Artist returns to Birkenhead after 20 years with new exhibition at Williamson Art Gallery

Two decades since he last lived and worked in Merseyside, artist David Clapham is returning to Birkenhead with a new exhibition, The River Runs Through, at Williamson Art Gallery.

Harrogate-born Clapham lived in Birkenhead Park for twelve years in the 1980’s and 90’s, including six years in Birkenhead Cricket Club.

He made a significant contribution to the arts on Merseyside, as a Fine Art lecturer at John Moores University for over 20 years, and as a freelance filmmaker working for a variety of broadcast media including Granada TV.

It was Clapham who invited Yoko Ono to Liverpool to perform her famous ‘Music of the Mind happening’ at Bluecoat Chambers in 1967. In 1976 he went on to co-found and manage the Bridewell Artists Studio complex, still thriving today at 101 Prescot Street in Liverpool.

The River Runs Through includes some of Clapham’s most recent works, alongside selected pieces from over two decades of development. The recurrent images of water and rivers are unifying themes from different periods in his life and different places that he has lived and worked, including London and Portugal.

The exhibition features work in a range of media, including ephemeral large hanging installations which play with transparency.

Although they are landscapes based on real locations, Clapham is interested in the feelings beyond what we see. He says, “I’m looking at nature through the lens of history and recollection that sets in motion a series of memories, such as of a moment in time, or a particular quality of light, that affects how we live and feel in a place. That series of associations represents true reality.”

The River Runs Through will run at Williamson Art Gallery from 6 April – 15 June.

Lead image: David Clapham, Birkenhead Park (detail)

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David Clapham, Lawrence Wharf