A NEW community art gallery and workshop has opened its doors in Birkenhead Market.

Run by property photographers Nadia Parsons and Errol Morris, the Tate Aisle Gallery (TAG) provides a permanent space for Merseyside artists to showcase their work.

Based at UnitA1, TAG offers affordable and original art and is also appealing for local artists to host workshops for free.

With a small photo studio and a virtual reality space where visitors can view Merseyside by visiting Nadia and Errol's website www.armchairtours.co.uk, TAG features work from different artists and projects such as The Spider Project.

The couple, who are originally from South Croydon, hope that they can help breathe a new lease of life into the market.

Nadia told the Globe: "While we lived in London, we were looking at the map of the UK.

"Many places were too hot, too cold, too expensive, too remote, too this, too that.

"Then we saw Wirral - with beaches, golf courses, great transport, two rivers and the sea. It couldn't get any better.

"And people really are more friendlier here than in London. It is amazing here. It is unbelievable.

"We were so used to the rat race of London and and the stress, everyone is on edge. Here someone will approach you to say something friendly. It took a while to get used to. People are smiling all the time and it is beautiful.

"In London there is a lot of arrogance of those who don't have money, don't count. People don't look after each other and there is no community spirit but you come here and there is."

After moving up to Wirral, the pair then set about trying to find a gallery space and after searching across Merseyside they stumbled upon Unit A1 at Birkenhead Market.

Errol said: "We moved up here first and then the gallery came second.

"We thought that this was a very good opportunity at the market and we love this unit so we took it.

"We were actually looking for gallery spaces the day before the market suggested we should go there.

"We looked in Liverpool but this space is perfect and so unusual but and it's accessible for everybody. We've had people say all sorts of things but they like it, they come all the way from Runcorn, Liverpool and say they are blown away. "People like it but we're trying to raise the profile and help the whole market. Everyone is very welcome to come and browse and ask questions."

The gallery now houses local artists such as Carl Haberla and Nigel Leslie.

Wirral Globe:

'The Invisible Community' by Carl Haberla

Carl, originally from Halewood, is currently showcasing 'The Invisible Community', featuring photographs taken at Charles Thompson Mission of staff and service users.

He soon realised that the photographs tell the life stories of the people that he features and they now take pride of place both inside and outside of TAG.

Carl told the Globe: "I got involved with Tate Aisle through Kev Morris at Lifelong Learning, he had visited the gallery and spoke to Nadia and asked if I could exhibit my images and it all stemmed from there.

"All my images were taken at Charles Thompson Mission. Some of the people I took pictures of, I had gone to school with, some I recognised them from around the Rock Ferry area.

"Others I have taken pictures of have passed away now which is quite sad.

"I'd say some of the images stand out more than others and the effect I have used, these are just your average pictures but I've edited them.

"Out of respect I didn't edit the images of those who passed away.

"I wasn't working and I wanted to do something one on one - I'm not bad talking to people.

"I was doing some voluntary work and got chatting to people while we were having something to eat and I have an interest in photography so I just asked if I could take their pictures.

Some people would look at you, others are camera shy and will look away but I think that adds to the picture. It's something that I enjoy doing.

"Hopefully, I will try and do something more like this again."

Moving away from photography, Birkenhead-born Nigel Leslie creates multimedia masterpieces.

Wirral Globe:

One of Nigel's pieces available to buy at TAG

A former pupil of Birkenhead School, Nigel qualified as a barrister in 1994 but now works in the mental health sector.

He told the Globe: "I found out about the gallery through friends. I thought it was very well organised and it has a real friendly, community feel.

"It's open to all types of art, making it easily accessible to people in Birkenhead.

"While I was studying I met Pulp who were my friends while at University in Sheffield and Damien Hirst and Blur who I met when Pulp were signed up and became popular.

"I work various styles/collage with paint/multimedia artwork and take influence from the likes of David Bowie, Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), film, life experiences.

"Merseyside has always been the most creative place in the country and it still is.

"I think sometimes the organisations around us doesn't tend to appreciate it as much as they should.

"Merseyside authorities should embrace this with funding and commissions for local artists.

"If cultural regeneration in Wirral is serious and genuine, councils and large businesses should be prioritising the artists themselves as opposed to the organisations who make their living from the work of the artists."

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/tateailsegallery or email info@tateaisle.co.uk