‘Mersey Sounds’ megaphone sculpture unveiled as part of Very Public Art project on Liverpool waterfront

Mersey Sounds is a twelve and a half metre high sound installation on the Pier Head. Part of our ‘Very Public Art’ commission, it’s a collaboration between Writing On The Wall with architects Smith and Young. It is a recreation of Liverpool’s Speaker’s Corner, designed by Liverpool Sculptor Arthur Dooley.

The original Speaker’s Corner was situated on the waterfront until the mid-1990s, a site for speeches, rallies and demonstrations during Liverpool’s turbulent industrial and political past. The original design incorporated an upward spiral of steps, tapering inwards with the option of two speaking positions. Mersey Sounds, Painted in red, includes a copper megaphone playing a soundscape of voices drawn from Liverpool’s diverse communities and celebrated archive material offering people an insight into past lives and present-day voices.

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Very Public Art is a series of installations and activations across the summer, designed to give a new energy to the familiar and a reason to explore our streets once again.

Eight brand new commissions will land in locations across Liverpool, each one a showcase for local communities and creatives to tell stories and disrupt the every day.

Some will create a reason to congregate and celebrate, discover new places, and meet new people.

Some will be a chance for us to stop and think.

All of them will be free, open-air, safe, in the streets and Very Public Art.

Mersey Sounds is a collaboration between Arts Organisation of the Year Writing on the Wall and award-winning Architect Daniel Smith of Liverpool based Smith Young Architects. The connection between the original Speakers Corner and Mersey Sounds is that Daniel smith’s father was the steel erector who worked with Sculptor Arthur Dooley when he created the original Speakers Corner.

Liverpool’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle, said: "To have new pieces of art pop-up across our city each week is fantastic to see. We’re seeing a steady return of culture to this city, and it’s so refreshing to have thought-provoking and fun installations temporarily change our landscape.

"Each piece is so diverse. I encourage residents and visitors to check out these new additions to the city, and of course, they are perfect selfie backdrops, so tag us into your photos and let’s share the love for culture once again."