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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, April 12, 2008
    God has given us this leisure
    Deus Nobis Haec Otia Fecit - God has given us this leisure. The city of Liverpool’s original motto, and one I'm always happy to affirm. So whilst ostensibly participating in a diocesan AGM in Liverpool Cathedral this morning I was also enjoying flicking through a copy of the latest Liverpool 08 Events Guide which I'd picked up on my way in. The greatest treasure I discovered within its sixty pages (April to June - so much to see and do!) was a feature about the Singh Twins.

    The work of Liverpool's Amrit and Rabindra Singh always delights, and their two commissions for the city's culture celebrations look - on paper, and I've since discovered, online - wondrous. Time for a visit to St George's Hall and the new Bluecoat to take a closer look, but in the meantime...

    ... here's a detail from Liverpool 800: The Changing Face of Liverpool which is the Singh Twins' creative restatement of the city's coat of arms to document aspects of our history and achievements, and our current status as an arts-and-culture centre. I imagine that there's a booklet available at St George's Hall explaining the significance of all the details; their website has a page which does that, and - just like everything the Singhs do - it's an education and a provocation and a delight.

    Here, Triton is wearing ballet shoes and an Atomic Kitten badge; Neptune is bearing tattoos representing such Merseyside commercial and cultural 'firsts' as the world's first Boy Scout Troop (founded in Birkenhead, 1908) and the world’s first passenger railway line (built by the Liverpool & Manchester Railway Company, 1830). Some may blanch at seeing the mighty sea god displaying a British Rail logo, but God has given them an exuberant imagination, those Singh Twins, and that gives their audience so much pleasure.