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Half bench, half biscuit

You thought Capital of Culture year was all over, but you had forgotten about.....the bench

Published on July 14th 2009.


Half bench, half biscuit
HALFWAY through 2009 and, as we look around our almost finished city, the magnificent Spider, Go! Superlambananas and the Debenhams opening seem a rose-coloured, frothy, festive spectacle from another age.

An age that will forever be fondly known, in Liverpool, as 08.

Time then, for everyone to sit down and examine the civic navel to see if, indeed, Liverpool has capitalised on Culture year. But sit on what?

Last year, Phil Redmond's Open Culture organisation launched a huge search for hidden talent. A competition to find something special, some “thing” that would be “a lasting legacy of 2008”.

What would be a true benchmark of a special year? they wondered. Why, a special bench, of course! The answer was right there in the question. Brilliant and obvious. Well, obvious anyway.

And now, all this time later, we have it: The first of three winners has been unveiled: The All Together Now bench.

Phil explained: “We set a creative challenge – it wasn’t just to be a simple bench. It’s a cultural resting place.”

You're talking the ultimate sit, here.

You might think it looks like a gingerbread man, that perhaps it had been sponsored by Sayers (ah, one last time for the “official pasty of Capital

of Cultureā€). But no. The funding for the installation came from Merseytravel. It will sit in their office in Queen Square, as may you, if you wish to rest your own little legacies.

But is it about you and me? Does it represent everyman? Yes.

“I really wanted to focus on the great characteristics of the people of Liverpool, ” said winning designer Colin Powell.

There are two more to be revealed from 550 entries. Apparently, The Storyteller bench and The Secret bench.

This design, meanwhile, with its recycled plastic seat, is said to illustrate the positivity, humour and camaraderie of the city.

Truly a reminder of European Capital of Culture. For all posteriority.

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Dorothy Parker KnollJuly 14th 2009.

Muffled felt tip titter

barbaraJuly 14th 2009.

Whose the old queen with the grey hair and funny eyebrows?

Camilla Parker KnollJuly 14th 2009.

The bench is rather sweet. Well done Mr Powell. Although for a moment I tthought the Gingerbread man was anatomically correct until I enlarged the photo and saw it was just Professor Redmond sitting on it.

zeligJuly 14th 2009.

A triumphant success.A work of simplicity, charm and genius. It will become one of the iconic symbols of Liverpool and in years to come will be emulated by other major cities.It does need to be exhibited more widely though and this unique design would grace Church Street and provide some much need vigour to the depressingly grey architecture of Liverpool One.

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