What we are up to


by Nick Holloway

I went to have a quick look at a new show, entitled 4x4, at the Bluecoat in Liverpool last night. It's four rooms with a distinct mini-exhibition in each (in case you were wondering what the title was about), none of which are anything to do with Land Rovers (in case you were feeling the temptation to shout 'Let's offroad!').

So, an installation made using macramé (by Anya Gallaccio, a Turner Prize nominee in 2003), some pages ripped out of a wallpaper sample book (David Mabb), and a series of paintings that appear to be based on the contents of the artist's wallet / desk drawer / waste paper basket (Colin Darke) are among the sometimes beautiful, sometimes dubious, delights on offer. But they pale for me against a selection of films from Shana Moulton's Whispering Pines series. Moulton's alter-ego Cynthia is the unspeaking star of these short, arthouse soap operas, a character who seeks solace from her troubles by retreating into her imagination. Which, it seems, is populated by somersaulting dinosaurs, acid house raves and flying household objects. Whispering Pines 8 will give you a taste:

It's funny, it's sad, it's moving, and Cynthia really puts me in mind of a young Diana Spencer. Cynthia could be Di in early 1981: engaged but not yet married, locked away from the paparazzi in her Chelsea flat, and more often than not discovered - as noted in a BBC interview with her flatmate at the time - "Dancing around on her own... bopping."

4x4 is open Monday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm, until May 10. Entry is free.


  1. You have to see the rest of the vids: One is based around Angela Lansbury sharing her secrets of how to stay youthful, which turns into a rave inside a Magic Eye picture, complete with dancing dinos, dogs, cats and a flying horse.

    • Anonymous

    Fucking beautiful Cynthia vid. I bet that puking thing gets used in the next daron aranofski film

  2. Thanks for your comment. Since Metro and the Liverpool papers cut overheads by scaling back their arts coverage, and given the nationals spread their regional coverage thinly, there seems to be a gap in the market. Hopefully we can do a little to fill it.

    • Anonymous

    Thanks for this.

    It’s good to see someone giving an independent view on the art in Liverpool.

    I’m going to go and see this exhibition.