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Claire’s project “Expressive Art on the Mersey” is based on her emotive capture of views of the river, the maritime industries and the historic Mersey Ferry crossing with the people who commute, visit or work there.
This exhibition follows on from the Williamson’s current exhibition called “Making Waves” with seascapes from the gallery’s collection with 3d waves created through the Eco Schools Programme working with local artists and also compliments the permanent collection in Gallery Eight of maritime artefacts and ships models.
Claire McCarthy started her art practice in the mid 1990’s, evolving through different phases to achieve a contemporary vibrant portfolio. Watercolours are the foundations of all her large pieces, initially focusing on “Urban Spiritual Expression”. In May 2016, after a period of time caring for her mother, she set sail on an unprecedented art experience, boarding Mersey ferries and landing stages with her easels, water-colours, canvas and paints, challenging herself to build a new exciting portfolio from “Plein air” painting. She was inspired by the idea of painting on a ship from listening to a Brian Eno track called “The Ship”.
Alison Bailey Smith, who has assisted Principal Museums Officer Colin Simpson with the exhibition said of the artist:-
“It is clear that Claire is passionate about painting and about her subject. I understand she often throws aside her brush to paint only with her hands, fingers or sticks to more physically represent the turbulent nature of the river on canvas. She has taken on the challenge to portray the restless Mersey and it’s activities. This chimes well with the origins of the Williamson as the building was funded through Birkenhead Borough Council by the philanthropists, John Williamson, a Director of the Cunard Steamship Company Ltd and his son, Patrick”.
With great thanks to the centuries old Mersey Ferries Service for supplying such inspiration and for the sponsorships from Wallace Seymour Fine Art Products, The Dures Partnership, Bibby Marine Services and Liverpool Propeller Club, without whom the exhibition would not have happened