Flowers for Liverpool, 1989. Acrylic on canvas, 120x180 cm (collection: Liverpool F.C. Museum)

Adrian Henri: Flowers for Liverpool 1989

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I wasn’t actually at Hillsborough but I was in Liverpool that weekend. At the end of that traumatic few days I was left with two abiding images. One was the sound of the Great George bell in the Anglican Cathedral which rang on the Sunday – once for each person who died on the Saturday. I ended up eventually writing a poem called ‘The Bell’ which attempted to evoke that sensation in words; The other was the flowers at Anfield, which led to this painting called Flowers for Liverpool.

In a way it is quite an abstract painting. It is just a study in white and red with variations. At the same time it is a very emotionally-loaded subject – the football pitch at Anfield covered with flowers all of which are either wrapped in white paper or cellophane and in amongst them people were putting their scarves and hats and other kinds of souvenirs.
Adrian Henri interviewed in Paintings 1953-1998, Walker Art Gallery, p.114



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