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Thousands of visitors have flocked to see the free exhibition since it opened last month and social media has been flooded with images of the four installations, which make up ‘Being Human’: Connection, Creativity, Identity and Reflection.
Exploring what it means to be human and how we connect with others in a changing world, ‘Being Human’ features the following artworks:
Connection – a striking sculpture depicting two giant-sized female hands. Situated at the heart of the ‘Being Human’ exhibition, Connection is a contemporary twist on Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece, the Creation of Adam, which depicts God’s hand reaching out to meet Adam’s finger.
Forming a gateway to the exhibition, the imposing installation, which spans almost 10 metres of floor space, has been created using traditional sculpture techniques. A vast gap between each hand represents faith, whilst also symbolising our connection to each other, highlighting the importance of human contact and the isolation that comes with being apart. The artist hopes the piece will inspire people to reach out to others in their own communities following the distance and isolation experienced by many during the pandemic.
Visitors are encouraged to stand in the middle of the two giant hands to try to plug the gap between them as they marvel at the sheer scale of the installation, capturing photos along the way.
Creativity – a representation of Peter Walker’s own studio space, featuring elements of his previous artworks and key tools of his trade including an easel, a turntable and a palette. The installation showcases 25 years of his work as an artist from early drawings and self-portraits to sculptures and fine artworks in bronze and oil.
The installation encourages visitors to observe how art makes them feel as they explore where creativity begins and consider the importance of art as a reflection of society.
Identity – inspired by the traditional photobooth, the interactive installation invites visitors to star in their own piece of art as they briefly become the artist’s model. As the installation captures a portrait of each visitor, a personalised artwork is displayed on an easel for just a few minutes, or until the next person sits for the artist.
Visitors are encouraged to take a photo of their own portrait against the backdrop of the iconic Gothic building before their personal artwork disappears, although portraits may one day re-emerge as part of a future installation at Liverpool Cathedral.
Reflection – is made up of 5,000 metal leaves, each engraved with the word hope. A reflective memorial to the pandemic, the leaves transition in colour from silver to autumn brown, symbolising new life and hope after loss. Created using steel to signify resilience and collective strength, the artist uses sycamore maple leaves to represent protection, eternity, strength and clarity.
Serving as a remembrance area for the city, the installation marks the widespread pain and suffering experienced during the pandemic. As a reflection of the human connection with nature, the leaves are spread out across the floor as if scattered by the wind, to symbolise the past as well as hope for the future.
Visitors are invited to become part of the artwork by writing their own message on a paper leaf to reflect how they feel and to remember loved ones they have lost.
“It’s been incredible to see so many people interacting with ‘Being Human’ and I’m overwhelmed by the fantastic response to the exhibition so far.
“I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing all the photos of visitors posing between the hands of Connection and the images taken in the photobooth of Identity. I would urge anyone who hasn’t had the chance to visit ‘Being Human’ yet to catch the exhibition while they still can before it closes on 30 August.”
“The ‘Being Human’ exhibition has been extremely well received by visitors and it’s been wonderful to see people of different generations, and from all walks of life, journey through the art of Connection, Creativity, Identity and Reflection.
“There is still a small window of opportunity to enjoy ‘Being Human’ before the exhibition concludes and I would encourage visitors to use these final days to take time out to reflect on their faith and consider the unique qualities that make us human.”
‘Being Human’ forms part of a two-year programme of events, exhibitions and artworks leading up to Liverpool Cathedral’s 100th anniversary, which falls in 2024. The exhibition, which is free to attend, is open from 10am – 6pm daily until 30 August.
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