Lambanana: Prized Asset Undergoes Makeover
In 2008, Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture. It was an exciting time for the City which saw huge investment in architecture and attractions. With millions of visitors expected the city hosted various events and exhibitions. One of the most popular exhibitions was the display of 125 mini Superlambananas which were located all over the city.
Since 2008, the Lambanana has become an iconic sculpture in the heart of the city. The original sculpture was designed by artist Taro Chiezo in 1998, Taro created a four-inch-high Lambanana for the Trans Pennine Art Exhibition held in Liverpool. The tiny sculpture was designed to represent a fusion of the City of Liverpool, past and present. The sculpture signifies a sheep and a banana as bananas and wool were once the most frequently transported commodities that passed through the docks of Liverpool.
Local Liverpool sculptor, Andy Small, along with three of his peers, then turned the four-inch-high Superlambanana into the seventeen-foot sculpture we see today.
Following the city wide exhibition New Start were lucky enough to purchase “Our Working Community” Lambanana. The design was inspired by the people of Liverpool – a community based multi-cultural city and was commissioned by artist Holly Langley.
Artist, Ainsley Bonham Lawson at work
Since purchasing Our Working Community Lambanana it has been based at various locations throughout the city. The idea is to carry on the positive legacy which the original exhibition left behind. Most recently the Lambanana has taken up new residence at the newly refurbished Cain’s Brewery - Baltic Market.
Prior to this Our Community Lambanana underwent a makeover. We worked closely with Lucy Byrne from Dot-Art. Dot-Art was founded by Lucy in 2006. has a wealth of experience in planning, developing and implementing a wide range of visual art projects, coupled with an extensive contact network of artists and partners across the North West. Lucy introduced us to one of their artists – Ainsley Bonham Lawson.
Dot Art Studio - Castle St, Liverpool
Ainsley is an artist and designer originally from Providence, Rhode Island, USA. She studied fine arts at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, and later went on to study Interior Design at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has ranged from retail store displays, private and corporate art commissions, and both residential and commercial interior design. Ainsley became a member of Dot-Art in early 2017, soon after moving to Liverpool. She is thrilled to be a part of the city's growing arts' scene and looks forward to continuing with the gallery for years to come.
Ainsley: "It was a privilege to work on such an iconic, and well-loved piece of Liverpool's creative history. I'm so pleased to have helped bring new life to the 'Community Superlambanana' and promote the New Start organisation."
Dot-Art supports visual artists and champions art as an integral part of everyday life They do this by selling locally sourced, affordable art, working with businesses to put art in the workplace and public realm, running art classes and working with schools and community groups.
All this is underpinned by their unique membership scheme for artists in the North West which gives access to all the activities above and a package of support and advice, creating and developing artists’ careers.
Newly painted Lambanana with New Start staff & residents
If you would like to have a picture with Our Community Lambanana visit the Baltic Market - Stanhope Street, L8 5XJ