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ARTS DIARY: Schools transform how Garston looks; Garston is given a new look, as Philip Key reports.

Byline: Philip Key

IT WAS a very different exhibition from the normal earnest art work at the View 2 Gallery in Liverpool's Mathew Street gallery - and rather good fun. The exhibition,Alex Corrina and Friends,developed from the campaign to designate Garston a Cultural Village and a number of artists worked with seven schools in the area to create different art works.

Artist Alex Corrina helped bring the show together which consisted of paintings, sculptures,collage and even hats.

All had a theme based around Garston,its look and the campaign to transform it with a beach,open air pool and pyramids. The campaign had begun when Corrina planned an April Fool joke about taking sand and creating a beach at Garston.

``For the purpose of the prank I wanted to know if the sand would be washed away so I asked an expert.''

When he was told the sand would remain -and it could be a serious plan -he did start taking it all seriously. The campaign was under way,of which the exhibition was just part. In the show, there were some amusing seaside postcards converted into cards for the new-lookGarston, showing beaches,palm trees and even sharks.

There were drawings and words from children explaining their wishes for the area -``a dolphinarium because we have nothing like it'' -and a sculpted beach with clay figures.

There were large- scale paintings by primary school children of an excellence that amazed even gallery owner Ken Martin.``I could sell them in my gallery any time,'' he told me.

Imagination indeed ran riot throughout the show and one which brought people into the gallery who had never been in one before.

Martin himself helped with the campaign by designing the futuristic Garston complete with those three- sided pyramids which would contain various educational areas including conservation and ecology areas.

His design was on display in the temporary show along with the Garston Cultural Village web site -www.culturalvillage.co.uk-which played to visitors with music and song composed in Garston.

It was an impressive display and must help push the Cultural Village campaign already supported by celebrities like Rita Tushingham,Jimmy McGovern and Mike McCartney.

CAPTION(S):

Artwork produced by Stockton Wood and Garston C of E primary schools
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 24, 2004
Words:379
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