Art in Liverpool Magazine, issue #10, December 2018

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Issue #10 - December 2018 News, Reviews & What’s On. Your monthly update on visual art in the Liverpool City Region

Cover image: (detail) Tiger Tiger, by mÄ Harel, at The Liverpool & Knowsley Book Art exhibition: Frankenstein 2018

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Art in Liverpool magazine is a monthly newspaper promoting visual art across the Liverpool City Region.

Art in Liverpool, issue #10, December 2018

Published by Art in Liverpool C.I.C. and written by contributions from our partners, supporters and most importantly, volunteer writers, who add a unique voice to arts writing in the UK, thinking differently about what actually matters to people visiting galleries. With issue #1 published in March 2018 we’ve got a lot of growing to do, and if you want to be part of that, get in touch: Equally, we’re here to support galleries and creative spaces, so make sure to keep us up to date about your events at least two weeks in advance of each issue. If you’d like even more of a presence in the magazine we have advertising available every month, and take bookings well in advance. For details on pricing and deadlines contact Patrick:

issue #10, December 2018 Editor: Patrick Kirk-Smith Contributors: Kathryn Wainwright, Joanie Magill, Julia Johnson, Louise Emily

Advertising, sponsorship, distribution, stocking & event enquiries should be sent to Art in Liverpool C.I.C. Company No. 10871320

Broken Symmetries, 2018, at FACT now. Photo credit, Julia Johnson

It’s been a pretty big year for Art in Liverpool, given that this time last year this newspaper didn’t exist, and we’d just started discussions about hosting the Independents Biennial. Twelve months later we’ve produced a four month festival and ten issues of Liverpool’s only dedicated visual art magazine, hired our first ever staff member(s), handed out eight commissions to artists, worked with over one hundred galleries, hosted exhibitions in seventy four of them, reopened Liverpool’s oldest department store for the dedicated use of visual art, and received our first ever grant from Arts Council England. But now it’s Christmas, my tree’s gone up (I know it’s early, shut up) and I’m off to see Home Alone 2 at Woolton in a couple of weeks. December is always one of those months where art quietens down a bit. Exhibitions are all open, so there’s no excuse not to head to the big galleries to see their final shows of the year, but not many new things are opening. It gives us time to reflect on our own year,

as well as a big year for Liverpool and the rest of the region. Did you know, the busiest ever exhibition in the city happened this year? Terracotta Warriors of course. Also, did you know that the Giants had a bigger audience than any other event in Liverpool’s history? Or, how about the fact that Independents Biennial & Lost Castles were the first events to take place across the entire Liverpool City Region? I’m not going to try and evaluate what that means, I just know I’m proud that Art in Liverpool was part of it, and made up that the network of galleries around the region got involved. St Helens stormed the field this year too, with their 150 programme & Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture title. Titles aside, Heart of Glass, who brought it all together transformed how we see the potential of art in day-to-day life and society. ANU Productions literally used the town as a stage [feature follows], and next week [8th December] the town hall hosts a spectacular light show to bring the whole

borough together. Following 2018’s going to be pretty hard, and I don’t envy 2019 for that at all, but without the Capital of Culture reflections, or Biennials, or Terracotta Warriors, or Giants, it means it has the potential to be a year of propulsion for local artists (for artists, the end of this month’s paper has a guide to some of the key things to apply for in 2019, and a few useful things to get involved with). The annual festivals fill up the calendar with a few more back at their best with extra funding, and year’s out planning for 2019. But I’ll not go on about that, that’s next months issue.

Nandi Bhebhe in TORCH by ANU Productions

Rarely heard voices;

how the women of St Helens provoked a performance that defined an entire year. Nervously fidgeting with a box of ink in my pocket for an hour spent in a terraced house in St Helens was not how I expected to react to ANU Productions’ latest show, TORCH. But that’s where I ended up, trying to grasp stories I had no relationship to, while trying incredibly hard not to get overwhelmed by the stories of the women and girls of St Helens through its 150 year history. Stood in the cold glass pod of St Helens Central, waiting for the performance to start, a young black woman approached, and asked for money. 20p. She heads over to the vending machine with it and frustratedly fails to retrieve a coffee. A few moments afterwards, having turned our attentions back to waiting for the show to start, another woman approaches, frantic, fearful and with a badge around her neck. She is a case worker of some description, asking if we’ve seen a young black woman, and if we might be able to identify her. Accompanying her outside, with a nervous look back at where the show is due to

start (and a few more to make sure we’ve not been left behind by the group), I am wondering what help we could possibly be in identifying her client – do you call women needing support clients? I’m not sure. But a vulnerable woman has gone missing in St Helens, and we have to help it seems. Now we’re being asked to get into a car, as the woman is suspected to have boarded a train which we need to catch up with. It is at this moment I realise the performance has started, already nervous, already trying to anticipate the next step – but equally doubting my current instinct and wondering if I’m actually helping someone in need right now; whether this car is simply doing what it’s saying and chasing a vulnerable and impressionable young woman (played by Nandi Bhebhe) to get her back in the care of a responsible guardian (Niamh McCann). Anyway. We pull up to an unnumbered terraced house, with its lights off, in the hope that somehow she has made it back here.

She hasn’t, but by this point we’re invested in this story. Terrified of the fate we might hear of later that day. So we stand as the fuse box is sorted out. Until a door slams from behind me and the story takes another turn.

“a vulnerable woman has gone missing in St Helens, and we have to help it seems” A war time woman (Etta Fusi), left behind, begins the rest of proceedings by separating the group. I am dragged off to a bombed bedroom, with light flooding in through fallen curtains, while a woman, full of joy, but equally struggling to contain overwhelming fear and sadness, tells me about her day and what led to it. ‘Idle women they call us,’ she laughs,

images, courtesy of Heart of Glass & ANU Productions

Sonia Hughes in TORCH by ANU Productions

frantically. They’ve been working on the canals, the women who are strong enough, able to build and maintain. Playing men’s roles while their husbands are away. Wearing their husbands’ clothes, hiding from their day-to-day selves. Her dayto-day self is a tea room hostess at the Hippodrome (we’ll get there later).

It’s not until after this, led back to the living room, that I realise more members of the audience have arrived. Have they had the same story told to them? Or is there more to this than I can understand at this moment? So there I was, witnessing one of the most enthralling performances I’d ever seen,

second guessing what was happening. Or trying to. Part of me wishes I’d asked for more of a briefing beforehand, so I knew what to expect. I could have sat through it and calmly analysed what was happening. But why on earth would I want that? Why would I want anything other than the confusing back foot I was on as a male audience member in an all-femaleproduction. Had TORCH played out any differently for me it wouldn’t have worked. From start to finish, my pulse was racing, reflecting the emotion of the performers – mostly fear. Not fear like you get in response to a scary film, but fear like you get when something is about to go wholeheartedly and very personally wrong for you. The kind of fear made mostly of empathy I think. Because I don’t understand what is going on. I have never been a wife finding a calling in the absence of a husband, while the world expects me to hold a station. I have never been a mother separated from her daughter, or a daughter separated from her mother. I have never been barred from seeing my own children, or forced to move out of my home because of the actions of the man I trust. And I have never been a woman. So I don’t understand and it fills me with a very unique nervousness. I don’t understand what I am watching and hearing, but it seems like an untold story that I might never have the opportunity to hear again, and have certainly never heard before. So, with the nervousness still pulsing in the very front of my head, we walk from the terraced house to the hippodrome,

Etta Fusi in TORCH by ANU Productions

where the idle woman from earlier works. Her day job. We hear more about her role here, and what I suppose is the front she puts on her life. And as she leaves, we meet Theo (Sonia Hughes) Who slips in and out of character, with tea leaf readings, and stories of her meal out the other week. It brings us gently back down to earth, and means we complete the event with an open and undirected conversation. An opportunity we embrace as an audience. TORCH was part of St Helens 150, one of the last parts in fact. A year examining the fraught and colourful history of an industrial town, without putting anything on any pedestals. The St Helens 150 events were accompanied by the status of Borough of Culture, a new label assigned annually to the six boroughs in the Liverpool City Region. I doubt any other borough will look so critically at itself, or try to right as many wrongs. As I sit on the train home, I take the fresh box of hp 302 printer ink out of my pocket to find the wrappings completely shredded. I’ve torn it to bits with nervous fingers throughout this immersive, encompassing, story. -Words, Patrick Kirk-Smith


Liverpool arts organisations launch groundbreaking charter for working with children and vulnerable adults

Joseph Szkodzinski, Keith Haring Drawing Series

Arts and cultural organisations from across Liverpool have joined forces at the Everyman Theatre to launch a groundbreaking charter, pledge, set of standards, resources and training for those working with children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Tate Liverpool present the first UK Keith Haring show in 2019 Tate Liverpool presents the first major exhibition in the UK of American artist Keith Haring (1958–1990). Keith Haring, 14 June – 10 November 2019, brings together more than 85 works exploring a broad range of the artist’s practice including large-scale drawings and paintings, most of which have never been seen in the UK. Haring was a unique presence in 1980s New York, playing a key role in his generation’s counterculture and creating an immediately recognisable style. Best known for his iconic motifs, such as barking dogs, crawling babies and flying saucers, Haring’s work was politically charged and motivated by activism. As an openly gay man, Haring’s work as an AIDS activist and educator remains his most essential legacy. Elsewhere, he responded to equally critical and relevant issues, contributing to nuclear disarmament campaigns, creating a famed Crack is Wack mural, and designing antiapartheid posters. Haring expanded on wide-ranging legacies and influences from abstract expressionism, pop art, and Chinese calligraphy, to the work of New York graffiti artists. His singular, seemingly spontaneous style, was animated by the energies of his era; from space travel and robotics to video games. The exhibition evokes the style and spirit of the time in rarely seen archival documents, video and photographs while

Haring’s immersive ‘black light’ installation from 1982 presents fluorescent works under UV light accompanied by hip-hop music. Dedicated to the creation of a truly public art that would reach the widest possible audience, Haring commented: ‘I remember most clearly an afternoon of drawing… All kinds of people would stop and look at the huge drawing and many were eager to comment on their feelings toward it. This was the first time I realised how many people could enjoy art if they were given the chance. These were not the people I saw in the museums or in the galleries but a cross-section of humanity that cut across all boundaries.’ He frequently collaborated with Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat who shared his desire to unite high art and popular culture. The exhibition also sheds light on the performative nature of Haring’s work, from his live chalk drawings on the New York subway to working with artist and photographer Tseng Kwong Chi who documented Haring’s practice. Haring also collaborated with Madonna, Grace Jones, Vivienne Westwood, and Malcolm McLaren, making sets and designs for videos and performances. Helen Legg, Director, Tate Liverpool said, ‘Keith Haring and Liverpool have much in

common. They’re both politically engaged with a history of activism, a strong sense of social justice and a love of music and fashion. Tate Liverpool is proud to be bringing this major exhibition and reassessment of Keith Haring to the city.’ Keith Haring’s career was brief, and on 16 February 1990 he died of AIDS-related complications at the age of 31. Haring expressed universal concepts of birth, death, love, sex, war and compassion to create a body of work that remains as relevant today as it was when it was made. Keith Haring is curated by Darren Pih, Curator, Exhibitions & Displays, and Tamar Hemmes, Assistant Curator, Tate Liverpool. It is realised in collaboration with Tate Liverpool, the Keith Haring Foundation and in partnership with BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts Brussels, and Museum Folkwang, Essen. The exhibition will tour to BOZAR (5 December 2019 to 19 April 2020) and Museum Folkwang (22 May to 06 September 2020).

The new charter is the culmination of many months work aimed at supporting organisations from the arts and culture sector who work with some of the most vulnerable in society and is led by an Inclusion Task Team from the Liverpool Cultural Education Partnership. Organisations involved include: Liverpool Children’s Services; Schools Improvement Liverpool; Culture Liverpool; Liverpool Arts Regeneration Consortium (LARC); Creative Organisations of Liverpool (COoL); National Museums Liverpool; Resonate Music Hub; University of Liverpool; Curious Minds (Arts Council’s Bridge organisation for the North West) and Arts Council England North West. In reaching out to engage more children, young people and vulnerable adults with the arts, the partnership highlighted the need to ensure safeguarding was a priority for organisations. The work focused on practices already taking place in the schools sector, to create a bespoke approach to safeguarding for arts and cultural organisations, alongside Phil Cooper from Schools Improvement Liverpool. The standards for arts and cultural organisations working with young people cover safeguarding policies, procedures, roles and responsibilities, training requirements and quality assurance. Organisations can work to the standards to validate their best practice alongside a signed charter and pledge. These are designed to bring practice in-line with social and education sectors to increase the number and range of young people signposted and supported into arts and cultural activity.

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Spectacular light show to round off St Helens’ 150th anniversary celebrations and Borough of Culture A dazzling light projection made up of 200,000 lumens of light, 8 supersized projectors and over 100,000 images will bring the town hall to life on the 8th of December, rounding off the 150th anniversary celebrations and St Helens as Borough of Culture.

The piece has been inspired by St Helens’ past, present and future. Internationally renowned multi-media artist Simon McKeown has worked with BuzzHub St Helens Coalition of Disabled People over the past months to create the work which will feature their ideas and designs.

Created by artist Simon Mckeown with BuzzHub St Helens CDP and commissioned by Heart of Glass, as part of St Helens 150, in partnership with DaDaFest, it will offer the chance to see St Helens Town Hall like it’s never been seen before.

A FREE family friendly event aimed at all ages, We Are Still Here will culminate the 150 anniversary celebrations and St Helens as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture.

Using high tech projection mapping technology, the artwork called “We Are Still Here” – will transform the building’s Victorian facade, with a riot of colour, moving image and sound.

There will be a schools’ lanterns trail leading people from the town centre to the town hall. This has been created by local school children who have been working with Heart of Glass, as well as colourful street performers and festive food and drink.

Inside the town hall there will be an exhibition of work by the BuzzHub group and the screening of an animation about St Helens made by local community groups who have been working with animation studio Twin Vision. The animation follows the story of an imagination of a boy from St Helens as he reimagines his home town with amazing results! Simon Mckeown is an award winning internationally exhibiting artist renowned for his work which touches on and considers disability as well as our digital futures. BuzzHub St Helens CDP enables adults with support needs to lead happy, active and independent lives. -8th December 2018, St Helens Town Hall

Walker Art Gallery launches new family programme to aid language development The Walker Art Gallery is set to launch a new learning programme specially designed to support language and literacy development in 0-7 year olds. The programme, called Storywalkers, aims to tackle concerning levels of language and literacy learning among early years children in the Liverpool City Region. Storywalkers will present a range of different sessions, many of which will run on a weekly basis, often using the Walker’s world class artworks as a tool for learning and development. The sessions are free of charge and are designed for parents

and carers to bring their children to. Storywalkers responds to research carried out in 2016-17, published by the charity Beanstalk. Findings revealed that 58% of children starting primary school in England are already behind in their reading. In relation to children leaving primary school, 34% are unable to read to the required level. In Liverpool, this rises to 40% of children. storywalkers


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World Premiere artwork by Turner Prize Holder Lubaina Himid unveiled in Liverpool

Threshold Festival Celebrates Arts Council Success

Ahead of their 2019 event taking place on March 29-30 in venues across the creative quarter of Liverpool, Threshold Festivals CIC are delighted to announce that they have been successful in their ‘Grants for the Arts’, Arts Council funding bid. Lubaina Himid’s new series – “Random Coincidence” – comes in response to a week she spent inside The Guardian as a “ghost” artist in residence – with access at the highest editorial level, to observe how that publication thinks, works and decides to present news. The access offered to Lubaina as part of this experiment was totally unprecedented for The Guardian, or any UK news outlet. Lubaina spent time with editorial staff at all levels to understand the process by which the news agenda is shaped and disseminated at a global news outlet. Her interest was based in a personal, cultural critique of the news media, and in this instance the newspaper she reads; The Guardian, via the lens of race and the depiction of black people in the news. As part of her Turner Prize award, Lubaina painted over pages of The Guardian and critiqued it fiercely for its depictions and presentations of black people. Her critique appears to have hardened and deepened – both in relation to the Guardian, and the wider news media. “Random Coincidence” was unveiled by the artist on 23 November at Liverpool Central Library. Lubaina Himid said: “The Random Coincidence Project is about reflection and taking care Journalists at the Guardian are putting information, investigation and analysis out there and everyday we readers think about their work talk to each other about whether we agree and act upon it wherever we can. This is not a fight between an artist and a news organisation it’s a collaborative multi

level conversation about clarity, fairness and the future of how we can communicate more effectively.” RRU News Editor Mark Donne said: “In terms of how black and BAME people are depicted as part of our daily news cycle and our wider societal engines, this is a truly fascinating experiment – both in relation to a liberal title such as The Guardian, and the wider news media in general. It took and is taking extraordinary courage & good will on the part of the Guardian and indeed on Lubaina’s, who confessed to feeling “outnumbered”.

The annual festival of music and arts, is heading into it’s ninth consecutive year in the Baltic Triangle district of the city, and according to co-founder and festival producer Chris Herstad Carney, the timing of this funding win could not be better. “We have had mixed success in funding bids over the years and I think it’s important that people know what a difference a grant can make to the future of a large event. We’re incredibly grateful to Arts Council England for recognising the work we do. Without this funding, we couldn’t have put on the festival we wanted to put on.”

“Voice of Brexit Britain” Coldwar Steve to unveil first ever public work in Liverpool City Square. The satirist, an almost overnight twitter sensation – described by author Jon Savage as “a modern Hogarth or Gillray” has produced a new, huge scale visual landscape of the UK news media, titled “The Fourth Estate”. The piece will be unveiled in Williamson Square, Liverpool on 09/11/18. The billboard will be similar in tone to the iconic twitter feed “McFadden’s Coldwar” but will include many “characters” the public may not be quite so familiar with: the owners and influencers of the UK news media. To this end, an outline index will detail those identities. The piece was commissioned by RRU News a unique year long cultural experiment designed to interpret, create and challenge how we look at news.

-The work is on display from 09.00 – 20.00 every day from 23 November – 7 December

Sally Tallant appointed as Executive Director of Queens Museum in New York The Board of Queens Museum in New York announced today the appointment of Sally Tallant as its new Executive Director. She will take up her appointment in Spring 2019. Sally Tallant, curator, educator and artistic director, is currently Director of Liverpool Biennial. She worked as a curator at the Hayward Gallery in London in 1999 and was appointed Head of Programmes at the Serpentine Gallery in 2001. Over the next ten years, she developed and delivered an integrated programme of exhibitions, education, projects and innovative public programmes for the Gallery. In 2011, she was appointed Artistic Director and CEO of Liverpool Biennial, the UK’s largest international festival of contemporary art, where she has created a pioneering model of a Biennial underpinned by research and education, with a year-round programme of permanent and temporary public art commissions including the Dazzle Ships series and Ugo Rondinone’s Liverpool Mountain. She has overseen four editions of the Liverpool Biennial and has commissioned more than 180 international artists’ projects and largescale performances, working closely with the city’s major arts organisations including Tate Liverpool, National Museums Liverpool and Culture Liverpool as well as museums and cultural institutions internationally.

Review: Broken Symmetries Particle physics: undoubtedly astounding, yet frequently utterly bewildering. It’s one thing to understand that CERN exists to conduct experiments, quite another to fully grasp the consequences of the theories they are working with. It is this space between common sense and comprehension that is explored in Broken Symmetries. You sense that the ten featured artists have all worked with CERN with a similar sense of awe, and a desire to comprehend. Together, these interpretations of their experiences create a show that feels compassionate. These are works which embrace the boundaries of understanding as a challenge, a wonder in their own right. The introduction into Gallery 1 sets the scene nicely. Juan Cortes’ Supralunar invites the viewer to place their skull against conductors which amplify the artwork’s sounds, but only to you, creating a unique perception. Looking up in a return to the real world, you’re met by Semiconductor’s film The View from Nowhere, exploring the mechanics and perspectives of life at CERN. The comments offer intrigue and comfort in the knowledge that it’s not only us lay people who don’t understand precisely what they’re looking for - that in fact, even the smartest minds don’t know what

they’re looking for until it appears. It seems that to discover the nature of the universe you not only have to be smart, but also willing to accept the limits of your knowledge.

STRIKE - and in spite of her reference to “loopy mysticism” - she sympathises with our need to search for a purpose to and explanation for the unknowable.

“works which embrace the boundaries of understanding as a challenge”

What, then, of the the results of all these investigations: how can we comprehend the application of CERN’s work to the life we know? This is where Yunchul Kim’s Cascade shines, as an intricately detailed system that creates an object of wonder. The detection of the elementary particles known as muons - detected within CERN’s collision experiments sets off a process of light and movement which inevitably sparks curiosity. More than just an array of interrelated sculptures these pieces draw us into intrigue, compelling us to look closer and discover how they work. It’s what Broken Symmetries achieves as an exhibition, too. Rather than confusing the wonder of science, it creates a space to accept and wonder at how just baffling the fundamental nature of the universe can be.

Consequently, Broken Symmetries also reflects the human need to come up with systems to make sense of the incomprehensibility of how the world works. It’s not just in physical formulae: language and art are also placed in this category up in Gallery Two. The holographic principle, explored in Suzanne Treister’s The Holographic Universe Theory of Art History, is probably the deepest the show wades into the theories which may redefine everything we know about the known universe. Dealing with such enormous challenges to the apparent laws that we live by, the archives of art history are reflected to us as humanity’s consistent, passionate attempts to make sense of experience. And when Lea Porsager offers us a quasispiritual interpretation of a neutrino’s path in CØSMIC

-Broken Symmetries, FACT, until March 3 2019 Words & pictures, Julia Johnson

Interview: Martin O’Brien, on Until the Last Breath is Breathed and making work about living with cystic fibrosis

Martin O’Brien is a live artist known for long durational solo performances which are concerned with physical endurance, hardship and excess. His work is informed by his lived experience of cystic fibrosis, a condition which creates a build-up of thick sticky mucus in the lungs, digestive system and other organs which affects the rest of the body and shortens life expectancy. O’Brien’s practice explores what it means to be born with a life-threatening illness and speaks to the politics of illness and medicine within our contemporary situation. Joanie Magill spoke to Martin at the launch of his exhibition, Until the Last Breath is Breathed, a video installation premiered as part of DaDaFest International 2018 at St George’s Hall. JM You are known for your live work. This video installation is based on a performance signalling a significant age for you, can you talk about it? MO’B Yes, the whole idea is that my life expectancy is 30 - for cystic fibrosis. For 30 hours leading up to my 30th birthday, so midnight as I turned 30, I spent 30 hours doing a performance in an old morgue in South East London. It was me and my friend who’s a film maker and I performed one action on the hour every hour, so the piece is made of 30 different actions. All the performances were pieces to camera. There was no live audience and the idea was that I would document this

moment of turning, what I conceive as, the zombie years, so as I turned into a zombie. That’s what the installation was – a three screen installation documenting those 30 different actions. Many of them are solo, some of them are collaborative. One of the things I did in the lead up to it was to invite different friends who were artists, people who I’ve collaborated with before, to come for one of the hours and suggest what they might want to do as a collaboration. There’s some stuff where I am on my own and some where I am with one other person, an artist, who has come and done something to me. You use the term ‘zombie years’. How does this concept influence your practice now? So this happened a year and a half ago, August 2017, when I turned 30. For me it was an interesting point because I felt it was also the culmination of my work up until then. All my work had been about living with this disease and moving towards death and this point in the future. Doing this work, some of the stuff I was doing was recreating old works and elements of old works. Some of it was completely new but it felt like this bringing together ten years of work. There was a point of ‘oh, where do I go now? What happens?’ It was a point to reassess and rethink and the idea that emerged was this thing of the zombie years. It was that moment post thinking of the moment of death, of living this weird kind of death or having a different relationship with it where death is no longer this thing in the future that I’m moving towards, but somehow

inside me.

‘oh, where do I go now? What happens?’ So conceptually things changed a little, but also it just sort of spun me around a little bit in thinking ‘what do I do with work, do I just continue as normal?’. I sort of have, I’ve had some old works, but I haven’t made anything new since I’ve filmed it. We’ve been working on the film and the edits since then so I haven’t made any properly-new piece of work since then. So now I’m thinking about the next piece I’ll make next year and what is that gong to be. You need time to get your head around what it all means?

Yeah, I think so and I think that’s what I’ve been doing from working through this video footage and thinking of it also as part of that process. I do now have this commission which can take place over a five-year period and I’m wondering what that might be. How do I sit in relation to that now? Now that this show has opened, it feels like a weight is off me, actually, because this is the thing that I’ve been carrying around for the last year and I really wanted to show it in the right context, so I was really happy that I could do it here as part of DaDaFest. Why was it important to be part of DaDaFest? Well, I first did it two years ago. The last work was a collaboration with a friend, Sheree Rose, and we made work together for that piece which was a 24 hour performance.

You’ve talked about your work being an act of resistance to your illness. How does it give you agency? I see performance as the only place where I have total agency. When you have a chronic illness, you are always submitting somehow to medicine to stay alive or to illness itself if something happens. It rips away your ownership of your own body. So performance to me is the place where I can be sick in the way I want to be sick, or I can use medicine in the way I want to use it and I can aesthetisise medicine. I have total control over that space. So part of the politics for me is that it is a space of agency.

Review: Fernand Léger at Tate Liverpool

Is there a boundary between the personal and political in your work? They completely overlap I think. It is like that old feminist slogan, ‘the personal is political’. I think it is relevant to this kind of work too. That idea that if you are sick you are automatically in a political situation. You can’t not be political if you’ve got a chronic illness, because of the kinds of ways in which your time is managed, because of the kind of relationships you’re always situated in. You’re automatically political if you are sick or disabled and this kind of work is kind of embracing that or talking about it. Marina Abramovic talks about using survival energy in her durational performance. How do you view survival in relation to your work? I think endurance work is sort of about survival. Endurance, you define it as surviving through something, persisting through something. It’s like an act of survival, so I do see work as that kind of claiming of agency but also as this emphatic statement of presence and survival. I think that it’s both talking about survival through the use of endurance and as a metaphor, but also an act celebrating survival at the same time. And the absence of an audience and the absence of you in this particular piece, what impact does it have on the work?

And I guess there are a couple of reasons. One I worked with fantastic people last time, also I think the politics are really important. That idea of the disability arts movement is an interesting one, particularly with DaDaFest which will programme more difficult work. I really don’t do much in the disability arts world, not because I don’t want to, but I don’t know if my work is too challenging. DaDaFest has this mix of different kinds of work and an emphasis on difficult work. I think with illness and death, it’s hard to talk about it, and it seems to me completely pointless to try and make it clean and pretty. So to actually bring or allow a dirtier or kind of difficult practice of work is really important.

My body has always been so important in the work, so it’s about my body. I’ve always thought the body has to be there present in the room, so for me this is a shift in thinking about what could video allow that live performance can’t. How can it look at the body, think about the body, do something with the body in a way that live performance would restrict? What’s the possibility of this form, and that’s something to work with, so I think my body is present in a different way and it’s thinking about how the body gets used through this form and how to work with it in this form.

Léger’s early work is really fairly disappointing to see. Le Jardin de ma mère, painted as he left college, show no personality, and nothing unique. It is a slightly sellable but unaccomplished impressionist work that benefitted little from any of his education. Thankfully, this work isn’t on display at Tate Liverpool. This display carries his development forwards from just before the outbreak of WW1, to his death in 1955. A time when he had been decidedly influenced by Cezanne and Picasso, where cubism entered his work. Still a relatively unoriginal painter for most of his career but with some promise, it wasn’t until the 1930’s when the style of Fernand Leger as we remember him was discovered. One of many fuses that sparked pop art, this later figurative-cubism has become entirely iconic. But for me, it’s not that these works are outstanding in their own right, its that they are so clearly the work of an artist who spent his career striving to be an artist, never quite having confidence in his own voice. As he matured, his work did with him, gaining a more natural energy, and a more

honest style that kept his influences on the surface. The result is a career that accidentally charts the first half of the 20th Century’s movements in European art through the work of one artist, whose nervousness of his own ability meant he continually copied, mimicked and took more than a little influence from his peers. This latest exhibition is therefore one of the clearest charts from impressionism to pop-art you might ever see, and without wanting to spoil the ending, an exhibition that proves Léger’s style came late. The latest works on show being the first of their kind, and the start of a style that led to the creation of countless other works by countless other artists on display in other galleries at Tate Liverpool. Context is as important to this retrospective as anything, making it an exhibition that you either reflect on, or learn from. Whether you go into it with an established knowledge of Léger, his peers, and his influences, or not, you’ll come out of it knowing something you didn’t at first, and perhaps thinking differently about an artist you assumed you understood. -At Tate Liverpool until 29 March 2019 Words, Patrick Kirk-Smith

-Until the Last Breath is Breathed runs at St George’s Hall until 8 December. Interview & image by Joanie Magill Tate Liverpool, Fernand Léger: New Times, New Pleasures. images courtesy of Tate Liverpool

Life is really one Precious gift Review of Wake Up Together at Open Eye Gallery Large portraits hang in the first room, by Robin Hammond, with the bubbling sound of people’s voices. Stories from real people. Each portrait hung is striking, loud and strong. The people in them look at you, the viewer is in their home and I feel as though we must listen to what they have to say. I must listen to their unimaginable story about ‘Where Love is Illegal’. Mingled smooth bodies stretch and wrap around each other in the next space, blending into one, blending into nature and blending in the scenery of urban China. Showing an insight into the mind of one of the most understated photographers of our time, Ren Hang. ‘Wake Up Together’ combines two striking exhibitions Ren Hang and Where Love is Illegal. Both fighting for a space in the world to exist as themselves without the fear of hate, shame, jail or even death. Open Eye’s opening description describes the exhibition perfectly “Two bodies of work pushing for the right to exist in our own skin on our own terms”. Our. Own. Terms. The most important message of the exhibition. That we, as a society, learn that “our own terms” is what matters, who we wish to love and to be is no one else’s business than our own. It is

our human right to love and be anything, something we still do not fully understand in Britain today. Ren Hang was born on the 30th of March 1987 in a suburb of Changchung, Nong’ An. The capital of the province of Jilin also known as the “Detroit of China”. Hang loved his hometown but left to study advertising in Beijing at the age of seventeen. Due to “boredom” Hang bought a point and shoot camera and began to take photos of his friends. Described as an “unlikely rebel” he battled with his own country for creative freedom but was loved by the rest of the world. He fought for Chinese people to be naked and not embarrassed, to stop sexualising a body and treating it as porn (as the Chinese authorities did). Nudity through his eyes showed the true form of a person “…I feel the real existence of people through their naked bodies” (Ren Hang). Suffering with depression coupled with the fear of shaming his family due to his homosexuality Hang wrote small poems on his blog to try and explain it; “Life is really one Precious gift But sometimes I feel that It has been given to the wrong person”

Though obviously depressed, Hang’s work has an explosion of life from people, plants and animals. A lot of his pieces contain strong spouts of one colour, usually red or blue. The others usually on a white background with the contrast of the model’s dark black hair.

“Stop for a moment and get lost in someone else.” The bright, large photographs, though striking were not the ones to catch my eye. The one that did was a very foggy and subdued photograph. The photograph was only around 30cm by 20cm and depicts a couple kissing. One, the male leaning forward to kiss the other person who could be a male or female. The second person is bending backwards, lifting their head up to the sky and locks into a kiss with the first person. The two people look as though they are one, in a photo so dark they appear almost like a silhouette with the sunrise coming up over a dense city. This photograph has a huge feeling of calmness, the feeling of when everyone else is asleep but you are awake. Space is created in the mind where you feel it is okay to stop. Stop for a moment and get lost in someone else. Unaware of the incredible talent he possessed, Ren Hang sadly took his own life

Left: Where Love is Illegal, Robin Hammond, 2018, at Open Eye Gallery. Image credit: Scott Charlesworth

on February 24, 2017 I initially went to the exhibition too see the work of Ren Hang, I had never heard of Robin Hammond but as I looked around the gallery at his photographs and ideas, I was blown away. Each photograph is so unique to each person or couple, so beautifully delicate but strong. One image especially of two Russian women, D and O. One gazing into the camera making unmissable eye contact and the other looking away creates the beautiful bond and feel of never letting go. Unsurprisingly this image was used on the Open Eye Gallery website, the image so pure and simple allowing the exact message of how love can be so complex and dangerous in other countries but with the strong interlocking of the hands has this simplicity of “I will not let go”. The photograph I fell in love with though was “Jessie, Lebanon”. It’s her eyes. Dark, unashamed but venerable eyes. Her position is almost animalistic, like a leopard ready to attack its prey, this must be what it is like when your sexuality, or gender is illegal. You must constantly be ready to defend and protect yourself, never releasing the guard you have built up. It made me understand how much stronger these people must be, how much more resilient they are to me. The world these people come from is unimaginable and my ignorance shone through. There are two reasons why I am drawn to Hammond’s work, the first was that the people in the photographs could decide how they presented themselves. Allowing them freedom to show their story of survival physically and creatively. Which is why the photography probably feels so fresh and diverse; there is not one specific

Above & top right: Ren Hang, 2018 at Open Eye Gallery. Image credit: Scott Charlesworth

style, just as there is not one specific human. Secondly the hand-written stories. I dislike a lot of writing in galleries because most people spend 90% of the time reading what an art work means rather than interoperating it for themselves. In my eyes it’s like when you read a book, you have all the characters in your head your own unique world and interpretation of that story. Then the movie comes out and all we can see is the celebrity and our own characters have vanished. However, these hand-written stories, in the persons own language were genius. The connection to the person intensified suddenly. I began to take more photos of the letters because the hand writing was like art, I couldn’t understand most of them, but the person felt even closer. In 72 countries there are laws discriminating against LGBTQI+ people. In Britain it’s hard to imagine. We are not perfect by any means and still discrimination exists for out LGBTQI+ community but it is heart breaking that in 2018 people are hiding who they are, and people are being lost due to pressures by society telling them that they are wrong. If anything, this exhibition is the kick our society needs to make our voices louder, our protest signs bigger and our Pride flags brighter. Fighting not only for our LGBTQI+ community but for the rest of the world’s too. -Displayed at The Open Eye Gallery, from the 15th of November 2018 to the 17th of February 2019 Words, Louise Emily

Review: Knowsley Book Art Liverpool Book Art�s graduation, 2018 Earlier this year, the Hornby Room at Liverpool Central Library hosted Frankenstein 2018, a celebration of 200 years since the first publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The exhibition worked in the grandeur of the space, reflecting the history of the building through the work it showed – all book art. In September, the annual exhibition usually reserved for Central Library moved to Kirkby in a sort of second coming. And what a re-hang. Liverpool Book Art, the group led by Simon Ryder, who coordinates the exhibitions & Liverpool Book Art Fair, thoroughly changed their approach in this new space at Kirkby Library, which also hosts Knowsley’s main gallery. In the white space, the work stood out as art and completely shifted my expectations on entering. The library, a new-build, is immediately influential as you’re no longer approaching the exhibition as something focussed on the format of ‘book’, and you are given the opportunity to see book art in the light of ‘art’. No longer in cabinets surrounded by book shelves, but up on walls in full view, in stands that enable interaction and views through the paper cuts to the rest of the show. This feels like a graduation in many ways, proving how engaging the disjointed medium can be, in all its variety. Far from the book making of my second year in university, gluing bound covers to concertina books, or running waxed strings through roughly aligned pages, this exhibition is

about craft as much as it is about Frankenstein.

other than the One Stop.

A good trigger goes a long way in exhibitions that have craft at their heart. The subject, Mary Shelley’s now 200 year old novel, leads viewers through a review of sorts. Each artist has their own commentary on the monstrous tale, meaning that behind the delicacy of paper craft is something to learn.

Because of that, and because Kirkby Gallery is such an important resource to the borough, schools engagement, and audience participation in the exhibition, is critical to maintaining standards, and interest in what is going on there.

Book art might seem something of a niche avenue to take as an artist, but it’s by far one of the most rewarding, spending time with paper, the most basic and most essential material, setting out to create something than mustn’t deviate from the plan. You can’t make any mistakes with book art, it’s an unforgiving world, so to see as many artists represented in this exhibition, all having produced jaw droppingly intricate work is captivating.

“no longer focussed on the format of ‘book’, you see book art in the light of ‘art’.” One of the defining differences between the Liverpool exhibition and the Knowsley one, has been the ability to get involved. I’ve been in a few times now – to both – and the new exhibition has always had school groups sat around the gallery creating new work. The situation at Knowsley is very different to Liverpool Central Library though. The first exhibition was held in a venue where passing traffic was a given, with an existing tourist footfall, as well as being the biggest and most used library in the region. The second is probably the main reason to visit the building in Kirkby,

It’s a must do exhibition rather than a must see. Head to Kirkby before the end of January, sit yourself at a desk in the gallery, and learn to create incredible things. The Liverpool & Knowsley Book Art Exhibition: Frankenstein 2018 continues at Kirkby Gallery until 26 January 2019 Kirkby Gallery, Kirkby Centre, Norwich Way, Kirkby, L32 8XY Words, Patrick Kirk-Smith

Review: Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho, News from Nowhere

Sci-fi, filmed here in Liverpool, opens up a window on the future as Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho tour their ongoing News From Nowhere film project to the city. Shadowed by the major new Fernand Leger exhibition, the ground floor installation at Tate Liverpool might not hit the headlines, but will probably be the exhibition visitors leave the gallery talking about. Understated in its own way, the central film explores the future of civilisation with art as a strict narrative focus. The artists call it fable, but there is far more fact than fiction in these imagined stories that use the streets of Liverpool as their backdrop. The commodification of art has long been talked of as a problem, but the point put across is that that commodity is potentially what will outlast the value of thought that went into it. In an apocalyptic vision of world culture, where humanity continues to exist, but history and documents of what went before have been forgotten, the potential to forget what led to some of the most significant creations in human history is really quite scary. The value of Art is so reliant on historical context, and the exchange of information. If that information goes away, art is very separate from craft, and could easily be entirely devalued. The artists’ own opinion on art is maybe not the best place to defend it from either. They seem to have quite an open relationship with their audience in their doubt of arts value. Questioning it at all poses that risk – if you ask your audience what the value of art is, they will inevitably place that question on the work that provoked the question.

Moon Kyungwon and Jeon JoonhoEl Fin del Mundo (The End of the World) 2012. Courtesy of the artists and Gallery Hyundai

Which leaves us with a fairly simple task; answer: what is the value of News From Nowhere? Well it’s not the most confident film, or the most accomplished, and parts of it are actually quite clumsy, but the vulnerability of that makes it easier to engage with its central subject. There is an honest and human side to the film – forgetting the rest of the installation – that is easy to listen to, and relate to.

“The artists call it fable, but there is far more fact than fiction in these imagined stories”

An affinity with the film’s subject is built before even watching it though. Knowing that what you’re going in to is in fact selfdoubting, and really quite normal means that when you walk away, you’re separating yourself from quite a trusting bond, not with the artists, but with their work. It would be a shame if there was an apocalypse and art was suddenly valued entirely objectively.

-at Tate Liverpool until 17 March 2019 Words, Kathryn Wainwright


Broken Symmetries FACT, 22 Nov - 3 Dec A new international exhibition premiering at FACT, Liverpool, Broken Symmetries, brings together artists who aim to understand and question the physical world by navigating the shifting realities of modern science

Current Exhibitions Jonathon Beaver: Taut Fibre Moss Bank Library, 15 Nov – 15 Dec Jonathon Beaver is an embroiderer, animator and arts educator based in Liverpool. He began working with needlepoint at the age of nine, encouraged by an auntie. He uses this traditional craft, often used to mark family occasions and decorate homes, to evoke queer family

Jade Montserrat: Instituting Care Bluecoat, 17 Nov – 10 Mar At Bluecoat the artist will transform the gallery walls with huge charcoal wall drawings as part of a wider installation. The drawings are comprised of quotations and responses to key texts on decolonisation and decolonising knowledge

Leo Fitzmaurice: Between You and Me and Everything Else Walker Art Gallery, 29 Sep – 17 Mar An assembly of portraits at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery as part of a new exhibition, which asks visitors to look twice at what might, at first, seem familiar

Collection, which returns for the third in an annual series of local art -Broken Symmetries FACT, 22 Nov - 3 Dec A new international exhibition premiering at FACT, Liverpool, Broken Symmetries, brings together artists who aim to understand and question the physical world by navigating the shifting realities of modern science --

-A Little Painting Show Arena Studios & Gallery, 28 Nov - 14 Dec A little exhibition of little paintings by some artists from Liverpool and some from other places --


-Wake Up Together Open Eye Gallery, 16 Nov – 17 Feb A photography exhibition championing the rights of every person to love who they want and respectfully live as they wish

-Monochrome Bluecoat Display Centre, 17 Nov – 12 Jan A mixed media exhibition that explores the work of makers who use one colour. Artists use mark making, contrasting surfaces, textures and shades to allow the artistic process to take precedence

The Liverpool & Knowsley Book Art exhibition: Frankenstein 2018 Kirkby Gallery, 26 Sep – 26 Jan The theme of the exhibition marks 200 years since the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was published --

Joshua Henderson and Veronica Watson: Studio Me Bluecoat, 17 Nov – 10 Mar For Studio Me Joshua Henderson and Veronica Watson, who have developed their practice as members of Blue Room, Bluecoat’s inclusive arts programme, embark on their first studio residency

The Provincial Grand Orange Lodge of Liverpool Museum of Liverpool, 28 Sep – 28 Sep A new community display at the Museum of Liverpool explores the history of the Orange Lodge in Liverpool from 28 September 2018

-Radical Womyn’s Dance Party: Against Immigration Detention OUTPUT Gallery, 29 Nov – 2 Dec This series of talks and workshops concerns the conditions faced by those detained in ‘Immigration Removal Centres’ or other facilities

-The Echoes of Life Bombed Out Church, 23 Nov – 31 Jan a collaboration between visitors to the Bombed out Church (St Lukes) and the people from the Liverpool Waves of Hope project who have direct experience of homelessness, addiction, mental ill health, or the criminal justice system

Quentin Blake and John Yeoman: 50 Years of Children’s Books Lady Lever Art Gallery, 19 Oct – 3 Mar It was Yeoman who first persuaded Quentin to try his hand at children’s illustration in 1960. The result – A Drink of Water – sparked their artistic relationship that has lasted for more than half a century



-Scissors Paper and Paint Rathbone Studio and Gallery, 17 Nov – 26 Jan Features abstract work by Marie McGowan and June Lornie’s textural mixed media pastiche pieces --

The Art Schools of North West England Bluecoat, 17 Nov – 10 Mar An exhibition of photographs and texts documenting 30 historic sites of art education

The Liverpool Collection dot-art, 23 Nov – 12 Jan dot-art Gallery is celebrating the festive season with exhibition The Liverpool

Double Fantasy – John & Yoko Museum of Liverpool, 18 May – 22 Apr An exhibition of John and Yoko’s story in their own words

RIBA Sterling Prize Exhibition 2018 RIBA North, 16 Nov – 23 Feb An exhibition at RIBA North providing a glimpse of the six schemes shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2018


Find FULL listings and events information at

Op Art in Focus Tate Liverpool, 21 Jul – 2 Jun Op art – short for optical art – emerged in the 1960s. Its leading figures included Bridget Riley, Jesus Rafael Soto and Victor Vasarely

Frank Hampson – The Man who drew Dan Dare The Atkinson, 15 Sep – 16 Mar Frank Hampson created ‘Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future’ in 1950, as the front page strip ‘that sold the Eagle’



Ideas Depot Tate Liverpool, 12 Oct – 21 Jul A dynamic display of artworks chosen for primary school children to be enjoyed by everyone

Threesome The Gallery Liverpool, 4 Nov – 2 Dec Threesome is a collaborative exhibition about the creative relationship of three renowned lesbian painters Sadie Lee, Roxana Halls and Sarah Jane Moon


Jade Montserrat: Instituting Care Bluecoat, 17 Nov – 10 Mar At Bluecoat the artist will transform the gallery walls with huge charcoal wall drawings as part of a wider installation. The drawings are comprised of quotations and responses to key texts on decolonisation and decolonising knowledge

Ugo Rondinone: Liverpool Mountain Tate Liverpool, permanent Liverpool Mountain will be Swiss-artist Ugo Rondinone’s first public artwork in the UK and the first of its kind in Europe

--Fernand Léger Tate Liverpool, 23 Nov – 17 Mar Regarded as a forerunner of pop art, Fernand Léger (1881–1955) was key figure of international modernity. This retrospective of more than 50 of his works, many rarely seen in the UK, will show Léger’s iconic paintings, alongside important films such as Ballet Mécanique 1924 -Artist Rooms: Alex Katz Tate Liverpool, 23 Nov – 17 Mar Alex Katz (born 1927) is highly recognisable and admired by a younger generation of artists and the public -Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho: News from Nowhere Tate Liverpool, 23 Nov – 17 Mar See Liverpool through the eyes of a man who has travelled through space and time to arrive in the city on the eve of the apocalypse -The Art of Noise The Atkinson, 8 Sep – 16 Mar Listening to music inspired by visual art, The Art of Noise exhibition invites visitors to explore how music alters the way they look at art --

Fernand Léger Tate Liverpool, 23 Nov – 17 Mar Regarded as a forerunner of pop art, Fernand Léger (1881–1955) was key figure of international modernity. This retrospective of more than 50 of his works, many rarely seen in the UK, will show Léger’s iconic paintings, alongside important films such as Ballet Mécanique 1924

Pen, Pencil, Mouse and Etching Point The World of Glass, 10 Nov – 4 Jan Limited edition prints by Vincent Kelly

Jasmir Creed – Dystopias Victoria Gallery & Museum, 17 Nov – 21 Apr A new exhibition expressing alienation and disorientation in the modern city -Leo Fitzmaurice: Between You and Me and Everything Else Walker Art Gallery, 29 Sep – 17 Mar An assembly of portraits at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery as part of a new exhibition, which asks visitors to look twice at what might, at first, seem familiar


Southport: Double Take (Old Southport Through a Modern Lens) The Atkinson, 8 Dec – 1 Dec Local photographer Matt Dodd has blended historical photographs of Southport with images from the present to give a unique window into the past

Exhibitions Blue Room at Ten Bluecoat, 1 Dec – 10 Mar Bluecoat’s inclusive arts project celebrates ten years of creativity with an exhibition created for the anniversary. Inspired by images from the project’s extensive photographic archive -Mister Finch Bluecoat Display Centre, 1 – 31 Dec “Flowers, insects and birds really fascinate me with their amazing life cycles an extraordinary nests and behaviour.”

Southport: Double Take (Old Southport Through a Modern Lens) The Atkinson, 8 Dec – 1 Dec Local photographer Matt Dodd has blended historical photographs of Southport with images from the present to give a unique window into the past

Michael Lacey OUTPUT Gallery, 6 – 16 Dec Liverpool artist and musician Michael Lacey returns to OUTPUT to present a new series of works in collage. These atmospheric and absorbing pieces continue the artist’s decade-long exploration of the ruins of a fictional civilisation, depicting scenes and landscapes rich in detail and personal symbolism

-Images of the Liverpool Blitz Quaker Meeting House, 20 Dec – 29 Jan An exhibition of paintings and Indian ink drawings by Jan Sear --

-Michael Lacey OUTPUT Gallery, 6 – 16 Dec Liverpool artist and musician Michael Lacey returns to OUTPUT to present a new series of works in collage. These atmospheric and absorbing pieces continue the artist’s decade-long exploration of the ruins of a fictional civilisation, depicting scenes and landscapes rich in detail and personal symbolism

The Offy OUTPUT Gallery, 20 Dec – 23 Dec The Offy is a collaborative project by Gregory Herbert and Linny Venables that sells one-offs and limited edition merch at affordable prices

-Becka Griffin: Skylines Bold Street Coffee, 7 Dec – 29 Jan A special exhibition celebrates the relaunch of Bold Street’s favourite coffee shop, and local artist Becka Griffin’s much loved collection of pen and ink drawings of various cityscapes --

Blue Room at Ten Bluecoat, 1 Dec – 10 Mar Bluecoat’s inclusive arts project celebrates ten years of creativity with an exhibition created for the anniversary. Inspired by images from the project’s extensive photographic archive


Find FULL listings and events information at

We Are Still Here St Helens Town Hall, 8 Dec, 7pm Join us for the finale of the 150 anniversary celebrations. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see St Helens Town Hall like you’ve never seen it before – transformed by a magical audio visual spectacle

Talks, Tours & Performance fs presents A Reading Group with Freya Dooley Crown Building Studios, 1 Dec, 1-3pm Following her spoken-word performance ‘The Host’, join Freya Dooley for an informal reading group loosely titled ‘Why we write / Who we cite’* -Blue Room: The Journey Bluecoat, 1 Dec, 2-3:30pm Meet members of Blue Room, staff and associated artists to discover how this unique project began, and future plans -National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) Launch Bluecoat, 3 Dec, 2-4pm NDACA is collecting the heritage story of the Disability Arts Movement, in which a group of disabled people and their allies broke barriers, helped change the law and made great art and culture about those struggles

Peacock and Manchester-based artist Gideon Vass whilst birdwatching in a Liverpool park on 17 September 2018

fs presents Thoughts on the air become words in print Crown Building Studios, 4 Dec, 6:30pm The inaugural book published by CBS and Penny Blue Books documents a conversation lasting 3 hours 15 minutes between the artist, CBS Director Liam Peacock and Manchester-based artist Gideon Vass whilst birdwatching in a Liverpool park on 17 September 2018

-Culture Club OUTPUT Gallery, every Wednesday Open to everyone to discuss culture, which might include films, music, TV, art, podcasts, fashion or whatever it is we find interesting. Each week, we’ll look at something different and you can influence what that is. Just come along and suggest something! -fs presents SOFT SHELL HARD CORE Crown Building Studios, 7 Dec, 6:30pm An audiovisual performance by Dylan Spencer-Davidson as part of ‘Reading Week’ at CBS. The artist, alone with their laptop as if in their bedroom, compiles intimate texts from a variety of highly personal sources --

-fs presents Thoughts on the air become words in print Crown Building Studios, 4 Dec, 6:30pm The inaugural book published by CBS and Penny Blue Books documents a conversation lasting 3 hours 15 minutes between the artist, CBS Director Liam

fs presents A Reading Group with Freya Dooley Crown Building Studios, 1 Dec, 1-3pm Following her spoken-word performance ‘The Host’, join Freya Dooley for an informal reading group loosely titled ‘Why we write / Who we cite’*

2018 Wrap Party, St Helens 150 The Citadel, 13 Dec, all day A wrap party like no other. Music, dance, dramatic turns celebrating the creative energy that courses through the lifeblood of St Helens

WHAT’S ON > COMING Classes & Workshops

Festive Book Art Workshop: Christmas Trees Metquater, 1 Dec, 12-2pm Local book artist Kate Bufton will show you how to transform the pages of an old book to create your very own Christmas tree, perfect for your home or as a unqiue gift this festive season


fs presents A Reading Group with Freya Dooley Crown Building Studios, 1 Dec, 1-3pm Following her spoken-word performance ‘The Host’, join Freya Dooley for an informal reading group loosely titled ‘Why we write / Who we cite’*

Talks, Tours & Performance (continued) We Are Still Here St Helens Town Hall, 8 Dec, 7pm Join us for the finale of the 150 anniversary celebrations. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see St Helens Town Hall like you’ve never seen it before – transformed by a magical audio visual spectacle

Sharing and Networking Event Liverpool Philharmonic, 14 Dec, 10:30am Sharing event, aimed at arts organisations, to discover how Liverpool Philharmonic is increasing and sustaining traditionally hard to reach audiences

Modern Embroidery Workshop: Embroider and Monogram a Handkerchief Lifestyle Collective, 4 Dec, 7-9pm Join professional textile and embroidery artist Sorrell Kerrison in a great workshop for beginners -Modern Embroidery Workshop: Create a Floral Wreath Hoop Lifestyle Collective, 6 Dec, 7-9pm Have you seen the wonderful floral embroidery hoops on the internet but don’t know where to begin to make your own? --

-fs presents Slide Night Crown Building Studios, 9 Dec, 5-8pm a nomadic slide projector performance evening hosted by Thomas Whittle as part of ‘Reading Week’ at CBS -2018 Wrap Party, St Helens 150 The Citadel, 13 Dec, all day A wrap party like no other. Music, dance, dramatic turns celebrating the creative energy that courses through the lifeblood of St Helens --

Pottery Workshop Mon Ceramics, 8 Dec, 10am-3pm (monthly) Aimed at giving you the technique and confidence to harness your creativity and make something you are proud of


Find FULL listings and events information at

Make Your Own Christmas Wrapping Metquarter, 8 Dec, 12-3pm Join artist and printmaker Laura-Kate Draws and make your own Christmas wrapping in this festive lino print workshop Draw it in December Kirkby Gallery, 13 Dec-19 Dec, 10am-2:30pm FREE artist-led drawing workshops in December at Kirkby Gallery. Led by artist Gill Cowley, these 1.5 hour workshops will offer a burst of inspiration using tips, techniques and drawing exercises

-Poetry in Motion Tate Liverpool (Tate Exchange), 27 Dec – 5 Jan Create your own poem using the inspiration of the poetry of dance, flight, travel and physical endeavour

dot-art: Festive Feltmaking Bluecoat Chambers, 9 Dec, 11:30am-5pm Learn how to do wet feltmaking and develop your skills with textiles. Perfect for the complete beginner or those more advanced who want to have a day of festive creativity using textiles

Talking about your work (Artist Professional Development) Beechams Gallery, 11 Dec, 10am-4pm Talking about your work is the second workshop in a series of six practical artist professional development sessions for artists working within socially engaged practice, hosted by Heart of Glass in collaboration with Mark Devereux Projects

Christmas to do list:

The annuals you shouldn’t be afraid of:

Up your game in 2019. There’s already all sorts of opportunities out there for local artists. You might have missed your chance to apply for the directorship of FACT or Liverpool Biennial, and 2018 saw leadership changes at Tate Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool, but 2019 holds opportunities for artists like no other year. Here’s our guide for the applications to spend Christmas on, and the chances you might have missed this year. It’s very condensed list though, so keep an eye out on for the latest news and opportunities for artists. The out of towns: • CreArt 2019 programme: Liverpool will never quite leave the EU. The ongoing partnerships with CreArt cities mean there are regular residencies in mainland Europe to get stuck into. Always worth an application as there are plenty of new opportunities popping up all the time. • AND Festival: Not in Liverpool, but one of the most exciting contemporary art events of the year in the UK giving a huge boost to artists from the North of England. Find the latest opportunities here

• LightNight: 2019’s festival put out their call a while ago. The commission strand has closed, but artists with exceptional ideas will still be considered as part of the festival if you apply by 21st January. The theme of the one-night-only festival next year is Ritual. • DaDaFest: Keep up to date with their website www. to be the first to hear about opportunities. One of the most important international festivals to focus on disability. • Liverpool Arab Arts Festival: Always an incredible event, covering various venues and getting to the heart of local communities. is the website to keep your eye on. • Threshold: Having just received a boost for 2019 with new Arts Council funding, Threshold Festival, the annual multi-arts weekend in the Baltic Triangle is already on the lookout for artists: • Homotopia: Liverpool’s annual LGBT+ arts festival. Hands down the most out there, self-assured, multi-disciplinary event. Every November. As 2018’s festival comes to an end in December, what better time to think about getting involved in next year? www. • Physical Fest: Run by Tmesis Theatre, this month of physical performance is one of the energetic events in the North West calendar. Anyone engaged in live art should have their applications for the open call in January. • Independents Biennial 2020: We’re keeping our cards close to our chests with this one, but keep an eye on Art in Liverpool, or join our mailing list to be the first to hear announcements in 2019 for 2020.

The residencies:

The networks:

• Metal’s Time & Space programme: Every year Metal’s three sites (including Edge Hill Station) offer 24 artists the opportunity to access their venues to develop new work, with the support and expertise of their team.

• Liverpool Artist Network: The must have newsletter subscription for Liverpool’s artists. If you’re not at Liverpool Artist Network’s quarterly meetings you must have a seriously good excuse. The perfect place to get a project started, pitch an idea to potential collaborators, or find advice from a room full of artists with answers. Sign up to the newsletter here: www.

• FACT: In partnership with the European Media Art Platform, FACT invites residency applications from artists dealing working in digital media. You’ll have to be quick to get this one though, as the deadline is 3rd December… • Open Eye Gallery: Open Source is a rolling submissionbased open call, giving developing and early-career artists the opportunity to showcase their work digitally on the gallery’s exterior screen. • Tate Exchange: More for organisations than artists, the 1st floor space at Tate Liverpool gives time and space for ideas to develop and engage with members of the public. An incredible opportunity within one of the biggest gallery organisations in the world. • AA2A (Artist Access to Art schools): Annual opportunity, usually announced in early summer, for graduate artists to apply for the unrestricted use of university facilities. • Independents Biennial: Not to go on about it or anything, but seriously, keep an eye on for opportunities coming up in 2019.

• Culture Club (OUTPUT): A new addition, but a significant one. OUTPUT have developed a fairly hard line on supporting local artists, and their Culture Club is a must if you’re wanting to meet like minded artists who want to reach the next stage of their career. • CVAN NW (VAiL): Another one that might be more beneficial for organisations, but open to artists too. Head to www. to find out about the benefits of active participation in this local network with a national voice.

And seriously, if you’ve never applied for anything like this before because you’re worried it’s for artists more established than yourself, forget it. These opportunities are for everyone. Apply. What’s the worst that can happen? You get some feedback saying that it’s not the right opportunity for you, but accompanied by a list of things the organisers think might be more appropriate – that can surely only be a good thing? So doth your thinking cap, get the laptop out, and dust off your CV. 2019 should be a time of change, and December is the perfect time to prepare yourself, and get ready for those upcoming application windows.


For up more details on all opportunities, including links on how to apply, head to To send us details on jobs or opportunities for artists, email


Office Coordinator – Liverpool World Centre This is an exciting opportunity for someone how loves organising, has a good eye for detail and is passionate about social justice. DEADLINE: 6th December 2018 -Evaluation Consultant, British Commercial Vehicle Museum, Leyland The British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland has recently undergone a major capital redevelopment. It now requires an individual or a company with a proven track record of producing and delivering successful evaluation frameworks. DEADLINE: 7th December 2018 -Exhibitions & Collections Technical Coordinator, Lakeland Arts The Exhibitions and Collections Technical Coordinator (E&CTC) is responsible for the care and coordination of Lakeland Arts collection and artistic programme. DEADLINE: 10th December 2018 -Director, Full Time – MDI Merseyside Dance Initiative (MDI) is a strategic, dance development organisation situated in Liverpool. We develop dance as an art form and as transformational community practice. DEADLINE: 3rd December 2018 --

Content Editor – Tate Liverpool This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced communicator with a passion for promoting public involvement in the arts to work at one of the largest galleries of modern and contemporary art outside London. DEADLINE: 2nd December 2018 --

CALLS 18th Knowsley Open Art Exhibition The next exhibition in Kirkby Gallery will be the 18th annual Knowsley Open Art Exhibition, where artists of all ages who live, work, study or volunteer in Knowsley come together to exhibit their 2D artwork in a salon-hang style visual extravaganza! DEADLINE: 11th January 2019 -CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #2 CuratorSpace have launched a new bursary for artists to develop new artworks, projects, or products. We encourage applications that are imaginative and contribute to artist development. One bursary of £500 will be awarded every 3 months. DEADLINE: 30th December 2018 -OPEN CALL: Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2019 The fifth anniversary of the internationally successful Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize is open for entries. The prize is open to

artists working across all genres, styles and backgrounds. DEADLINE: 10th February 2019 -Open Eye Gallery, Open Source Open Source is a rolling submission-based open call, giving developing and earlycareer artists the opportunity to showcase their work digitally on the gallery’s exterior screen. A new photographer will show for the duration of a month, every month. DEADLINE: rolling -Be part of LightNight 2019 LightNight is the city’s free one-night arts festival, shining a spotlight on Liverpool and celebrating the world class cultural offer in the region. Over 100 organisations collaborate annually to create an inspiring trail of events for a diverse audience of around 15,000 people. This open call has two strands: in-kind programming and late openings, and paid artist commissions (funding dependent). DEADLINE: 21st January 2019 -The Atkinson, The Landing Space: Exhibition opportunities The Landing gallery is a wonderful selling space within The Atkinson. Well-lit and offering a variety of display opportunities it can be found at the top of a magnificent Victorian staircase, which brings visitors up to the performance spaces of the theatre and studio as well as the display spaces of the gallery. DEADLINE: rolling

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