by Khyle Deen. Posted on Sat 09 Jul 2022 06:09
Iconic street artist Smug has created a spectacular new large-scale mural inspired by Carl Jung’s famous depiction of Liverpool’s ‘Pool of Life’, and the inspiration for it in one of the neighborhoods oldest and most creative that surrounds it, the Cavern Quarter.
The mural, on Harrington Street, was co-commissioned by Culture Liverpool and Liverpool BID Company on behalf of the Beatles Legacy Group to explore the extraordinary history of this region, from the global musical explosion it defined in the 1960s. 60s to become the center of Liverpool’s revolutionary and culturally defining counterculture of the 70s and 80s.
The mural by Glasgow-based artist Sam Bates aka Smug, hints at the area’s layered history drawing on well-known names like Erics and The Cavern which attract tourists from around the world, but add also greater depth by exposing the layers of history, architecture, commerce and trade that constituted Jung’s “pool of life”.
Jung’s 1927 essay was judged to describe a place “in which many streets converged” as do Mathew Street and Rainford Square in the Cavern Quarter. Poet and artist Peter O’Halligan, who founded the Liverpool School of Language, Music, Dream and Pun on the site of the former Fruit Exchange warehouse on Victoria Street, popularized the use of the phrase in the 1970s to describe the neighborhood.
In 2012, a plaque commemorating Jung’s “pool of life” was unveiled nearby.
The Cavern Quarter is one of the oldest commercial districts in Liverpool city centre. Once home to an iron foundry, brewery and mills, it has become home to fruit and produce markets selling goods as they come in from the nearby docks.
Bill Addy is the CEO of Liverpool BID Company and Chairman of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Network
“Art has incredible power to tell our story and in commissioning this work our idea is to both enliven the public realm but also to share with the many visitors, shoppers, music lovers and others who pass through the Cavern Quarter l “history that surrounds them. I’m thrilled that this work sheds light on one of my favorite chapters in the city’s history, which has gone so far in shaping our unique culture.”
Kevin McManus is UNESCO Music City Manager at Culture Liverpool
“I am delighted that this exciting project, initiated by the Beatles Legacy Group and Liverpool BID, is coming to fruition. I’m sure it will quickly become another city center landmark attracting visitors and music tourists, as well as being something to be enjoyed by the locals of Liverpool. It is a place closely associated with key periods in the musical and cultural history of the city, so it is fitting that this impressive fresco is installed there. This is an area close to my heart, as as a young boy I attended concerts at Eric’s – which no doubt changed my life for good – while on the other side of the road, a decade earlier, the Cavern changed the world forever. Lesser-known bars in the area like Harrington Bar and Pen and Wig also played an important role and this rich landscape of Liverpool’s vibrant musical heritage will be celebrated in this fantastic Smug mural.
Peter Hooton (Chairman of the Beatles Legacy Group)
“As Chairman of The Beatles Legacy Group, I can’t wait to see this piece of art unveiled and I’m so happy that Smug has chosen to interpret Carl Jung’s ‘Pool of Life’ dream. The region had such a cultural impact on the world, from the cave in the 60s to Eric’s/The Armadillo/Harrington Bar/Probe/Wade Smith in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The area was such a melting pot of music/fashion and cons -culture that it was normal for the mural to be located there and for people to guess the references of the work.
The Cavern Quarter is part of the Retail & Leisure BID area. In 2020, a Master Plan for Cavern Quarter and Williamson Square was approved and published, with a Spatial Regeneration Framework (SRF) focused on improving the area and celebrating its heritage, including through the intervention of artists and the animation of blank spaces.