Everyman looks to the future with wall of faces
THE Liverpool Everyman theatre revealed the life-size portraits of people which will make up its remarkable new Hope Street facade.
It will be a world first in using digital photography to reproduce human images on aluminium window shutters.
There will be 105 images of men, women and children from the region represented over three storeys of the new £27m theatre’s frontage, coated with a golden finish.
Called the Everyman for Everyone Portrait Wall, the idea came from architect Steve Tomkins, of theatre designer Haworth Tomkins.
They were based on photographs taken of ordinary people by Liverpool photographer Dan Kenyon.
The portraits are created by cutting vertical slots into the aluminium panels using new water jet technology.
The finished rectangular shutters can be pivoted to shade the windows behind and circulate air.
Around 460 people replied to a public invitation for subjects to be considered for portraits and this was whittled down to a final 105.
Gemma Bodinetz, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse artistic director, said: “We were playing around with the meaning of the word Everyman and Steve Tomkins thought of this fantastic idea.
“The Portrait Wall expresses the feeling that the Everyman is completely owned by local people.
“There were some great reasons why people wanted to be on the wall – one woman wanted her portrait to remind her husband of her as he came out of the Everyman Bistro worse for wear!”
Deborah Aydon, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse theatre executive director, said: “The shutters do have a practical purpose and instead of being boring horizontal slats it’s a large artwork.
“As the shutters can move individually, their golden surface will catch the light so the front constantly changes.
“There will be nothing like it, the facade will look fantastically eye-catching.”
Dan Kenyon said: “This is the most unusual job I’ve done. My work is ephemeral, but this will be there for 50 years, which is satisfying.”
One of the subjects, David Stuckey, of Ormskirk, said: “I wrote reviews of Everyman plays for the Liverpool Post & ECHO, so I’m very proud to be a part of this project.”
Lauren Fitzpatrick, of Warrington, who is in the Everyman Youth Theatre, said: “I’m gob-smacked that I’ll be up there forever. It’ll be surreal seeing myself.”
The Everyman is the UK’s biggest new theatre project and will open in a year.