On The Scene//Love Art Exhibition by Love Artuk

We often say the music scene in Liverpool is a busy one but then again the whole cultural scene is busy. It's been a while since we bought you an On The Scene feature so we decided that the private view of Love Artuk's exhibition at Liverpool's The Clove Hitch was ripe for a return. 

The location of Love Artuk and Cato The Artist's exhibition Love Art was perhaps coincidental. Hope Street was buzzing with activity of all kinds despite the rain and the warming surrounds of The Clove Hitch, with it's French style cafe surroundings and tuba lamps was my destination. The recently opened gallery space on the first floor, accessed by a set of stairs that could have lead into an attic full of who knows what was in fact a passage to true Love. And when we say true Love, we mean Love Art. 

The upbeat song that claims that 'Love is all around...' was certainly true in the case of this exhibition, with a good crowd of people filling the petite gallery space. Love was definitely all around, on every wall and surface and in many mediums as well. The first attraction for my eyes was the projection of photographs of the Love being spread street art style around the city, the way that we first grew to appreciate this work after seeing a Love tag in The Baltic Triangle.  

As we started to look around the art itself, we were impressed by the array of ideas on display. If you were expecting a flutter of falsely feminized pink you'd be disappointed. No, if that had been the theme it wouldn't have worked but the spectrum of colors and emotions that love engulfs that the art explores is most definitely preferable. We've always had a passion for urban art and this was certainly indulged to the full as the Love tag was deployed to often moving effect in a large collection of pieces that would sit easily in your art collection.

Indeed, there was some subversion of Banksy himself in the trio of pieces entitled Playing With Banksy, as some Love was liberally added to some of the man best known stencils. We're sure Banksy wouldn't mind, as he famously eschews copyright and we wouldn't mind them on our gallery wall either! The rest of the collection takes a more figurative stance as we see the artist emotions create an often stunning collection of musings on the mystery that is love.

Highlights were many and our particular favorites included the stark Love = Private Property, a stencil over a black background, the message one that has a certain duality. Another piece finds a clock mounted on canvas next to the titular stencil. It seems to ask the viewer is love deserves time and it's simple presentation and inspired message are heartfelt. A further image depicts love as an umbrella, protecting you somehow. Once again the construction of the piece is what makes it so effective. 

But you already we loved the show so why not go see it? We promise you that it's a journey you won't regret. Art this heartfelt is rare to find and the joy you get from discovering that this artwork bought its creator from the brink of darkness into the light of creativity is enough to merit this a complete success. If you love art you'll love Love Art!

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan. 

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