A sculpture of Eleanor Rigby made out of £1million worth of old bank notes is on show at the Museum of Liverpool.
The artwork was created by Liverpool-born sculptor Leonard Brown to honour the well known character made famous by the Beatles song bearing her name.
He made the five foot two inch sculpture using thousands of shredded £5, £10 and £20 notes supplied by the Bank of England.
Leonard, who is originally from Dingle, but has lived in Yorkshire for 40 years, hopes his creation will demonstrate the relationship between wealth and poverty.
He said: “The sculpture serves to show people that money isn’t the only way to make you happy, or indeed ‘buy you love’ and we should all be thankful for what we have. “There are people in every town and city like Eleanor Rigby who live a lonely life, and whose only worldly goods are kept in the bags that they carry.”
A note accompanying the sculpture reads ‘I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet’, a saying which Leonard says he was often reminded of as a youngster growing up in Liverpool.
The artist says he remembers Post-War Liverpool waterfront as a derelict area following heavy bombing of the city.
As a child he and his friends played in the area, running in and out of dock buildings and across the Hartley Bridge, which joins Mann Island and the Albert Dock next to the Museum of Liverpool.
He said: “To have this sculpture on display here in my home city, and on the site of the place I used to play as a young boy, is absolutely phenomenal and a dream come true. I left the city in 1966 to pursue a career as a singer in the Channel Islands, but I still have the accent and will always be a proud Liverpudlian.”
In order to get the high quantity of bank notes he needed to create his Eleanor Rigby sculpture, Leonard had to go straight to the top and started off trying to contact the Governor of the Bank of England to grant his request for £1million bank notes.
After months of discussion, he was invited to London to pick up the notes, which were given to him in the form of shredded pellets. £300,000 worth of the notes make up some of the materials that fill the chest cavity, and the rest of the pellets were then mashed and moulded over a steel frame bound in wire, to create the figure.
Leonard says he was inspired to create the sculpture after seeing an old lady – much like Eleanor Rigby - carrying a large number of bags through the centre of Hull where he now lives.
The sculpture took six months to complete and was finished in August 2013. It will be displayed in the atrium of the Museum of Liverpool until January 2015.
Courtesy Helen Davies, Liverpool Echo, September 21, 2014