Unique project uses the power of football to bring art alive for young people in Birkenhead

A unique collaboration will see a group of young people from Birkenhead get up close and personal with one of the world’s most famous sports paintings.

On display at the Williamson Art Gallery, Going to the Match by LS Lowry will provide the opportunity for young people to create their own version inspired by a visit to a Tranmere Rovers match.

Lowry’s ‘Going to the Match’ is renowned for its depiction of crowds flocking to a football match, capturing the communal spirit and passion that the sport inspires.

Painted in 1953, this artwork features Lowry’s signature matchstick figures against the industrial backdrop typical of his work, and a testament to the social significance of football in the North West.

It was bought at auction by The Lowry in Manchester for £7.8m, and will be on display in Birkenhead until 27 July.

Dean Paton, CEO of Big Heritage said, “’Going to the Match’ is a Northern masterpiece, and it’s a fantastic achievement by the Williamson Art Gallery to secure this loan.

“Our job at Big Heritage is to help connect communities to culture, so we wanted to create an opportunity for local young people who may not normally visit art galleries to take part in this project. It’s been fantastic to bring together a local gallery with a local football club and youth service.”

As part of the project, young people from The Hive Youth Zone will attend the upcoming Tranmere Rovers vs AFC Wimbledon match to experience the excitement of match-day, and translate their impressions and emotions into a new interpretation of Lowry’s painting based upon Rovers’ home ground of Prenton Park.

These creations will later be displayed at the Williamson Art Gallery and the Club.

Jayne Wilson, CEO of The Hive Youth Zone, added, “We’re thrilled to be involved with the ‘Going to the Match’ project. When we were offered this chance for some of our members to flex their imaginations alongside such an iconic work, the answer had to be ‘yes!’ We can’t wait to see what they come up with, and their reaction to seeing their creations on display.”

To further celebrate the painting’s visit to Birkenhead, Tranmere Rovers are launching a fan art competition – inviting submissions of Lowry-inspired artwork based upon the experience of a Tranmere match.

The winning piece will be framed and displayed permanently at the Club. You can send your entries to marketing@tranmererovers.co.uk to be in with a chance of winning.

Nicola Palios, Vice Chair of Tranmere Rovers shared her enthusiasm, “This project is a fantastic opportunity to deepen the connection between our club and the community and underscores our commitment to fostering a love of both sport and the arts.”

Going to the Match is being displayed at the Williamson Art Gallery alongside other works by Lowry and a selection of pictures from the Williamson’s collection which place Lowry in the wider context of painting in Northern England in the mid 20th Century.

The exhibition will run at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum on Slatey Road from 19 April – 27 July.

Image courtesy of The Lowry

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