Hope Street, Liverpool, England
A Lambanana is, oddly enough, a cross between a lamb and a banana. In 2008, when Liverpool was European Capital of Culture, 125 Lambananas were commissioned, and paid for by local businesses and organizations. These 125 Lambananas were all decorated individually by local artists and personalities and can be found on streets and in locations across the city, and throughout Merseyside, with a 17ft, giant Super Lambanana on Tithebarn Street outside Liverpool John Moores University. And while adorning the streets of a city with 125 mammal-fruit hybrids may seem like a peculiar or eccentric thing do to, in reality, it makes a certain sense. Except, botanically speaking, we’re talking mammal-berry hybrids, as a banana is a type of berry. Bananas and sheep were common cargo through Liverpool’s docks. And so, the Lambanana speaks for Liverpool’s history as a busy port town. But, made from plastic and, seemingly, genetically engineered, the Lambanana speaks of the future, too. A rather alarming future, but a future nonetheless. By 2010, the number of Lambananas on display in Liverpool was cut to just 8. This is one of them. It was decorated by local artist Christine O’Reilly Wilson. ‘My starting point for creating a painting will always be to flood the blank canvas with vibrant colour,’ she writes on her website about her work. And vibrant colour was clearly her starting point with her Lambanana, too.