The re-opening of our beloved Everyman is one step closer today, with the theatre revealing the portraits of people from across the city that will form the building’s new façade.
Last year, the Everyman and Playhouse invited people to take part in a photography project to create a portrait wall on the front of the new Ev. Designed by architect Steve Tompkins, they say the large-scale artwork will be “a powerful expression of the fact that the Everyman is and always will be for everyone”, so it’s not just a clever name. You can see what it’s going to look like in the picture above.
You might recall that in the summer, photo sessions were held at venues across the city and many hundreds came along to take part.
Everyman and Playhouse artistic director Gemma Bodinetz said: “The variety of wonderful people who came along to take part really blew us away and it was great to hear everyone’s stories about themselves and their connection to the Everyman. They ranged from young children to theatre-going veterans, jugglers, cricketers, expectant mothers and whole families from all walks of life who took part in the fun.”
Now, from thousands of photographs, photographer Dan Kenyon, Tompkins and Bodinetz have selected the final composition of 105 images that will form the portrait wall. Their task was to find the portraits that complement each other in the overall make-up of the wall, and create a “visual signature” for the spirit of the Everyman that suggests the broadest range of people to represent the whole of the city.
The people who will feature on the shutters range from babies to grandparents and come from across Liverpool as well as North Wales, Cheshire and Warrington. The Everyman and Playhouse has organised an event later this month to get everyone together for the first time now that they make up a special group of people forever connected by the Hope Street theatre. Aw.
Liverpool film company Handstand Productions are making a film about the project, and will be following several people through the process as their shutters are produced and the wall created.
The images are currently being cut from aluminum plates using pioneering water jet technology. A full size shutter is approx 800mm wide x 1900mm high.
Photographer Dan Kenyon said: “This has been a really exciting project for me as a photographer. To draw out people’s personalities but also fulfill the technical and compositional requirements of the manufacturing process for each individual shutter. I can’t wait to see the wall.”
The new Everyman is scheduled for completion at the end of 2013.