Liverpool’s first ever festival of Street Art crash landed on Jamaica Street and the Baltic area last weekend (26th/27th/28th).
Even with the support of the International Festival of Business, Liverpool City Council and the Baltic Stakeholders and Landlords, festival organisers Pamela Sullivan and Tristan Brady-Jacobs have found that this emerging art-form still divides opinion. Artists were stopped from working under threat of police action, agreed wall spaces were withdrawn, and mixed weather reports threatened to dampen the festival atmosphere.
However, MARKIT Liverpool Street Art Festival went ahead as planned, with a wide variety of street art represented from graffiti, visual art, installation and sculpture to music, comedy and street performance.
“It started out just being mates, then more and more people got involved and it turned into this whole big thing,” says organiser Pamela Sullivan. With international graffiti artists joining local groups such as Zap Graffiti, SSOVA and The Lemon Collective, far from being petty acts of vandalism, MARKIT proved that street art is an emerging and important art form in Liverpool’s already vibrant cultural scene.
The Lemon Collective have been managing The Glass Factory for the past eight weeks, the creative hub of MARKIT, and one of Liverpool’s largest indoor warehouse spaces. The Glass Factory is where most of the installations and prefabricated art work took shape. It’s been a lot of work, but we’ve loved every minute of it.
Over the weekend we had some live graffiti explode across our walls as we let the Secret Society of Super Villain Artists loose in The Glass Factory.
Our Lemon Caravan sat proud on the corner of New Bird Street, in keeping with traditional vaudeville performance troupes we presented poetry, comedy and music from our fold out busking stage.
One of the founding Lemons Debrea Lewis installed set her late mother’s jewelery in cracks in the pavement in a beautiful commemorative piece called The Magpie Project.
The Lemon Head even made an appearance, going for a ride down Jamaica Street on one of Trike Tastic’s yellow beetle bikes, before visiting The Lemon Collective’s stage.
MARKIT Festival’s legacy will continue to grow as local graffiti artists continue to work in the Baltic Area, and this is a testament to the artists passion for the form, the organisers drive, and Liverpool’s artistic diversity.