Union Learning Reps helping to document life on the Mersey Ferries

Union Learning Reps (ULRs) with Merseytravel in Liverpool are supporting a social history photographic project documenting life on the world famous Mersey Ferry.

Liz Wewiora, Creative Producer & Photographer at the Liverpool Open Eye Gallery is currently spending time on the Ferries, co-creating a new body of photographic, video and oral history work that will capture a contemporary view of the Mersey Ferries whilst still reflecting its rich past.

Working closely with the Merseylearn team, Union Learning Reps, Mersey Ferries staff, commuters and daily tourists, Liz will create opportunities for individuals’ stories and memories of life on the Ferry. Funded by a grant from the Arts Council England, it will not simply be a documentation of the community, but will create opportunities for individuals to co-create work. 

A series of short photography courses are planned allowing Merseytravel staff the opportunity to develop their skills, taking and then displaying images on social media. ULRs will be attending and supporting these sessions with the added bonus of improving computer skills.  

The project will result in a new body of photographic and video based artwork for public exhibition on 11 January 2018 at the Museum of Liverpool and Open Eye Gallery, and will launch as a contemporary view to coincide with the Tom Wood UK premier solo Pierhead in Liverpool, (his documentary photographs taken on the ferry, 1970 - 1990s) which will be on at the Open Eye Gallery over that period.

Speaking about the project, Liz said:

The Mersey Ferry has such a rich history – made up of so many faces, places and memories.

Through weaving in hidden stories of the ferry community with invitations to co-create photographic work, I hope that we can show a whole new side to life on and around the Mersey Ferry."

Tony Norbury, Merseylearn Project Worker added:

It is fantastic to be working with the Open Eye Gallery giving our ULRs and staff access to professionals such as Liz.

Merseylearn are always looking for new and innovative learning opportunities working with partners across the Liverpool City Region. The Mersey Ferries are a part of the history and culture of Liverpool, this project will be a great way to highlight their importance to the people of Merseyside and the role Merseytravel staff play in the day-to-day running of this icon."