Who Said Painting Is For Stuckists?

Tracey Emin once had a boyfriend who was a representational painter - and she dubbed him and others who used paint on canvas as the expression of their art "Stuckists" - which became a movement in its own right.
Ironically Emin has returned to representational painting herself recently - with a series of self-portrait nudes
Anyway - I digress -
The reason I mention painting is that last weekend I went back to my roots (to a school reunion) over in the North-West, where I was born and brought up.

The John Moores Painting Prize exhibition is showing at the Walker in Liverpool.
Did you see the Alexi Sayle programme about it?
By no means were all the paintings representational either...
I thought some of the Chinese contingent were really strong and the raspberry-ripple relief piece grew on me in enormously in the few minutes that I stood before it:

I only managed to grab a few snaps on my phone before a gallery attendant stopped me...

This was my favourite - the one I voted for in the people's choice vote:

Closely followed by this one:

Mum and I also dropped in to have a look round the new (amazing) Library next door.
Built behind the old facade, it is enormous - they have also kept the gorgeous rotunda of the Picton Reading Room
Here's a pic of the atrium and five storeys of new space - with a contemporary take on the Hogwart's staircases (no magical movement though):

The reading room:

We also visited the Bluecoat Display Centre - a craft/design gallery and shop that's long been a favourite haunt of mine:
There were some delightful cups by Karin Eriksson
I wish I'd bought one (the bottom left one in the pic) but I was worried about the very fine handle and my jam-packed back-pack on the train...hey-ho

mmmm - I'm longing to sip coffee from it as I look at the photo again here - what is it about handmade mugs? Connection with the earth? 

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