The Cube Sea Air and Wrecks New Paintings by John Hyatt

Painting by John Hyatt

Dark Side Art Lab and The Cube are the first projects from The Dark Side.

The Dark Side is a cross-communities, inter-generational and inclusive collaborative arts initiative launched by FINSA and artist, John Hyatt, Professor/Head of The Institute of Art and Technology at the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies at Liverpool John Moores University.

If people don’t know what something is they use the word ‘dark’, like ‘Dark Energy’ and ‘Dark Matter’ – veiled, hidden, powerful and important. When I moved to Wallasey everyone in Liverpool said, “Oh, yer movin’ to The Dark Side, are yuh?” When I wanted to contribute a series of arts projects to Wirral Borough of Culture in collaboration with FINSA, the umbrella title of ‘The Dark Side’ was hard to avoid. Over the coming year, the aim of The Dark Side initiative is to help enervate, reveal and profile Wirral’s living treasures: her energetic people, artists, projects, products and cultures. The Dark Side shines a light on itself. – John Hyatt. April 2019

Over the forthcoming months more and more projects, exhibitions and events will be unveiled by The Dark Side, a unique collaboration between arts, manufacturing and education, supported by Wirral Chamber of Commerce as a part of Wirral Borough of Culture 2019.

The Cube is a project sponsored by FINSA and designed by architects and occasional tutors at Liverpool School of Art and Design, Ed Butler and Dan Wiltshire of WMBstudio. It has been erected at Pacific Road by students of Wirral Metropolitan College. Alongside The Dark Side Art Lab, it will become an exhibiting and project venue at Pacific Road in the months to come, supported by Wirral Chamber of Commerce.

The Dark Side Art Lab opens with an inaugural exhibition, John Hyatt: Sea, Air and Wrecks, a series of new Wirral-inspired paintings, depicting the bright side of the Dark Side. The glorious light of the sea and air of Wallasey imbues the paintings with an intensity of light, colour and spirit that would make even Van Gogh reach for his sunglasses – if he could wear them! The carcasses of boats poking out of the shifting sands of time hint at a darker past of beached ships salvaged by Wreckers.

The Dark Side has a lot of projects in the pipeline, working with kids, communities, students, local and international artists, musicians, architects, and storytellers on workshops, conversations, competitions, exhibitions, football, public art, shadow museums, alien invasions, fairy festivals, pavilions for Birkenhead Park and Woodside and more besides. ​


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