BACK BITTERN STREET PROJECT

2007-2008

Mackinnon-Day and Carpenter collaboration

 

PROJECT OVERVIEW

 

Back Bittern Street is home to a housing complex in the heart of Liverpool City Centre adjacent to the Metropolitan Cathedral and the new Art and Design Academy.

 

Back Bittern Street is just one example of urban marginalisation in Liverpool. The project offered the area a unique opportunity to re-engage with Liverpool’s energy and international focus. Liverpool was voted Capital of Culture because of the people and its communities.

 

In the immediate area of low rise flats of Back Bittern Street there is the Metropolitan Cathedral, a local training centre, two primary schools, children’s library, convenience shop, barber shop, brothel, specialist book shop, two independent hotels, Liverpool’s Irish Centre (now closed) Science Park and units currently under renovation.These people shared their stories and creativity with an international audience were engaged in music, writing, and the visual arts.

 

Mackinnon-Day and Carpenter have focused upon lead characters in the area: a madam from a brothel in Cathedral Walk and a barber from Mount Pleasant. The final gathering of artists and residents culminated in a Scouse Meal hosted by The Feathers Hotel which backed on to Back Bittern Street.

 

The two mini events were audio and visual dramatic works sited specific to Back Bittern Street low-rise flats. The aims and aspirations of the project was to create work that reflected the stories of the individuals who make up this community, to explore the history and social engineering that took place in the building and development of the area and to develop and utilise relationships between the artists, composer and the residents. The project aimed to break down barriers between communities (the local community and the art community) and create new understandings of languages, performance, sound and visual arts and new technologies by giving voice to the everyday life and characters of Back Bittern Street. The projects aimed to develop new and existing skills of the residents. It encouraged Liverpool’s art students to collaborate with the local community and take these experiences into their later, more developed practise as professional artists.