Bluecoat Garden, a film by Andrew Small

Bluecoat commissioned artist Andrew Small to make this film, just before the building closed in readiness for a major capital development in 2005. The garden was about to undergo inevitable and dramatic change: underground air raid shelters from the Second World War causing subsidence needed to be filled in; water pipes needed replacing; and flagstones resetting. The remains of the East wing – destroyed during the 1941 May blitz and patched up – would be demolished to make way for a new arts wing. And large pieces of plant, including a crane and cement mixer would need to be accommodated temporarily.

With a new design for the garden to be implemented, this popular oasis in the centre of Liverpool would be transformed. Bluecoat asked Small to interview people who used the garden about the space, and their hopes for its future. The resulting film was included in the gallery’s final exhibition, Watch This Space, before closure. This show (December 2004 to January 2005) featured work from Bluecoat’s community outreach programme, Connect.

With thanks to Andrew Small.