It’s always tricky to pick a favourite piece in an exhibition, but my vote in The Beat Goes On has to go to this triptych image featuring the crowd in line outside Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club in 1963. There are no rock stars in this picture, so you might think it is an odd choice – but indulge me.
The original image of the crowd gathering outside the Liverpool landmark is presented in the gallery as a triptych of three framed images. If you haven’t come across this treatment before, here’s how it works. The original photograph is split into three equal vertical sections, and each piece is then framed in a slim profile black frame. Just the image area is visible, no window mount. Each framed piece is then hung in its correct place in the sequence, with a small gap between the three separate frames.
The effect is dramatic. It makes the viewing experience so much more interesting than simply presenting it as a single large photograph. Each panel works in its own right, but there is interplay between the panels. The faces in the crowd are so interesting – you can feel the energy and the excitement building.
The left hand panel features the largest characters (closest to camera), and the smiling guy with the leather jacket is in motion and straddles the left and centre panels, providing a strong link between the first two sections. The Cavern Club name, written in chalk, is clearly visible in the central panel. The right hand panel shows the rest of the crowd, tailing off into the distance. When you look at this panel, you focus more on the heights of the building, but each person in the line is clearly visible. it works so well visually because the proportions of people: buildings are in almost exact inverse proportions when you compare the left and right hand panels.
I have included a photograph below of the three frames hanging on the gallery wall – excuse the reflections – but hopefully that shows you more clearly how this looks in real life. On the gallery wall, framed in slim profile frames and hanging with an approximate one inch gap between the frames, they occupy an area of wall measuring approximately 48 x 64 inches. A smaller option is also available. (Click here to view sizes and unframed prices.)
If you like this Cavern scene, take a look at the other Cavern shots in the exhibition
So go on – take a set of cave-dwellers home. It is such an infectious piece – it will make you smile each time you look at it, and that can’t be bad, can it?