2022, a year of artwork
A year review of Paul Curtis' work in 2022.
This year's tally was:
20 outdoor murals
6 interior murals
2022 was perhaps not as prolific as previous years, largely due to a few cancellations towards the end of the year (is the recession starting to pinch?). However, there were many positives to be grateful for.
The year kicked off with a tribute to the great Kenny Dalglish painted on the Kop End bar, with Kenny watching over the Liverpool FC fans coming and going to and from the match. This was followed by a trio of historical murals for Pleasant Street School, Liverpool, focussing on the Great Fire of London, the Ancient Egyptians and the Mersey Ferry.
In February, Paul's artwork appeared on primetime national television when his Ken Dodd mural was used by chef, Dave Critchley (of LuBan restaurant), to showcase his pimped-up jam butty dessert dish on BBC's Masterchef.
Paul's next 2 murals saw him expanding his reach across Merseyside and proved to be 2 of his best, most-loved murals to date. The Widnes Tiger (aka The MarCat) is a riot of colour fusing abstract and realism and guards the entrance to Widnes Market. The Clockmaker is a real beauty of a piece celebrating Ormskirk's clock-making history and incorporates elements of steampunk but has a real warmth to it.
Football murals continued to be in high demand. A trio of Tranmere Rovers legends (Johnny King, Les Parry and Danny Holmes) were given pride of place, in Woodchurch on the Wirral. Paul got to represent his fourth club, namely Marine AFC, when he painted a picture of club captain, Niall Cummins, on the outside of Rossett Park Stadium. Paul then returned to the Kop End bar to paint a second mural there, this time it was 5 legends representing LFC through different eras of post-war history - Ian Callaghan, Kenny Dalglish, John Barnes, Robbie Fowler and Virgil Van Dyke.
In May, Paul painted a tribute to the Birkenhead Cowboy, AKA folk singing legend, Charlie Landsborough, on the outside of North Birkenhead train station. This was unveiled to much fanfare and was given the seal of approval from Charlie himself.
The summer took him indoors (typical!) and a large 15m wide mural celebrating Doctor Who at Liverpool's World Museum. The mural focussed on the links between Liverpool and the Dr Who brand in recent seasons. It featured the Tardis, the Sontarans, and the Weeping Angels, set amid a Liverpool skyline and the museum itself. This was a real hit with all the Dr Who fans this one!
Paul continued to edge his geographical reach a tad further with his first mural in Ellesmere Port, Cat vs Dog, painted on the outside of LittleCroft Vets. There was also a street art mural celebrating the Queen's jubilee in Leasowe, but this one focussed on the local community rather than the Queen (who probably had enough tributes if we are honest).
Autumn saw a couple of musical murals, which, as a keen musician, is obviously right up Paul's alleyway. The first, at the Penny Lane Development Trust, depicted a young Paul McCartney and John Lennon as they would have looked during the days they could have been found loafing around Penny Lane. The second, in conjunction with BBC's National Album Day, celebrated debut albums of some of Merseyside's musical acts that are sometimes overlooked due to The Beatles' shadow. Located at 81 Renshaw record shop, a quartet of acts is formed by Elvis Costello, The Zutons, Yachts and The La's.
A major ambition was achieved in November when Paul was commissioned to paint a centrepiece mural for a new exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. The exhibition, The Art of the Terraces, explored the impact of football fashions and fan culture on mainstream British culture. From the first day that Paul started professional painting, he dreamt of having his work displayed at the Walker. Fulfilling this ambition is something he is immensely proud of.
The final piece of the year celebrated Jessica Gadirova's Gold, Silver and Bronze medals at the World Gymnastics Championships 2022. These were held in Liverpool and Paul was actually an Ambassador for the event, so it felt like a fitting way to conclude 2022.