Community arts organisation Safe Productions worked with local schools and youth clubs on the creation of the sculptures and mosaics which were funded by the Your Heritage Lottery Fund, the Arts Council, Sefton Council and Orrell Neighbourhood Action Group.
The theme of the project – which covers the stretch of canal from Millers Bridge in Bootle to the Rimrose Valley in Litherland – is the history of the waterway and the plant life along it, particularly unusual species that ‘escaped’ in the form of spores from barges transporting cargo from Liverpool docks.
The artworks include Adeiladu – the Welsh word for build – at Millers Bridge. Children from Bedford Road Primary School and Queens Road Neighbourhood Centre worked on this tribute to the contribution of Welsh people to Liverpool’s history and culture.
A second artwork – Flourish – is located near the Strand Shopping Centre on Stanley Road. Pupils from All Saints Primary School and Thomas Gray Primary School, and youngsters from St Leonards Youth Club and the Brunswick Youth Club, worked on this sculpture about families who lived and worked on the canal in the 1800s.
The third sculpture – Bright Work – is located at Autumn Way off Litherland Road. Pupils of Linacre Road Primary School worked on this tribute to the tradition of decorating narrowboats with paintings of flowers and plants.
Plant life is also the inspiration behind Spores at Church Road in Seaforth, created by pupils at Beach Road Primary School.
The final sculpture is The Carried Star at Rimrose Valley in Litherland. Youngsters from Hatton Hill Primary School created this artwork about star grass which was planted to stabilise sand dunes in this area in the nineteenth century.