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St Helens based contemporary sculptor, Katie McGuire, is the winning artist from the Open Call, the youngest sculptor to be selected for The Liverpool Plinth. Her work explores the importance of materiality through the theme of industrialism. As a female, Northern, working-class artist, McGuire speaks of her work as exploring her heritage through the depiction and reproduction of industry in an artistic and aesthetic approach.
The winning sculpture, 2400, is created solely by hand knitting and is an emblem of the laboured approach of those working on Liverpool’s ships, docks and throughout the slave trade. The sculpture takes an industrial material, backer rod, out of its restricted and internal environment and manipulates it, through knitting, to provide it with a new context. The sculpture will symbolise the chains used on ships or at docks, which are a symbol of a ship’s strength.
The Liverpool Plinth, which is the North’s answer to London’s Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, celebrating and platforming sculptors working in the North of England. Standing on Liverpool Parish Church, the Liverpool Plinth is supported by Liverpool BID Company and dot-art and overlooks the city’s famous Pier Head and River Mersey and has hosted a new sculpture, each for 12 months, since 2018.
The sculpture was selected after an open call to artists based in the North of England. It is the fifth sculpture to be installed on the Liverpool Plinth and will remain for 12 months.
The Liverpool Plinth is commissioned by Liverpool BID Company, Liverpool Parish Church and dot-art. The winning artist receives £1,000. The aim of the site is to celebrate up and coming sculptors in the North, to profile public art and to animate an historic corner of Liverpool and its waterfront with contemporary art.
Bill Addy CEO of Liverpool BID Company: “Investing in and supporting public art is essential because art affects how we feel and spend time in a city. For business, it is vital we continue to support both arts organisations and artists, to help them to continue to do the vital work celebrating the role creativity plays in our everyday lives”.
The Revd Canon Dr Crispin Pailing, Rector of Liverpool: “I am delighted to see The Liverpool Plinth welcome its fifth artwork this summer. At each iteration I have been inspired by the ability of art to stimulate conversation and thought. At Liverpool Parish Church we see this as another step in the long tradition of the Church in supporting visual art”.
Lucy Byrne, managing director of dot-art: “The Liverpool Plinth has played a role in people’s daily lives for five years and I am delighted to see this latest sculpture being unveiled. It’s so positive to see such a young artist who has so recently graduated seeing their work at such a prominent location in the city. Liverpool’s art and artists play such a vital role in the city. They enable us to explore our history, examine our culture and visualise our heritage and identity through creativity”.
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