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5 Liverpool sculptures and the stories behind them

1 month ago

By The Guide Liverpool

5 Liverpool sculptures and the stories behind them

Liverpool has an abundance of memorials, statues, and sculptures scattered across the city. They speak of our history both as Scousers, and as a nation. Adding character to our already vibrant outdoor spaces, you may find yourself wondering sometimes – “Yeah, but… what is it?” – well that’s where we come in. 

Take a look at these 5 sculptures from around our Liverpool home and discover each of their unique stories.

SuperLambBanana

Picture – Savvapanf/ Shutterstock

Probably considered to be one of Liverpool’s iconic statues, the SuperLambBanana was commissioned in 1998 for Britain’s Art TransPennine exhibition, and is the work of the Japanese artist Taro Chiezo. The SLB is currently stood outside LJMU on Tithebarn Street. 

Have you ever wondered why these two are fused together? Well, the statue combines Liverpool’s heritage of exporting lambs and importing bananas, with a sense of humour, creating… you guessed it… a LambBanana. 

Whilst opinions on artistic merit differ there’s no mistake that the SuperLambBanana has become a cultural phenomenon… remember the hunt for the mini ones, everyone was obsessed. 

The Great Escape Horse

Once located at the top of Church Street The Horse statue is now situated on Wapping near the former Merseyside Police Headquarters. The sculpture was fashioned in rope before being cast in bronze. It is safe to say it is an anatomically correct horse… it stands at 15ft high and weighs 4tons! 

The horses tail turns into a length of rope that extends to the ground where a there is a man stepping upon the rope and ‘forcing the horse to rear and apparently unravel itself in a bid for freedom’. This statue is apparently intended to reflect man’s efforts to free himself of slavery.

A Case History – LIPA Suitcases 

Liverpool sculptures
Picture – Adam Wasilewski/ Shutterstock

You will have noticed this very interesting piece on a stroll along Hope Street, the sculpture has made its home outside of LIPA walk along Hope Street. The piles of suitcases and other luggage is titled “A Case History”, but is known locally as ‘The Hope Street Suitcases’, and it has been here since the late 1990s. 

Each item of luggage has a label showing which famous Liverpool person owns it, such as Paul McCartney and even Charles Dickens! There is a board on a nearby pillar showing who owns which piece – but why don’t you have a go yourself at discovering all the famous names. 

It is a very unique sculpture that evokes the time in history when many immigrants passed through the city of Liverpool on their way to start a new life in North America.

Waiting: The Monument to the Liverpool Working Horse

Picture – Ingus Kruklitis/ Shutterstock

The other horse statue in the city and another of our fave Liverpool sculptures! Located on Liverpool’s Waterfront between the Albert Dock and the Museum of Liverpool, Waiting: The monument to the Liverpool working horse, was unveiled on 1st May 2010 on the quayside. 

For more than 250 years horses were used to move goods to and from Liverpool docks and businesses. At their peak more than 20,000 horses worked on the streets of Liverpool, more than in any other city outside London. 

There was no direct railway connection to most of the seven mile dock estate, so goods had to be carted out of the docks to warehouses or to railway goods stations. Liverpool carters and their horses kept supply lines open during two World Wars and their contribution to the city’s economy was immense. 

The importance of the carters and their horses was in danger of being lost, but the members of the Liverpool Carter’s Association have kept their history alive by their determined efforts, fundraising for nearly 13 years to get recognition for the Liverpool Working Horse in the form of this life-size monument to the Liverpool working horse. 

McKeown Rice Exhibition Plinth 

Liverpool sculpture
Picture – Baltic Triangle

Ok so we may be cheating with this one as it is ever changing – but the guys at Castle Fine Arts Foundry are responsible for the numerous, and incredible, statues and monuments that pop up on the McKeown Rice plinth on Jamaica street in the Baltic Triangle every now and then. 

The plinth enables both established and new artists to exhibit their work in the area. The space is dedicated to two of Baltic’s founding members Claire McKeown and Paul Rice. Both Sadly passed away but their work, dedication and contribution to the area is remembered through the art hosted at this fantastic space

Responsible for the Bob Marley statue, the Desert Rat, and The Staffordshire Saxon (or The Baltic Centurion) – Castle Fine Arts foundry has been making these phenomenal works of art with most going on to find homes across the UK – remember the Muhammed Ali statue back in 2016? That now stands inside the O2 Arena in London.

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