A sense of place: ‘Space is the Place’ exhibition at Convenience Gallery

A new exhibition is currently running at Birkenead’s Convenience Gallery. “Space is the Place”, by Patric Rogers and Angelo Madonna will run until 1 October.

The exhibition at the Bloom Building, Abbey Close, near to Birkenhead Priory, is a part of Convenience Gallery’s “In Cahoots” 2021/22 programme.

Space is the Place is Patric Rogers in collaboration with Angelo Madonna’s deeply personal memoir to his most sacred of spaces, Hilbre Island. It is a cerebral exhibition project exploring the psychogeography of one of Wirral’s iconic landmarks. 

Space is the Place encourages the viewer to connect deeper to the environments and places around them and to explore how our connection to place is made through our experiences, dreams, memories and through the landscape itself.

The project began its life during the recent lockdown period in the mind of its creator Patric Rogers. Patric spent many years during the summer months working on Hilbre Island. Often alone he was left in the quiet of the island to explore its history, secrets, and mysteries. For him, the island became a teacher and a place of reflection and solace.

Our recent period of national difficulty has opened the doors for people to explore their surroundings with a newfound appreciation and it is through the telling of the stories of the island, its history, mysteries, folklore, psychogeographic power and the people who are drawn to it that this exhibition aims to help others connect to their own spaces of reflection and solace.

In this multi-part installation experience, Space is the Place encourages the viewer to consider their own sense of space and place exploring how, place, dreams, memories and landscape combine to create a deeper connection with the landscape.

Paddy Rogers

birkenhead.news spoke to Patric Rogers, the Rock Ferry artist about his collaborative exhibition. “Me and Angelo met purely by chance on a train journey down to London.” Paddy said. “My ideas fitted in with the ideas that Angelo had and we just connected on this current project.”

Paddy spent seven years working as a lifeguard on Hilbre Island. “I spent the summers in this kind of unknowable retreat … and I wasn’t really aware of it at the time.” When his lifeguard work came to an end, it was only then that he realised what a place Hilbre actually was. The exhibition is about connections to space and how we interact with the places around us, inspired by Paddy’s time at Hilbre.

Paddy believes that during lockdown people became more aware of their surroundings and what they were missing, whilst having to stay between the same four walls most of the time. “The idea of the project is to create a greater awareness and connection to the landscape and in particular to the landscape in Wirral.”, he explained. Originally from Liverpool, but now residing in Rock Ferry, Paddy said, “Wirral has a really, really rich history, but it is so hidden away. This history is in the landscape and not so much in the buildings – we don’t have as many historical buildings around us that many other towns and cities have.”

Paddy talks of the Battle of Brunanburh, the Viking and Norse settlements that can be seen in Wirral’s placenames of Greasby, Frankby, and Irby as a way of explaining this hidden history. “This exhibition explores what makes us connect to a space or place and what causes that connection and why it is important to reflect on that and how it informs our impression of a place, our memories, our dreams!”

“Space Is The Place” is at Convenience Gallery, Bloom Building, Abbey Close, Birkenhead. CH41 5FQ

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