorations and other gifts as well as a whole host of different steaming dishes.cooking in large pans.

Continental Street Market

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Even the Liverpool Playhouse in Williamson Square was decked out with lights.

Liverpool Playhouse

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As we reach the end of December the lights will see the New Year in and they’ll be taken down until next November 2013.

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The Lift

I managed to miss most of the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art 2012 with various commitments including a short spell in hospital.

This year’s Biennial (it takes place every two years) ran from 15 September through to 25 November and featured 242 artists with work presented in 27 locations across the city.  Venues included not only the many galleries and museums across the city but also in public buildings and other establishments and in street locations as well.

I only managed to take in two exhibitions.  I saw the ‘Thresholds’ exhibition at the Tate from 20 artists whose works are part of the Tate Collection.  ‘Thresholds’ was shown as part of the wider ‘Unexpected Guest’ series of presentations which explore the notions of hospitality in its many forms.

The second exhibition was ‘The Lift’ which I’d passed by a few times. Visitors to the Liverpool One shopping centre cannot miss ‘The Lift’ which is artist Oded Hirsch’s first public realm commission.

As the official guide explains: ‘Hirsch’s ‘The Lift’ appears as an elevator bursting through the pristine and seductive shopping district of Liverpool ONE. The Lift immediately interferes with how the space is usually moved through, and points disconcertingly to the possibility of an unknown, subterranean place.’

The official guide gives further background on the artist.  Oded Hirsch was born in 1976 in Kibbutz Afikim in Israel.  He is an artist who lives and works in New York, U.S.A. His exhibitions include Nothing New (Thierry Goldberg Gallery, New York, U.S.A., 2012), The Workers (MASS MoCA, Massachusets, U.S.A., 2011) and Family Files (Jewish Museum, Munich, Germany, 2010).

I photographed ‘The Lift’ on Saturday evening on a dark and very wet rainy late November evening with throngs of Christmas shoppers passing by.  I took a selection of shots using fill in flash and natural light.  I’m not sure I’ve done it justice as the darkness masks a lot of detail but it gives the exhibit an even more sinister air.