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The bigger picture

There are eight hundred good reasons to stop by a fascinating new photography show that provides a unique snapshot of Liverpool on its 800th birthday. Go see.

Published on August 30th 2007.


The bigger picture

A couple of months back, photographer Mark McNulty had what he describes as “this late night whiskey induced idea” to photograph 800 people on Liverpool's 800th birthday.

Now unlike most thoughts that crop up in these circumstances, McNulty still remembered it the next morning. Even more unusually, it still seemed like a good idea: A snapshot of the city on its big day.

However, the calculator told him he would only have 1.8 minutes with each person if he worked for the full 24 hours. So he enlisted some other photographer buddies, making eight in all - a handy number – set them to work and the results of who and what they saw are on show at the Albert Dock's Site gallery from tomorrow (Friday 31).

Eighthundred is the title, and each photographer, working with an assistant, captured portraits of people across the whole city. Now, following a tireless, two-day marathon of high quality printing at Moorfields Photographic, the pictures, all 800 of them, have been mounted to form a rare and fascinating exhibition at the Grand Hall, Albert Dock. Talk about making it snappy.

Working over a 12-hour time frame, each camera captured 100 people, mostly as individual portraits. The eight worked sections of the city in a convoluted map which also took in Waterloo, drawing people out of shops and offices in the city centre, capturing Liverpool FC and Toulouse fans at Anfield, and tourists all about town.

The project was created and coordinated by Popcultured, McNulty's company, in conjunction with Liverpool design agency Black & Ginger.

Walton-born McNulty said “It was very exciting to be able to pull together such an amazing array of talented, local photographers to create a body of work about local people, for local people. It was hard work but we're really, really pleased with the results.”

Matt Wardle, Imke Oppenkamp, Benjamin Ball & Laura McGann, Helen Palmer, Peter Carr, Matt Ford and David Colbran make up the rest of the photography team. A must see.

*Eighthundred runs from 10am – 5pm every day at Albert Dock’s Grand Hall, opening on Friday August 31 and running every day until September 9 (10am – 8pm on Thursday)

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