May 2012

Students from Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) boarded the Floating Grace canal barge to journey through the industrial past of Liverpool’s docklands.

Discussions were framed round the contemporary mania for these long-abandoned brick factories and warehouses, discussions peppered through with that great punning word, ‘regeneration’. The modern mechanical landscape along the Mersey dwarfed the two workboats that sailed up the Manchester shipping canal to Arpley landfill site and nature reserve – a sonically distinct landscape to the one the crew encountered on a special overnight stay on Hilbre Island. There, ornithologists, poets and musicians gave context to the double-meaning of *ringing birds* before, over bowls of scouse, talk led to the value (economic, spiritual, and otherwise) of such rich landscape.

A series of artworks made in response to the journey round Liverpool in May 2012 will be commissioned later in the year.