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Mural artist Paul Curtis creates two new works for exhibition at the Bombed Out Church

1 month ago

Mural artist Paul Curtis creates two new works for exhibition at the Bombed Out Church
Credit: Paul Curtis

Liverpool mural artist Paul Curtis has created two new artworks for a unique immersive augmented reality exhibition at the Bombed Out Church.

Paul Curtis was one of five artists from around the country asked to take part in the exhibition which is raising awareness of rare blood cancers.

He came up with designs for two of 10 sculptures which each represent what it’s like to live with the various symptoms of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).

Together all 10 make up a bright, bold installation which organisers hope will help more people to understand and potentially spot the signs to look out for.

Paul, who’s probably best known for his much-photographed angel wings in the Baltic, says the commission was different to anything he’d done before.

Credit: Paul Curtis
Credit: Paul Curtis

It was also an opportunity to get what could be a life-saving health message across in a creative positive way.

He says: “I was working alongside artists from London, Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester over two days in a studio in Essex which was a new experience for me and I haven’t really ever painted on sculptures before.

“But I was well up for doing something different. They sent me the dimensions of the sculptures, said ‘these are your symptom numbers’ and asked me to come up with design ideas.”

Paul says he was happy with the two he was given – number 2 and number 4 in the exhibition – which focus on inactivity or lethargy and on fever.

Credit: Paul Curtis
Credit: Paul Curtis

“My symptoms are basically tiredness during the day and feeling a bit sluggish, so I’ve done almost like a statue on a statue showing sleeping in the daytime. The other one, which is the one I was hoping to get, is feeling hot and cold, and I did a fire and ice design for that.

“It’s all about raising awareness of MPN which I didn’t know about myself it so it’s definitely made me aware.

“I think with a lot of medical information you might see a leaflet in a hospital and not necessarily pay much attention to it. With this exhibition they’re trying to engage people by doing something a bit different so even if MPN never affects you, and it probably won’t, you can still go and see the artwork and it’s presented in a positive way that stays with you. 

“You’re more likely to remember what you’ve seen that day rather than if you just read a leaflet or saw a poster in a doctor’s surgery.”

Credit: Paul Curtis
Credit: Paul Curtis

Each of the sculptures features its own unique QR code which can be scanned to find out more information and ways to recognise the 10 most common symptoms.

The 10 are: abdominal pain, inactivity, weight loss, fever, concentration issues, fatigue, bone pain, feeling full, itching and night sweats.

The free-to-see exhibition is travelling around the UK as part of Novartis and MPN Voice’s campaign ‘Meet the MPN 10’ and will be in Liverpool at the Bombed Out Church from now until May 2, on view from 11am – 5pm each day.

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