Whether you are involved in photography, interested in the area or simply intrigued by the idea of history being expressed through a series of images, then the Tricia Porter exhibition at the Bluecoat in Liverpool is a must see.
The black and white images on display have been virtually unseen for around 40 years, but now they have been put out on display to give people the opportunity to absorb the vivid portrayals of everyday life in Toxteth, Liverpool, during the 1970s.
Porter’s series of images, Liverpool 8 (1972), Bedford Street and Some Liverpool Kids (1974), depict an area of Liverpool where communities were threatened, and many once prosperous businesses and premises had fallen into disrepair.
Toxteth had once been a wealthy area, attractive to by many because of its big houses and beautiful parks. By the 1970s, however, things had drastically changed after Liverpool’s rapid expansion took its toll on the city landscape. Slum clearance programmes were initiated in the 1960s, which meant row after row of older terraced houses were demolished and replaced with flats, maisonettes and new houses. People were often either forced to move or chose to leave the area.
The containerisation of the docks in the area contributed heavily to the increase of unemployment and many communities faced a harrowing amount of institutional racism.
This is when a street photographer, Tricia Porter, decided to attempt to capture an image of Liverpool that was quickly changing. Once her presence was known, she was quickly accepted and invited into people’s homes, businesses and also into their social lives.
Porter’s series of shots range from families in their homes, people drinking in the pubs and children playing out on the street. In her own words, Porter’s work was:
“An attempt to make a photo documentary which would be a positive and meaningful statement about my neighbours who had all too often been treated as statistical fodder and sociological phenomena.”
The images are being displayed at Liverpool’s centre for contemporary arts, The Bluecoat, between Saturday 4th April and Sunday 5th July, 2015. The centre was reopened in March 2008 after a £14m revamp. This historic building has four galleries, and offers people a place to meet to enjoy art and participate in culture. With free family craft activities and a relaxing garden area where you can enjoy drinks, it has something for everyone to enjoy.