BEATLES ART: STRAWBERRY FIELDS
ABOVE: The Beatles art print of my illustration Strawberry Fields Forever, featuring the Strawberry Field gates in Liverpool made famous by The Beatles and John Lennon.
When I heard about the original gates returning to Strawberry Field in Woolton and of the plans to open the site to the public in the summer of 2019, I knew I had to contribute to the recording of the events by hand.
I decided to draw the famous red gates leading into the grounds where, before Beatles fame, a young John Lennon came to play, reflect and escape the post-war streets of Liverpool.
He later immortalised the place in the famous Beatles song ‘Strawberry Fields Forever,’ where he explored those more innocent days of escape that could counter the later complexities of a life lived in the public gaze.
This drawing is part of my LIVERPOOL COLLECTION and available as a premium, museum-quality giclée print in my webshop.
THE LIVERPOOL COLLECTION
I have a weak spot for cities that rise from the ashes. Strong, resilient, determined, sprinkled with a fair dose of dark humour on top. Liverpool is a prime example.
It was the most heavily bombed British city outside London during WWII, and its port has seen both the ebbs and flows of maritime trade. Now, the culture hub synonymous with two of the most successful brands in the history of football and music is once again making a name for itself. As a result, it has lately become the UK's most talked-about city on social media when ranked by population. If you want to know why, you have to experience it in person.
The architecture is one to behold. Liverpool has the highest number of listed buildings outside London, and the whole place is just gorgeous, with its redbrick houses, large green areas like Sefton and Calderstones Parks, and blue suburban skies (see what I did there). But what really sets this place apart is the Liverpudlians.
The moment I set foot on Lime Street Station, I got a feeling of community and a sense of belonging. Liverpudlians are welcoming, warm-hearted, and hilarious. If you go to the pub, you are sure to make a friend or two.
I still recall the wonderful old lady in Lord Street who turned around just to tell me I had a "LUVELY STYLE!". Or the young couple near Calderstones Park who came up to ask if they could help me with directions just in case I was lost. Or the cabby who asked me about the significance of St Peter's Church to the story of The Beatles as he drove me to Woolton Village. Or the cool-looking guy who, though he was rushing across Hope Street found the time to give me a compliment in proper Scouse. I could go on and on.
Today, a place is defined by what people say about it, not what it says about itself. So, from a Scandinavian who has fallen head over heels in love with Liverpool: It is a city of dreamers, straight talkers, and risk-takers. It stands up for what it believes in, and it can tell truth from bullshit from miles away. All of which sounds pretty relatable.
That is why I have begun illustrating a series of Liverpool fine art prints. To capture its spirit, beauty, and history. I hope that you will fall in love too.