Liverpool City of Music: The Buskers, photographs by John McDonald

Liverpool City of Music: The Buskers, photographs by John McDonald Exhibition: Liverpool City of Music: The Buskers, photographs by John McDonald
Factory Kitchen (Invisible Wind Factory), L3 7DS
Date(s): 09/06/2023 - 30/09/2023
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Invisible Wind Factory, Factory Kitchen
Public entrance in Carlton St off Regent Road

Open Tuesday to Friday. 1.00 – 3.00  
June 1st   – September 30th 2023

John McDonald

I don’t really like taking candid pictures of people in the street. It feels a bit either sneaky or intrusive. And I’m not that good,like some photographers are, at chatting people up. But the streets of any city provide all sorts of photo-opportunities for exploring contemporary ‘modern-life- theatre’.  And street photography, has its own long standing traditions.

Taking pictures of itinerant street  muscians, is a relatively simple task. Sitting (standing) targets really. Although a bit more challenging if they are also dancing!   I always ask with a camera click gesture and a hopeful questioning – thumbs up, so as not to interrupt the live performance, and they invariably nod a yes.

Well so far, so good, no one as yet, has said no. But some of them are actually shy of the photo-thing. You can just tell.  Do they have a choice? They are, putting on a show, in a public place. But it is more than just polite to ask permission. The request makes a temporary but personal contact between me and the musician, which feels good. Occasionally some folks are ok for a small chat-interlude. Like the guy from Switzerland playing a wind up music box or Mat and his friends, using sign language to backing tracks and live streaming.

There is, in a small way a bit of a collaboration going on, and some people do, ‘put it on’ a bit for the camera.

The city environment is also of interest to me and a significant part of the image (whatever is included in the ‘framing’ is an important part of the picture). The shops: Primark (Valentines day), McDonalds, Lush, TK Max, Top Shop, (not there anymore, even shops come and go), M&S (will they be there forever?), Clarks , Schuh; are all expressive elements of modern life.   And passers-by  are included, or not. Sometimes it’s good to wait for a clear space before snapping a pic. The musicians look more lonely then, and a bit lost in their own worlds. Or sometimes it’s good to get in close.

Some people are there: raising money for a good cause; Brianna Ghey , Teenage Cancer Research;  some, young  aspiring musicians practicing and hopeful, working towards a career; some, just earning a few coins for a pint and an evening out, or many performers, in these days of bad government, are short on income and trying to earn a crust.

And can you hear? What songs are they singing?

‘…O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound, that breathes upon a bank of violets…’ Orsino  Twelfth Night

Meet and greet the artist, 13th June, 1-3pm

©John McDonald  2023      IG:

About Factory Kitchen (Invisible Wind Factory):

Accessibility: No Disabled Access

Toilets: Yes