Liverpool Art Prize 2014

2014’s Liverpool Art Prize has been won by Tabitha Jussa. The winner was announced on June 18 at the Metal gallery, whose unusual location is Platform One of Edge Hill Station.

Jussa’s highly accomplished photographic work has been exploring aspects of Liverpool for some time now. In the past she’s photographed tugboat skippers and ex-dockers, and examined football fan culture and its impact on the physical environments of Anfield and Everton. Recently she’s had a particular interest in housing issues, looking at both positive and negative examples of ‘regeneration’ projects.

For the Liverpool Art Prize she presented three large-scale photographs. The future of the Welsh Streets has been the subject of much controversy, and one of the photographs shows Dulcie Street, whose houses have been offered for £1 each. There’s been a lot of interest but only one house has so far been allocated and the street’s fate remains uncertain.

On the opposite wall at Metal is Jussa’s photograph of the ‘Bull Ring’ or St Andrew’s Gardens, once ear-marked for demolition but saved – simply because the former option was considered too expensive. Designed by Sir Lancelot Keay, it’s of great architectural interest and has now been successfully renovated to provide student accommodation. Similar estates were not so lucky, including Gerard Gardens, which famously featured in the cult Fifties film Violent Playground.  Also on display at Metal were the entries of the two other Art Prize finalists. Brigitte Jurack’s installation ‘The Explorers Are Gone For Tea’ encourages us to become explorers ourselves in a room filled with mysterious objects.

Jason Thompson’s installation (below) uses layers of paint and varnish to create intriguing, colourful patterns on found pieces of wood.

The work of the three finalists is displayed at Metal (Edge Hill Station) until 21 June. As part of her prize, Tabitha Jussa will have a solo exhibition at the Bluecoat in 2015.