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City Limits

08 October 2010, The Williamson Tunnels, Liverpool

The second public conversation about the nature and use of public space in the Sky Arts Artichoke Salon Series. 

Are large-scale public events nothing more than a waste of resources and a drain on the public purse? Or does creating a shared and special history by galvanizing a community far outweigh the disruption and cost?

In the wake of Liverpool '08 (European Capital of Culture) and as the 6th Liverpool Biennial explored the impact of art on a city, curator and writer Tim Marlow chaired a panel of provocative speakers who explored the impact of art on a city in this public conversation to consider the true legacy of the programme of events that transformed Liverpool.

In the mysterious underground kingdom of The Williamson Tunnels the debate examined the true impact that the programme of cultural events in Liverpool has had on the city and its inhabitants, asking whether a city can still produce events of the kind seen in Liverpool during 2008, particularly during these straitened times during a recession.

"Thanks for a great, stimulating, thought provoking event last night. Glad I made the effort to get tickets!" Angela Samata, project manager for the John Moores Painting Prize 2010 at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

"It was good to hear senior representatives of the police and the church passionately defending the value of arts projects such as Artichoke’s ‘Liverpool spider’ which was a brilliant lesson for cities of what can be achieved with a combination of vision and determination. Helen Marriage’s view that ideas always come first and the problem of finding the money to pay for them follows was refreshing to hear. In the current climate of vast public spending cuts and employment insecurity we need more projects like those that Artichoke produce – I just hope that the challenges facing people like Helen Marriage and Nicky Webb are not insurmountable."  Anita Morris, Director of Anita Morris Associates (Public Relations)


Lewis Biggs
Artistic Director,
Liverpool Biennial

Helen King 
Assistant Chief Constable, Merseyside Police

Helen Marriage
Co-Director, Artichoke

The Right Reverend
James Jones
Bishop of Liverpool

Tim Marlow (Chair)
Curator and Broadcaster

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