ICONIC buildings in Liverpool will be lit up with spectacular projections next week as part of a unique visual arts project highlighting how the Covid-19 pandemic impacted and united communities.
‘Visible Virals’ is seeing pop-up works in public spaces and venues in neighbourhoods, bringing to life the city’s Public Health Annual Report.
From Monday 7 March – Sunday 13 March, a surprise campaign will see some of the city’s most famous structures illuminated after dark.
The visual artwork has been created, in consultation with the people of Liverpool, by local graphic design agency apt.creative, with projections devised by the city’s renowned creative media and technology studio Focal Studios.
They will tell the stories of the people of Liverpool, giving audiences a glimpse into other peoples’ and communities’ lives during the lockdowns.
To create an element of mystery, exact locations and times are not being revealed beforehand – with people who come across them are being urged to photograph them and post them on social media, using the hashtag #wearescousers.
Visible Virals is a partnership between Culture Liverpool and the city’s Public Health team, aimed at provoking public discussion and reflection on the city’s experience of Coronavirus – and encouraging resilience and boosting community spirit as we head into the next phase of responding to and recovering from the pandemic.
The finale will take place on the second anniversary of the first lockdown, on Wednesday 23 March, at the Museum of Liverpool where digital screens and projections will draw on the collection of archive materials from the pandemic and there will also be interactive games and installations.
The project has been driven by a collective of Liverpool based arts organisations, with apt.creative leading on the project in partnership with Focal Studios and Def Proc.
More information about Visible Virals can be found at www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/WeAreScousers
Visible Virals has been made possible through funding from Arts Council England and Public Health Liverpool.
Director of Public Health Liverpool, Matthew Ashton said:
“Behind closed doors across the city, Covid-19 impacted on communities across Liverpool.
“Visible Virals gives us a chance to tell the stories of people’s experience of lockdown and the pandemic, provoking discussion and sharing experiences.
“It is also a chance to shine a spotlight on the incredible community spirit that exists in our city that has shone through over the last two years.”
Councillor Frazer Lake, Cabinet Member for Public Health, said:
“The pandemic affected everyone, altering behaviours and really impacting on mental health.
“Provoking discussions and sharing experiences is all part of the healing process, so we hope Visible Virals will also show people that they were not alone in struggling, and that we are stronger together.”
Dennis Outten, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Focal Studios, said:
“Covid-19 has devastated and isolated members of not just Liverpool but the entire world over the past 2 years.
“The objective of this project has been to develop visuals, messaging and artwork through workshops and direct consultation with our affected communities.
“The positive messaging of the campaign captures the unshakeable resilience and positivity of Liverpool residents in the face of such difficult adversity.
“Like the partners on this project, our city has come together to create this worthwhile campaign, highlighting how meaningful, high quality and relevant art can be made by Liverpool organisations in direct partnership with our diverse communities.
“Our mission as a company is to democratise technology and use our built environment to engage, inspire and tell the true stories of our communities.”
Jen Cleary, Director North, Arts Council England, said:
“We know how important experiencing and participating in arts and culture is to our health and wellbeing and I’m delighted that the Arts Council has supported this project.
“The pandemic has had a huge effect on all our lives and it’s great that the experiences of this community will be captured and shared as part of Visible Virals, in celebration of the way that people came together during lockdown and looking ahead to how we move forward together into the future.”