Art in Liverpool Magazine, issue #3, May 2018

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Issue #3 - May 2018 News, Reviews & What’s On. Your monthly update on visual art in the Liverpool City Region

Cover image: Edgelands, Emilie Taylor © Emilie Taylor. part of Edgelands at Williamson Art Gallery & Museum

Williamson Open

Della Robbia Collection

Portraits of people of Oxton

Slatey Road, Birkenhead, CH43 4UE 0151 666 3537 Open Wednesday to Sunday 10am until 5pm

Cafe, art supply shop, book shop and gift shop

Workshops with independent craftspeople and artists

Adult art classes and drop in family art sessions

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

Art in Liverpool, issue #2, April 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 #2, April 2018 Contributers Writers: Moira Leonard, Carol Emmas, Julia Johnson, Kirsten Hawkins, Samantha Browne Guest publication: Messy Lines Editor & Layout: Patrick Kirk-Smith

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

Jerboa by Brian Fell, The McKeown Rice Exhibition Space (2017-2018). Image © Tony Knox

The Jerboa is due to leave soon, and we’re not quite sure when. The McKeown Rice Exhibition Space rotates every six months (ish), curated by Castle Fine Art Foundry & Baltic Creative, and that should, in theory, mean that Liverpool is getting a new public work in the Baltic Triangle very soon. so ahead of this issue, in anticipation of having to say a sad goodbye to one of our favourite public sculptures, we’re glad that Tony Knox managed to get this incredible image during last month’s Threshold Festival.

LightNight comes back year on year with evenings of entertainment and art that pass by as quickly as they arrive, and objects come and go as they please.

Looking forward, we’re entering into a month of a very mixed bag of public art. From Light Night to Granby Gardening Club, May looks like a quietly significant month.

It’s a conversation and story that artists invest in, as part of their work exists because the city works for it. And that’s part of how public art has begun to take away the ordinary barriers on Merseyside.

Dementia Connect, part of FACT’s 15th birthday celebrations last month, showcased the importance working between arts, culture and health when trying to understand the needs of people living with dementia.

So mournfully we’ll start saying goodbye to our friendly Jerboa, knowing that its replacement is part of an ongoing push to keep public art in the interest of the public.

And even our guest publication this month, Messy Lines, finds herself looking for answers to big questions on her own reason for writing.


So welcome to this very reflective issue of Art in Liverpool magazine:

But what has public art actually done in Liverpool? What’s its plan? I’m sure I can’t be the only one whose day brightens up when I see Snowflake, the Peter Blake ferry, or one of the Biennial busses, surely. It’s that intuitive joy that comes from breaking from the norm. That’s public art to me. But it doesn’t always work. Remnants of old festivals still lay dormant around the streets of Liverpool. Murals written over, sculptures losing their impact over time. Those examples are few, but they do exist. The solution seems to be coming though. Liverpool Biennial are creating living, lasting spaces as part of 2018’s festival,

The new Resilience Garden being built in Toxteth with Biennial artist Mohamed Bourouissa is a big part of that legacy of public work working for the public with a lasting effect. There are details on how to get involved in this open access garden project inside.

If you haven’t gathered, this issue is full of reviews and previews of ongoing work towards creating a more accessible and beneficial space to experience visual art. From reshaping the world of news, to the practical benefits of the arts in understanding some of the major challenges of the human condition. One thing that bringing together this issue has taught me is how sincere artists are

when they talk about instigating change. From huge questions of tackling dementia, to little acts of conversation. Our cover image is one of the most heartfelt stories of understanding life outside our own bubble, and reflecting on the truths of people we too often dismiss when we pass them in the news. And one of our features this month is on RRU, a project set up to respond to the day’s news throughout 2018.

“I’ve lived away from big cities my whole life, and I haven’t ever felt disconnected. You learn to live with your surroundings. There are positives to being isolated, but when things go wrong, the whole world seems to know about it. I was recently with a student who was studying here, but living in Liverpool, and his experience of edgelands was more about his own sense of self than about his phsyical space. Having grown up in Romania he felt more isolated than I ever have, looking all the time for connections. I’ve been lucky in that respect, always being connected to people around me, even if I am disconnected from the city. Edgelands is more about reflecting on emotional isolation, rather than anything physical. to me anyway.” Adam Walton

“I am from a seaside town outside of Edinburgh and my Edgelands were not the beach but an ex-petrol station that was reverting to nature where we would play or walk along its low walls to get to school, and a wood that backed onto the cul-de-sac I lived on that was in front of the municipal tip, we would play as a gang of kids of all ages making huts and weaving seating on discarded chairs out of rubbish. The group included children of all ages but all from the same street.” Alison Bailey Smith

“Honestly, I loved living out of town. I grew up wanting to get stuck in to city life (the grass is always greener) but now I’m in the city I long for the creativity you needed to get by outside it” A. Beesley

“Having worked in Toxteth, Liverpool between 1971 and 1988, my experience of Edgelands comes from the people I met and events I experienced in the school classroom and community. Toxteth at that time was a highly multi-cultural area with many explosive incidents between gangs involving many of the girls I taught. Whilst the pupils, growing up in that area were balanced and loved growing up there, there were a few who had experiences of Edgelands themselves. One incident I remember was an eleven year old creating a painting by making a pattern using her hands as a template. The initial drawing was fine. It was when she began painting the hands in tones of red that she suddenly screamed. As I gently calmed her down she explained that she had witnessed her mother stabbed in bed by a boyfriend: the girl sleeping with the mother. The girl was on the "edge" of being back at that time by re-creating the incident in the class-room. There are more incidents like this as my pupils went through school life living day to day, hand to mouth, on the edge of violence, mental and/or physical abuse: the Edgeland of place and people.” Anne Bridge-Davies

Colin Simpson, on the Williamson’s first aquistion in recent history In selecting the first craft acquisition from the Contemporary Art Society for some years, we were seeking something that related closely to the Williamson Art Gallery’s collections, giving an automatic toe-in for visitors to interpret contemporary work. The combination of traditional technique, contemporary subject matter and classic storytelling was one that covers so many bases, it was difficult to resist. The key element from our point of view was that Emilie is a ceramicist using the ancient sgraffito technique which was the principal means of decoration for the Della Robbia Pottery, Birkenhead’s contribution to the Arts & Crafts movement. She creates

scenes that bring alive modern life, they are decorative but with a back story that is there if you want it.

The fact that Emilie was a student in Liverpool, giving a direct local connection, was a bonus, and the inclusion in her work of decorative scrolling leaf/flower patterns around the neck of each vase gives an additional link to the patterns of William Morris and his circle, leading us once more back to the Della Robbia Pottery.

Emilie’s work displays beauty, accomplishment and depth, resonating on a local level but telling a universal story.


Words, Colin M Simpson Principal Museums Officer, Wirral Museums Service

What is your experience of living on Edgelands?

Artists and readers respond to the latest major exhibition at Williamson Art Gallery & Museum:


The funny thing about Edgelands is that when you’re in them, you don’t really notice.

space you grow in to and that never really leaves.

Emilie Taylor’s experience is more reflective than my own, but it opened my eyes to a new perspective. I didn’t grow up in an Edgeland, I grew up in a wellconnected part of Liverpool, a quick train to the city centre, with all sorts to do just around the corner. I migrated to one after university though.

That’s what makes this exhibition of commissioned ceramics so relatable though; that you can find a small piece of your own history in there, no matter where you’re from.

In Kensington I felt part of a community, but also very disconnected from another much larger community. I lived in a slightly dilapidated but wonderful house, looking out on to rows of other slightly dilapidated but wonderful houses. At the end of every road was a newsagent that seemed to serve just the ten homes closest to it, and a small piece of grass that residents claimed as their own. An odd but sustainable bubble that didn’t feel isolated until I left. No, Kensington isn’t a traditional edgeland, it’s not a post-industrial offshoot of a metropolitan centre, but it felt in many ways the same, a slightly forgotten space that built its own walls. It’s the sort of

speak to you. For me it spoke of self, and how you define an identity in a space where identity can largely be defined by that space.

But there is a darker reality to these vases, one that looks at the modern history of these outskirts that sit on the edges of towns and cities around the country. The spark that lit the fire in Emilie Taylor to begin this series flew from the Rotherham and Rochdale grooming scandals.

That’s what I used to see out of my window in Kensington, children running around, finding space to play, defining their own land with no idea it might be an edgeland, looking up to their parents with awe and building a protection around that which locked anyone passing through out. That inward facing vision of society is one that probably defines most cities too, and perhaps why there feels such a divide in this region too.

Taylor’s own experience working in frontline mental health services gave her firsthand experience of some of these stories, the ones which went untold, so wanted to celebrate the reality of the experience of young girls in these towns. The stories behind those stories that make up what we all feel about our childhood homes, where kids want to play, wherever they are.

I live in Knowsley now, and it’s peaceful, but for anyone visiting from where I grew up it’s the sticks. I love it here and I wouldn’t ever consider it an edgeland, but there are spaces here that fit the descriptive imagery of Emilie Taylor’s ceramics, and I’m sure if I ever leave here, I might look back on it as an edge, but for now I only know it as my home.

No matter what your experience of Edgelands, this is an exhibition that will

Rapid Response Unit, giving artists control of the news The mind of an artist and the mind of a journalist are surprisingly similar things. Both want to respond to everything they see, and both hope to be paid for their interpretation. In a dumbed down manner, that sums up the Rapid Response Unit, a new news room in Liverpool run and written by artists, to try and bring news back down to earth. It’s not the first time artists have responded to current affairs (if it was we may as well all just give up and go home) but it’s the first time artists have been given a full news room for a year-long project to dismantle the world around us and tell it how (they think) it is. The beauty of the work coming out of their offices is how quickly it is able to manifest in the real world. Cut ups of the day’s headlines, before they’re printed, published around the walls of St John’s Shopping Centre, or torn up into animations left to circulate around twitter. It’s the way the news works now; hear something, tell it your way, hope the world cares. Last month, Jeremy Deller got involved, handing out notes to the public in Liverpool and London, on how to delete your Facebook account. The Turner Prize winner’s intervention ended up making a

national noise, with Private Eye dedicating a cartoon to it.

the barriers of contemporary art and link it into the day-to-day.

“telling us how (they think) it is”

Part of Liverpool 2018, a programme of boundary pushing contemporary art coordinated by Culture Liverpool, RRU could have easily got lost in the noise of 2018, but picking up pace rather than slowing down seems to be working for them, with new artists joining their team for residencies on a seemingly non-stop basis.

The speed of response is the key, not simply hearing something and making it but having a platform to make something and have it heard by others. The possibility of reaching people and holding their attention through RRU could have a permanent effect on how people engage with the arts, and how they understand the creative process. Going beyond the gallery and reaching out to people as peers gives RRU the chance to take away

-To keep up to date on the news follow @RRUnews Words, Patrick Kirk-Smith

‘Book art’ means many things to many people, but what does it mean to a book artist? In 2015 there was an email circulated between local artists, asking us to head to a meeting at Liverpool Central Library for the first meeting of North West Book Artists. This was the start of a movement which is gathering momentum constantly, founded and led by Marilyn Tippet. Having exhibited book art internationally, Tippet is a rare breed, making a career out of something she adores doing. It’s an easy art form to love though, especially if you’re the one with your hands on the paper. Book art transcends the restraints of most mediums, never really fitting into any category other than its own. You can create book art sculptures, but they are first and foremost books. You can create book art books, but they are first and foremost art. It’s a path you can only take if you’re happy blurring lines, and one that can be incredibly rewarding if you do.

“making book art has its practical benefits too” Talking to the artist ahead of her next showcase (part of Liverpool Book Art Fair 2018) it was clear that for most, herself included, making book art has practical benefits too. As much as we might like to dream of Louvre-like walls filling our homes, it’s neither affordable nor achievable. For art collectors, book art is a brilliant place to start buying, and for artists it’s a perfect place to start selling. Tippet has drawers full of old work, bursting to be seen and to be sold, but its work that was never intended for a drawer, or a shelf. Books fold and, mostly, so does book art. Punctuating my own book shelves are various masterpieces that get brought out occasionally, which is exactly what they were made to do. They weren’t created as wall mounted things that fill your home, but as books that can be brought out when you need. That integration with ordinary books is fascinating too, not simply the craft of creating the delicate work, but the understanding and honesty to the pages it fills. Tippet’s first exhibition of book art was at Cardiff Library, her next will be at Liverpool Central Library. These displays fill places where it helps us to think about books a little differently, not just things you read and dismiss, but things you explore, interpret and actually take part in.

Liverpool Book Art Fair 2018 fits that bill perfectly, not just with its place in the library, but each chapter of its story, evolving as it moves to Kirkby Gallery in September. Simon Ryder, the force behind the exhibition and fair, was one of the first to guide Tippet towards a wider network of

artists when she moved to Merseyside, so there’s a symmetry to her part in this year’s exhibition. This year the fair and accompanying exhibition are based around the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,

one of the most iconic books ever written; a fact not lost on the artists this year, who have all taken the themes of the novel and turned it into something physical, and tangible, with their own unique spin on the classic. For Marilyn Tippet though, there wasn’t an immediate connection, but in her own blunt words:

“Frankenstein has never been a favourite of mine, but the alternative title, The Modern Prometheus, sparked much research and a little bit of off the wall thinking.” I can’t wait to see the off the wall thinking when this exhibition opens on 14th May, not just form Tippet but from every artist and maker who has tried in their way to bring Frankenstein and his monster to life once more. -Frankenstein 2018 opens at Liverpool Central Library on 14th May - 17th August Words, Patrick Kirk-Smith

NEWS FACT, Open Eye Gallery and National Museums Liverpool receive Arts Council Funding for Project Celebrating Over 60s Three major Liverpool institutions have been successful in receiving £100k funding from Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation for a new 3-year initiative to make creative spaces more welcoming for older adults. Art.Full is a Liverpool City Region-wide arts programme which positions older people as active producers and decision makers in their own creative journey. Through a partnership between FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Open Eye Gallery and Happy Older People (led by National Museums Liverpool) the project will form a peer-led creative community for older adults, with the ability to shape the city’s cultural offer.

Jane Beardsworth, Director North, Arts Council England, said: “Art.Full is a great illustration of why we developed our Celebrating Age programme. Engagement in creative projects is a great way to combat social isolation and increase community involvement. It will give people who are over 60 across Merseyside the opportunity to determine their own creative journeys. I’m delighted that we have funded this project and I look forward to seeing how it develops.” Each partner has a key role to play: FACT will create a programme designed to attract older audiences to the gallery, to develop a better understanding of what accessibility means. At Open Eye Gallery, in collaboration

with key partners, curators will work with older people across Merseyside to demystify the commissioning process by co-authoring new artworks.

open, positive and welcoming places for older people.

Meanwhile, HOP will work to engage older people in Liverpool’s wider cultural offer, creating a long-lasting, impactful legacy to improve engagement with over 60s. The programme will also support other cultural spaces and organisations to become more


60 artworks to be exhibited as the Prize celebrates its 60th year jurors. This year’s jurors include artists Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Lubaina Himid MBE, Bruce McLean and Liu Xiaodong, and curator Jenni Lomax. The names of the artists remain anonymous throughout the judging process. From Amazon parcel collection lockers to Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, subjects depicted within the selected paintings are wide-ranging. Vibrant abstracts will be exhibited alongside highly finished, meticulously detailed works; united in their mutual use of paint as a medium.

Panchal, Shanti, 2017, The Divide, Beyond Reasoning

The Walker Art Gallery has announced the 60 artists whose paintings will feature in the John Moores Painting Prize 2018 exhibition, marking 60 years of the UK’s longest-established painting prize. The free exhibition will be held at the Walker from 14 July to 18 November, showing as part of Liverpool Biennial 2018. Paintings were selected from more than 2,700 entries by an esteemed panel of

Some of this year’s artists have experimented with an inventive range of materials. Aluminium, silk, cardboard and even compostable food recycling bags are utilised in place of conventional canvases. Meanwhile, found objects, coins and felt pen are among the materials used in addition to paint. Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool, said: “The 2018 exhibition will be a particularly significant one. For 60 years, the Prize has enabled the Walker to showcase and acquire work by a truly remarkable

selection of contemporary artists, and this year will be no exception. “Self taught artists, art tutors, recent graduates and established artists are all represented, together providing a fascinating insight into what’s inspiring artists in the UK right now. Visitors will no doubt recognise the names of some talented past exhibitors, as well as discovering a host of exciting new names.” The jury will select a final shortlist of five paintings, from which the £25,000 first prizewinning work will be chosen and four additional prizes of £2,500 will be awarded. Visitors to the exhibition will also be invited to vote for their favourite painting to win the popular Visitors’ Choice Award, sponsored by Rathbones. The winning artist will receive £2,018. The full shortlist is available at www.

Jeong, Seungjo, 2017, Interface L3

LightNight Liverpool, the city’s one-night arts festival, is back on Friday 18 May LightNight Liverpool, the city’s one-night arts festival, is back on Friday 18 May 2018. With seven new commissions from artists alongside 100+ free events at venues and unusual spaces across the city, the annual “culture crawl” celebrates arts and culture, ten years on from Liverpool’s title of 2008 European Capital of Culture. For 2018 the festival theme is Transformation. Understood as a significant change in both people and place, transformation is happening all around us; visible and invisible, turbulent and political, personal and emotional. Produced by social enterprise Open Culture – who are also behind Tickle the Ivories and the Winter and Summer Arts Markets – LightNight Liverpool is in its ninth year. It showcases the creative lifeblood of Liverpool, presenting new and

ambitious commissions alongside free events including everything from concerts, exhibitions, hands-on workshops and dance to street performance, theatre and talks. Venues large and small will open their doors until late in every corner of the city; from Albert Dock and the Waterfront to St George’s Quarter, Ropewalks, the Baltic Triangle and Hope Street. Attracting visitors of all ages, the city comes alive for the night; in 2017, over 15,000 people attended LightNight events. The full programme will be released 1 May and is available to pre-order now at www.

credit: Pete Carr

Luke Jerram, Museum of the Moon landing LAST CHANCE! in Liverpool for Tall Ships Regatta Liverpool Art A giant, 23ft replica of the moon is coming to Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral as part of an extensive programme of events across the city over the final bank holiday weekend in May.

Created by renowned British artist Luke Jerram, the stunning “Museum of the Moon” uses detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface and includes a sound composition created by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winning composer Dan Jones. Wirral Council is also preparing to bring a fantastic creative programme of entertainment along the New Brighton waterfront and Hamilton Square in partnership with Culture Liverpool. Local sculptor Faith Bebbington is creating a 15ft high cat made entirely out of milk bottles, which will go on display at the Albert Dock chasing her famous “Super Rat”, which hit the headlines after it appeared on a rooftop in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle in 2016.

Fair 2018 Call for Artist Submissions

The Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta is taking place on May 25-28.

Liverpool Art Fair is back for a seventh year in the summer of 2018 and looking for hundreds of local artists to get involved For 10 weeks in 2017, Liverpool Art Fair, as part of Pier Head Village, took up residence on the iconic Liverpool Waterfront, in the shadow of the Port of Liverpool Building and the Museum of Liverpool. After the success of our move to the Pier Head, we will once again be on Liverpool Waterfront this summer.

Museum of the Moon at University of Bristol, UK (c) University of Bristol

Submissions close midnight Monday 7th May submit/

Review: It Will Never Work: 25 Years of Urban Splash

“It would never have worked without all Urban Splash staff, past and present and all out collaborators, large or small,” acts a punch line to an exhibition that sets out to hit back. It Will Never Work: 25 Years of Urban Splash was the first advert we ever printed on the back cover of Art in Liverpool magazine, sitting on the page like an omen to the efforts of this magazine. But like the architects at Urban Splash we pushed on and would like to think that against our worst judgement found some success.

And why not? Urban Splash, in just 25 years, have won over 40 RIBA awards, and been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. They claim to have started with “no plan, no strategy, just a wholehearted belief in cities, in design, in architecture and a desire to make things better.” But given everything they have achieved there must have been something…

“no plan, no strategy, just a wholehearted belief in cities”

It’s easy to relate to, being told it won’t work. One of the most common things you hear working as a creative professional, is the critique and warnings of those outside the industry, but passion and drive prevail and (most of the time) lead to success. For Urban Splash, those constant warnings and critiques have defined their work over the last 25 years, as one of the most prolific regeneration companies in the country. Starting out with a not so modest goal of bringing back the empty buildings in Liverpool and Manchester they had their hands full, but quickly built momentum and have now completed projects across the UK. Every time though, one thing recurs; something stands in their way. But that’s part of the fun of this exhibition, and part of the fascination. It’s not just about blockages, but about beating them down and turning it into a success. It Will Never Work is, contrary to its name, the most optimistic exhibition RIBA North have shown in their short time in the city, and likely to be the most positive for some time.

There’s no doubt they set out with a goal, and perhaps just pushing for it was their plan. The variety of the exhibition is the most concrete evidence that they took constant unplanned turns, showing surprisingly few buildings for a display of an architectural regeneration group, and the only installation outside a cabinet being a floral gnome. If this was my first introduction to Urban Splash, I don’t know if it would get me giddy about what they do, but the retrospective’s focus on the more human aspects of the design process does make me want to work with them. -at RIBA North until 16th June 2018

Liverpool Biennial gets to work on Granby Resilience Garden

Andrea Ku with Granby Gardening Club. credit: Pete Carr

One of the most commonly raised challenges for artists and galleries is ‘What’s it got to do with me?’ Particularly vulnerable to that question are the dozens of festivals that happen in and around Liverpool, and none more so than Liverpool Biennial. What does an international festival of contemporary, often conceptual, art have to do with me, sat at home in Bootle? For most the answer is probably, very little. But for Toxteth residents it’s the reverse. This year artist Mohamed Bourouissa is working

with Kingsley Community School to build a new garden which will stay in place long beyond the end of the festival in October. If you look back at the legacy of the many festivals around the city they are often overlooked, forgotten, dusty public installations. In my memory this is the first living space created in Liverpool as a work of art in its own right, and its one that is working with local people and local artists to do it. Artist and gardener Andrea Ku, is leading Granby Gardening Club every Saturday

as the head gardener on a project with implications far beyond its life as a garden. In the setting of Kingsley Community School, they are building a safe space to recover powered on by a notion that has inspired the lead artist, Mohamed Bourouissa, to create a kind of work that is entirely new to him. ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You?’ Liverpool Biennial’s 2018 title lends itself to limitless personal reflections, but until now I had seen it as a very global question, understanding our space in the world as a whole. What this garden does is pinpoint that space at the end of the question, asking what my own place is – where do I fit in this beautiful world? Inspired by a patient of psychoanalyst Frantz Fanon, this garden looks at the story of that patient’s occupational therapy through gardening. A particular failure of occupational therapy in Algeria was in failing to understand, or even consider patients’ societal background. The patient here used gardening as occupational therapy, finding a space to organise his thoughts and restructure his mental space within the planning and preparation of the garden. In 2018, Bourouissa wants to not just recreate this garden but learn the patient’s

Artist Mohamed Bourouissa with children from Tox teth. credit: Pete Carr

approach, to botany, architecture and therapy, and apply the lessons to his work with the community in Granby. Once finished the garden will be a space of resilience for those who need it. A true legacy of Liverpool Biennial 2018. The real results of the project will not be seen for long after the Biennial is gone - in years to come if the garden is still in use, and if it has made a difference to people’s lives. If you’d like to be part of that, and would like to be involved in creating a space that could potentially have a positive impact on people who need it, you can join them on Saturday afternoons until the Biennial opens in July. -Liverpool Biennial launches 14th July 2018 Gardening Club Dates Saturdays 2 – 5pm 5 / 12 / 19 / 26 May 16 / 23 / 30 June 7 / 14 July Words, Patrick Kirk-Smith

Guest publication: Messy Lines: Why I Write Why should we care about art? To us readers of and contributors to an art magazine, the answer to that may seem so obvious that it barely seems worth asking the question. But what about if you’re not so invested in creative culture, if going to a gallery is not a regular experience for you?

which creates this connection and inspires our minds. So the tagline for Messy Lines “I love art, maybe you will too” - was chosen to try and capture a sense of my writing being unapologetically based on emotions. With that in mind, I’m uncomfortable when people call what I do “criticism”.

In much of the public imagination the art world has an image of being rarefied, the distant bubble that gets on the news when painting sells for hundreds of millions, or a gallery charges £20+ for a single exhibition ticket. So it was out of a desire to contribute to showing how all of us can connect from art, from a personal perspective, that Messy Lines was born.

“I love art, maybe you will too”

Fans can sometimes make bad writers; there’s a fine line between writing a positive critique, and with an attitude of sheer enthusiasm. But if the objective of a writing is to help readers decide whether they want to go and see an exhibition or not, there must be room for emotion. Is it not our emotional reactions which ultimately define how we perceive art? To start answering my initial question, I think art’s about ideas, and successful art is that which gets us thinking about these ideas - and it’s an emotional response

To me that word carries connotations of judgement from some kind of ‘on high’, which is simply not a place I occupy. Instead, I write because I like the chance to share my thoughts with other people. If you agree with my words, then that’s great. If you don’t, then let’s have a different – and equally valuable – conversation.

something very rotten in the system. Lack of funding, lack of time and lack of knowledge of how to apply the arts are all parts of a huge, complex jigsaw, but it’s one which it’s vital that we solve. Who will be bringing ideas into future generations if we don’t? To deprive young people of creative knowledge is to deprive them of a whole way of thinking, and they deserve better than that. Over the last two years Messy Lines has become a bigger commitment than I ever expected it to - but for all the right reasons. One of the best things about the blog, and the other writing projects it has led me to, is constantly discovering new artists and organisations which play a part in what might broadly be termed the Merseyside art world. It seems that every time I look around, something or somebody new comes to my attention, a feeling which has been a real joy. And joy is always better shared.

While the bread-and-butter of what I do is reviews, I often think about arts access and education, too. When the news tells you about schools cutting arts from their curriculum, it’s not hyperbole – there’s

Dementia Connect – Hidden Voice: Moira Leonard looks back at an emotional performance

you apart. Really sad pictures and a very slow movement. There is a yearning now for something uplifting. It all feels a bit hopeless at the moment. The lady can’t speak any more, but she can still sing… Which brings us to the final movement ‘Music lifts you out of your day – into a different world’ says the lady on the screen. ‘Different world’ sing the violins, ‘Different World’. Oh, what relief as the optimism returns.

We’re in the Box at FACT. Rows of burgundy sofas. Only a few people scattered around the room. On the cinema screen is a still of a little old lady with an engaging smile and a sparkle in her eyes. She looks lovely, like someone you’d like to have afternoon tea with. Three musicians are on stage tuning up in front of the screen. All ladies. All dressed in black. I see a Cello and two violins. A couple of cameramen with huge lenses stand quietly to the side. Everything goes quiet and then… A man in a black suit and a crisp white shirt arrives, and introductions are made (the man in black is the composer John McHugh and the ladies are a trio from Liverpool Philharmonic). Dementia Connect is a project between the University of the West of England, FACT and the Royal College of Arts. It is an extended programme in Dementia arts and the project culminates today which coincides rather beautifully with FACT’s 15th birthday. So, it’s a double celebration. ‘Hidden Voice’ is a project that started out two years ago and has been touring ever since. It is a collaboration with two care homes: Lime House, Warrington, and James Nugent Court in Liverpool. McHugh spent time in both these homes, initially with people living with dementia and then with their carers. He said at the time he wasn’t sure if anyone would want to talk, but it soon became clear that everyone wanted to…there were queues of carers keen to share their stories. From this came a rich tapestry that he was able to turn into a collection of wonderful haunting pieces of music. He goes on to explain that the project is broken down into five movements: The first and last focus on people who are living

well with dementia; the second around the idea of communication using the story of a son visiting his mum; the third section is around three sisters who meet every week. The oldest sister has dementia. ‘Bessie was a weaver’. McHugh wants to demonstrate that Bessie is a real person first and one with dementia second; And finally, part four is about ‘Alison’ who is dealing with the perception of the loss of her mum, despite still sitting in front of her. A video showing selected parts of McHugh’s interviews will be shown on the huge cinema screen whilst the musicians accompany it live. So, onto the show. We find out that the initial grey-haired lady is 90. And it’s her birthday. ‘So many memories’ she says, ‘Some you remember’… ’and some you don’t’. The rhythm is echoed by the violin. ‘My memory isn’t as good as it was’. The second movement, the story from the son: ‘Such a strange illness’…’but there’s still something in there’. This time McHugh plays a more prominent role on the piano accompanied by deep Cello sounds and lilting violins. Very melancholy but so so touching. A very emotional experience. ‘She recognised me’, ‘A lot of funny moments…. but a lot of sad ones too’ The haunting melody reflects this…I am close to tears. ‘Bessie was a Weaver’, ‘Bessie was a Weaver’, ‘Bessie was a Weaver’. The theme repeats over and over. In the background we see a derelict linen factory ‘Such a lovely lady’ the same rhythm. Echoes of photos from when she was well. ‘This is how it is’. Themes of deterioration, dereliction, of emptiness. Desolate. Your heart breaks. Questions arise about mortality at this point. ‘The hard thing for me – she’s no longer my Mum’ says a daughter. This one tears

Black and white photos of concert halls, tea rooms, dance halls. The music, more wistful than hopeless ‘Just fantastic’, ‘I wish I was there now’. More piano, more uplifting. A photo of the Grafton Rooms. ‘Different world’… ‘and it lifted you’ Repeating pictures, repeating themes, repeating notes, repetition, repetition ‘a normal day’. And it’s over. 35 incredible minutes. So beautifully crafted taking you through a whole range of emotions and leaving you breathless, but deep in thought. Dementia… it can affect us all, and music is such an important tool in treatment of this strange illness. There is a call for more music to be used in care homes. Discuss. McHugh tells us that music unpicks the emotion around speech. It makes people ‘sing’, it’s like a truthful opera taking the exact melody and rhythms of the speaker and taking it to it’s highest poetic level. Interestingly, when you take the melody of an accent you can create a visual picture of where they are from and it is obvious that Hidden Voice is from the North of England. No stranger to this technique, in 2008 McHugh premiered a piece of music based on the sounds of Liverpool voices. He tells us that the Liverpool accent didn’t come about until the 1890s, going on to say, before that the accent was Lancastrian. Apparently after the Irish came to the City the two accents intermingled to create Scouse. Well, I didn’t know that! Incredible the power of music…and the melody of speech. Run ended. -Learn more about Dementia Connect here: Words, Moira Leonard

Review: The Williamson Open 2018 The Williamson Open Art and Photography Exhibition invites participation from local photographers and artists. An Open exhibition is non-juried, allowing amateur and professional alike to enter on an equal footing and for the visitor, this means there is an unspoken request that they too enter the exhibition space with an open mind. Sometimes an art gallery can be an intimidating space, but the form in which an Open displays its works, for example with a juxtaposition of sizes and media and no name plates, underlines the fact that you are there primarily to enjoy the works shown. The Kriterion Award, named after the penname of Mrs Kay Greenwood-Casey, arts critic for the Wirral News, gives visitors the chance to vote for their personal favourite. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum and for this nonagenarian what this Open exhibition proves is that there is a life and vitality within its walls that belies its age. -Open at Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, until 6th May Words, Samantha Browne

Review: Viking: Rediscover the Legend Two of the loveliest pieces in Viking: Rediscover the Legend are saved for the very final room. One is what appears to be a small Viking self-portrait carved into a bone plaque. It’s a simple enough carving, who beyond the beard isn’t immediately recognisable to untrained modern eyes as a Viking. Not to say that the Vikings weren’t also sometimes the savage conquerors we recognise – a stone carving of a warrior taking a female slave stands testament that these ideas may have been justified. But the people who called themselves Viking deserve to be remembered as much for the legacy of culture, trade and language that they left us here in the North West. -Viking[...] is open now at The Atkinson Words, Julia Johnson (Messy Lines) Read the full article on

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Corke Gallery: New Contemporaries In the first of a new season of ten exhibitions at Corke Art Gallery, four graduates from Liverpool Hope University have taken over. Lisa Goodwin, Oliva Maddocks, Matt Read, Grace Barker are not four artists I would ordinarily expect to see together. But in something of a reunion, four stand out members of Hope’s class of 2017 are together again. The exhibition was selected from last year’s degree show, and unusually I remember seeing each one of these artists’ work last year. It’s too easy to walk around degree show and come out feeling overwhelmed, never taking any of it in, but last year at Hope there were some truly stand-out works. Matt Read’s illustrations in particular seem fitting of the New Contemporaries title, not just in skill, but in subject. Their light humour takes them somewhere timeless, but ties them in with the here and now, and it contrasts quite brutally with the very permanent theme of Lisa Goodwin. Lisa Goodwin’s paintings focus on flesh, something that never goes away, and something that always splits its viewers, whether they find a desire or revulsion in what they see. I found neither, perhaps

Clockwise from top left: Lisa Goodwin, Oliva Maddocks, Matt Read, Grace Barker

because of their relation to Read’s illustrations, what I found before I knew what they were was a joy and a freedom in the abstract clouds filling up her incredibly gestural work.

That’s the thing putting artists together on skill rather than connections, you end up with an exhibition which is completely unique.

-at Corke Gallery until 5th May words, Patrick Kirk-Smith

New perspectives: Carol Emmas on Ken’s Show at Tate Liverpool A Guardian four star review and header that says: “Sublime choices from a nonexpert puts the pros to shame” – is a great review, but a bit of an unfair poke in the eye to gallery curators. However, Tate Liverpool has pulled a canny move in celebrating 30 years of Tate Liverpool by handing the curating reins over to its long-serving arthandler, Ken Simons.

On one hand, it’s a thoughtful touch to give thanks to an employee who has dedicated 43 years of his life to the Tate. On the other hand, it’s also a great marketing tack to encourage individuals who don’t usually attend galleries to engage in something that is relatable and accessible. The exhibition video sets about reinforcing

this man-of-the-people approach by showing Simons going about his day job making a cup of tea and you can’t get more matey than that. The show comprises a cross-section of 30 well-chosen pieces that have a definite thread and narrative. Ken Simons has worked at Tate Liverpool since it opened in 1988 and it is interesting to see curating from a different perspective.

“curating from a different perspective” His core choice piece is the sculptural Phillip King – Within (1978-79), which is a balancing act of locked together found pieces of wood, slate and metal. A piece that would in practical terms allow Simons to get inside the head of the artist from a perspective that a professional curator would never be party to. Whereas the curator proper relies upon the eye, the aesthetics, and the knowledge from an objective hands-off point of view. J.M.W. Turner, Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth exhibited 1842

As with King’s work, the other pieces in

the show revolve around the central core of the unseen spaces in our environment. The spaces in between, spaces imagined, spaces seen through a porthole and spaces overlooked. The sublime Rain by Howard Hodgkin is whatever and wherever the viewers’ imagination wants it to be. The suggestion of rainfall on a window leads to a flash of green, of grey and illusory sky. Stand back and look at it long enough and the narrative expands. The viewer creates the story and it’s a story which far transcends the canvas. The exhibition spans from 1765 with Richard Wilson’s, Lake, Ruin and Pine Trees to almost present day. There isn’t a piece in the room that doesn’t deliver. The Guardian heading may have taken a cheap click-bait pop at curators. But it’s not comparable. Curators do their job to a very strict brief. Whereas Ken’s Show is a fun, celebratory event that should be kept in the perspective it was designed to be – curating for pleasure. -Ken’s Show is at Tate Liverpool until 17th June Words, Carol Emmas

Threshold Diary, 2018 2018: the year that Threshold wasn’t, or so the organisers thought. Described as a “fallow year”, Across the Threshold was a paired down iteration of the best-loved Baltic Triangle Festival in its eighth incarnation. As such, 2018 marked a year of self-questioning and identity. The organisers recognised that the fringe festival was experiencing something of an “adolescence” and wanted to know how to make it count among the vast array of already popular Liverpool music festivals.

Since 2011, Threshold has been hosting musicians, bands, street performers and visual artists across a variety of venues located in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. Many of these artists are home grown talent or have a strong connection with the city. Visual Arts cards were kept very close to curators Andy Minnis’ and Jazamin Sinclair’s chest this year for a very good reason: there wasn’t really meant to be a 2018 festival. So the result was a scaled down version of the popular Baltic Triangle smorgasbord.

The theme was simply Across the Threshold with no strict criteria for entries. The result was an interesting collection of delights that decorated the walls of the Hobo Kiosk pub and The Shed within Unit 51.

“visual art needs to stay at the heart of the programme” Adopting a political brief, Ruth Dillon’s visual and audio piece looked at Palestine as a way to question the links between geography and identity. Employing the narrative of a refugee, Dillon explored the emotional effect of displacement on migrants. Over at Unit 51’s The

Shed Emma Lloyd’s “Translate” was a visually enticing video projection featuring anonymous hands cutting out the letters of that same word. The process represented the inadequacy of language to express complex ideas or emotions. This year’s visual arts section at Threshold Festival was small but beautifully formed. Visual arts needs to stay at the heart of the festival programme if Threshold is to retain its mark of originality over other music events. It was my observation that visual arts didn’t take up much of the conversation concerning the future of the festival but to overlook it would be to alienate a significant proportion of Threshold’s fan-base. -Threshold Festival is over for another year, but keep up to date on news for 2019 at @ThresholdFest Words, Kirsten Hawkins

To Do List, May 2018 Now, far be it from us to tell you what to see this month, but there really is some stuff coming up that you shouldn’t miss (if you want to find out for yourself, the usual What’s On follows). It’s May and that means it’s LightNight, completely taking over Liverpool City Centre on the 18th, with installations, performances, exhibitions, interventions, screenings, music, projection, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. There’s nothing that could possibly keep us away, other than being completely knackered from everything else coming up this month. Emma Smith’s Euphonia finally launched at the end of April. Bluecoat’s exhibition of sound art brings visitors into the heart of the exhibition, not just to observe but to connect with everything around them And the next big exhibition to hit the city is Egon Schiele & Francesca Woodman, whose retrospective exhibitions at Tate Liverpool are truly once in a lifetime.

Museum of the Moon at University of Bristol, UK (c) University of Bristol

(10th-13th May). With archival work brought into public view for the first time in half a century from LJMU’s collection, student exhibitions reflecting on issues of today and events spilling out onto the roads around Kempston and Gildart Street.

To Do:

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And finally, at the end of the month, when we’re just about feeling ready for a June with our feet up, Tall Ships come sailing down the Mersey, bringing huge public installations including a 23ft replica of the moon which will be landing at Liverpool Cathedral on the 25th.

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But once all that is done, the two exhibitions really worth sitting down with and finding space to recover are Frankenstein 2018 and People of Oxton. Photographer James Deegan returns to the Williamson after his recent exhibition People of Williamson with a fresh look at the local faces of the nearby Oxton Village, while at the Library, Liverpool Book Art are back with their third major exhibition.

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The weekend before LightNight, John Hyatt is leading a festival in the Fabric District looking back at 50 years of student protest

credit: James Deegan

credit: James Deegan

People of Oxton (9th)

May 1968 Time Tunnel: May 2018 ­ Liverpool (10th-13th)

LightNight (18th)

Frankenstein 2018 ()14th)

Life in Motion: Egon Schiele / Francesca Woodman (24th May)

Luke Jerram, Museum of the Moon


Tate Liverpool: OPAVIVARÁ!: Utupya 27 April – 24 June 2018 Tate Liverpool’s top floor gallery is transformed by Brazilian collective OPAVIVARÁ! into an immersive environment featuring physical and audio-visual installations. Part of the ‘We Have Your Art Gallery’ series which seeks to challenge conventional behaviours in public and gallery spaces by encouraging the visitor to complete the artwork by becoming an active part of its animation and interpretation.

St George’s Hall: Presence: A Window into Contemporary Chinese Art 9 February - 3 June 2018 This brand new contemporary arts exhibition located in St George’s Hall showcases some of the best Chinese artists working today including Yan Zing, Cao Fei, Sun Xun and Luke Ching. The artworks belong to the New Collection of Chinese Contemporary Art, part of the University of Salford Art Collection, and is the first time this work has been displayed together.

Arriva City Buses: Monuments from the Future until 9th July Three double-decker buses transformed by artists and children w/ Biennial and Arriva

FACT: States of Play: Roleplay Reality until 17th June Exploring the world of gaming, of creating virtual worlds and the avatars living in them

Tate Liverpool: ARTIST ROOMS: Roy Lichtenstein in Focus until 10th June One of the great American pop artists of the twentieth century

Merseyside Maritime Museum: Black Salt until 2nd September Revealing the contribution Black seafarers have made to maritime events

Tate Liverpool: Ken’s Show: Exploring the Unseen until 17th June Curated and conceived by Art Handling Manager, Ken Simons

Art in Windows: Intricate Intimacy: Edna Thearle until 8th May Intricate Intimacy displays four unique scarves & wraps ABC L1: Singers of Songs and Makers of Musics until 19th May Acrylic paintings, pen and ink drawings and watercolors all on a musical theme Bluecoat: Euphonia by Emma Smith until 24th June An ambitious new sound installation by artist Emma Smith Bluecoat Display Centre: European Connections until 9th June Some of Europe’s leading jewellery designers, based in the UK and abroad Chapel Gallery: Collette Bain until 7th July A menagerie of fantastical creatures Chapel Gallery: The Outside Room until 30th June Themes of home, the everyday and the cycle of life Corke Art Gallery: Corke New Contemporaries until 5th May Hope University 2017 graduates Exhibition Award

Museum of Liverpool: Tales from the city until 13th October Stories, objects and memories from Liverpool’s LGBT+ community

Tate Liverpool: OPAVIVARÁ!: Utupya until 24th June An immersive environment featuring physical and audio-visual installations. The Atkinson: Viking: Rediscover the Legend until 7th July The most significant Viking treasure hoards ever discovered in Britain The Royal Standard: And Yet it Moves until 13th May An exhibition on sculpture in motion

Open Eye Gallery: Snapshot to WeChat: A Migration of Identity until 17th June Considering how the casual act of taking photos shapes our identity Quaker Meeting House: Connections until 16th May Paintings and mixed media Rathbone Studio: X Make a Mark until 19th May Reflecting on Women’s right to vote RIBA North: It Will Never Work: 25 Years of Urban Splash 1993 – 2018 until 16th June History of the award winning Manchesterbased regeneration company St George’s Hall: Presence: A Window into Contemporary Chinese Art until 3rd June Some of the best Chinese artists working today

Warrington Museum & Art Gallery: Haecceity: Tracy Hill 10 March - 16 June Now on display at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery are the new capacitive ink screenprints and gallery wall drawings from Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival 2017 prizewinner Tracy Hill. Her winning piece Matrix of Movement has influenced the body of work within Haecceity.


Williamson Art Gallery & Museum: Emilie Taylor: Edgelands 14 April - 3 June 2018 The traditional English allure of Emilie Taylor’s ceramics portray and contrast her contemporary engraved scenes of women within post-industrial British landscapes. Taylor’s first wholly commissioned exhibition opened at Gallery Oldham in June, and this new body of work called Edgelands will be opening in the Williamson in Mid April. The World of Glass: Traces until 4th May New mixed media and textile art work inspired by St Helens Unit 51: States of Flow until 14th May Fluid paintings and digital prints Victoria Gallery & Museum: New Perspectives until 27th October Drawing inspiration from the unseen collections at VG&M

Walker Art Gallery: Slaves Of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins until 20th May Exploring the history of Indian textiles, Empire, enslavement and luxury consumerism Walker Art Gallery: Kaleidoscope: Colour and Sequence in 1960s British Art until 3rd June Bold and colourful examples of British painting and sculpture from the 1960s

Walker Art Gallery: Slaves Of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins 19 January – 20 May Slaves of Fashion: New Works by The Singh Twins explores the history of Indian textiles, Empire, enslavement and luxury consumerism, and the contemporary relevance of these issues in the world today. Focusing on the relationship between Britain and India, hidden details of Europe’s colonial past and its legacies are uncovered, including current debates around ethical trade and responsible consumerism.

Bluecoat: Euphonia by Emma Smith 28 April - 24 June 2018 Euphonia is based on the premise that when we engage in friendly interactions – chitchat with friends – we unconsciously make music through interlocking rhythms, pitch and tone. Supported by The Wellcome Trust and working with a team of world experts on psychology, music and the brain, Smith is extracting this music of social communication to create an interactive sound work. Warrington Museum & Art Gallery: Haecceity: Tracy Hill until 16th June Capacitive ink screenprints and gallery wall drawings

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum: Emilie Taylor: Edgelands until 3rd June Contemporary engraved scenes of women within post-industrial British landscapes

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum: The Williamson Open Art & Photography Exhibition 2018 until 6th May Reflecting on the active current visual arts scene in Wirral

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum: Star Yachts until 3rd June Volunteers have put together a small exhibition of the history of Star Yachts of Birkenhead

Open Eye Gallery: Snapshot to WeChat: A Migration of Identity 6 April - 17 June 2018 Worldwide, we share over three billion images on social media every day. ‘Everyday photography’ has a profound impact on how we understand both our own culture and cultures we are less familiar with. This exhibition looks at photographs taken by ordinary people in China and considers how the casual act of taking photos shapes our identity.


Egon Schiele, Standing male figure (self-portrait) 1914. Photograph © National Gallery in Prague

LightNight Liverpool 2018 18th May 2018 See places, spaces and people across the city come alive to celebrate Liverpool’s worldclass cultural offer with one spectacular night of over 100 free performances, exhibitions, installations, workshops, talks and much more. The full programme will be announced on 1 May. In the meantime, you can read our latest updates and pre-order your festival guide here:

Tate Liverpool: Egon Schiele 24 May - 24 September See rarely-exhibited drawings by Egon Schiele in an exhibition marking the centenary year of his death.

Exhibitions Walker Art Gallery: Talk Tuesday Lunchtime talks delivered by artists, curators and educators 1 May, 1-2pm Chester Art Centre: Curated Stories Photography by Andy W Langton Photography exploring remote parts of Thailand, Burma, India and South Korea 3 - 15 May Northern Lights: Gigs & Graphics Explore the relationship between visual art and music 3 – 7 May Lady Lever Art Gallery: Whistler and Pennell: Etching the City Two of history’s most influential and innovative etchers 4 May - October The Gallery Liverpool: Caroline Coon - The Great Offender Radical and provocative London artist 2 – 27 May Williamson Art Gallery & Museum: People of Oxton Photographer James Deegan returns to the Williamson 9 May – 24 June Domino Gallery: Exhibition opening: Dream of the Dead, Hear from the Living New work by Liverpool artist Jonathon Beaver 9 May, 6-9pm

Fabric District: May 1968 Time Tunnel: May 2018 Liverpool A free festival of world first international exhibitions and events 10 – 13 May The Tapestry Liverpool: The Gift of John Heartfield WW2 anti-Nazi photomontage posters 10 – 13 May Liverpool Central Library: Frankenstein 2018 A third major exhibition of Book Art in the city’s Central Library 14 May - August

Williamson Art Gallery & Museum: People of Oxton 9 May - 24 June 2018 Photographer James Deegan returns to the Williamson after his recent exhibition People of Williamson with a fresh look at the local faces of the nearby Oxton Village.

Museum of Liverpool: Double Fantasy John & Yoko Exploring the personal and creative chemistry of this iconic couple 18 May – 22 April Tate Liverpool: Egon Schiele Marking the centenary year of his death 24 May - September Beechams Building: Vortex: University Centre St Helens Final year students from a selection of University Centre St Helens creative arts degrees 16 May – 20 June Fabric District: May 1968 Time Tunnel: May 2018 Liverpool 10 - 13 May 2018 John Hyatt presents an ART Labs/ Liverpool School of Art and Design/ Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies, Liverpool John Moores University civic festival in collaboration with the people, organisations and businesses of Liverpool’s Fabric District and the great world beyond.

SOON Talks & Tours

Walker Art Gallery: Talk Tuesday Lunchtime talks delivered by artists, curators and educators Every Tuesday, 1pm Tate Liverpool: Quiet Hour A calmer, more comfortable environment 5 May, 10-11am Art Club: May 2018 Meeting: Ken’s Show, Tate Liverpool Friendly and informal discussion 6 May, 2-3:30pm St George’s Hall: PRESENCE: A Window on Engaging with Chinese Contemporary Art and Culture (Symposium) A day of workshops and discussions with leaders in the field. 11 May, 9:30am-4pm Walker Art Gallery: Kaleidoscope introductory tour Join Bethan Lewis, for an introduction to Kaleidoscope 15 May, 1-2pm Bluecoat: Shy Radicals & Shrinking Violets Discussing the politics and culture of shyness 24 May, 6:30-8pm

Festivals, Live Art & Fairs The Old Police Station: Makers Market First Sunday of every month 6 May, all day Bluecoat: Future Dancer: Lucy Suggate Workshop Lucy Suggate invites dancers and nondancers to join her research 10 May, 6-7pm Bluecoat: OK Future - Lucy Suggate & Connor Schumacher Part installation art, a social choreography 10 May, 7-8:30pm LightNight 2018 For full LightNight listings, head to http:// Liverpool 2018: Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta & The Bordeaux Wine Festival Faith Bebbington, Lulu Quinn, Wired Ariel and Luke Jerram present new commissions 25 – 28 May

Classes & Workshops ROAD Studios: Deviation A Surreal Life Drawing Experience 2 May, 7-9pm Williamson Art Gallery & Museum: Make and Explore Under five sessions Thursdays, 10am FACT: Do Something Saturdays Gaming-inspired creative activities for all the family 5 May, 12-4pm

Bluecoat: Experimenting with Mixed Media Suitable for any anybody who loves experiment 6 May, 11-5pm

FACT: May Half Term: Prototype Camp Get hands on with a range of digital and creative challenges 29 – 31 May

Walker Art Gallery: Watercolour note cards A relaxed, practical sessions for adults 8 May, 2-3:30pm Bluecoat: Beginner Acrylic Painting Explore a broad range of painting processes 8 May, 6:45-9pm

BUILD your artist career We need artists for exciting new projects and commissions. Whether you’re a painter, photographer, printmaker, sculptor or textile artist, become a dot-art Member to help you to achieve your dream of making a living as an artist.

Rachel Brewster, Photographer



The Art Box: Freemotion Embroidery Learn to draw, write and paint with stitch 17 May, 10:30am-12:30pm Bluecoat: Jewellery Making in Metal Learn the basic techniques of jewellery making 22 May, 6:45-9pm

Hope Street Ltd: Portrait Drawing Learn the fundamentals of drawing characterful portraits 8 May, 6:45-9pm

“Working with dot-art has helped get me in front of commercial clients who understand the value of bespoke artistic endeavour.”

Hope Street Ltd: Watercolour for Beginners Designed for both absolute beginners and those more advanced 14 May, 6:45-9pm

Victoria Gallery & Museum: New Perspectives Workshops Create a new tile from a mould created by Phoebe Cummings 5 may, 1-5pm

Bluecoat: Life Drawing 10 week programme of evening lessons 8 May, 6:45-9pm

Bluecoat: Drawing for Everyone Learn how to draw accurately and in proportion 13 May, 11am-5pm


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

JOBS Programme Leader in Dance, LJMU – The Liverpool Screen School Highly motivated individual with a broad range of expertise and experience in the practical and theoretical aspects of Dance DEADLINE: 2nd May 2018 -Interdisciplinary PhD Graduate Teaching Assistant in the School of the Arts (3 Posts) University of Liverpool The PhD project topics will need to involve collaboration across at least two of the Schools departments or disciplines. DEADLINE: 2nd May 2018 -Senior Technician (News Production and Post), LJMU – Liverpool Screen School Ideally you’ll have some experience in the production of broadcast journalism either as a video journalist, or camera operator and editor. DEADLINE: 2nd May 2018

Assistant Registrar (Exhibitions and Loans), Museum of Science and Industry Do you have experience working within a Registration or Collections team in either a Museum or cultural/heritage organisation? DEADLINE: 6th May 2018

a-n Assembly (May-June 2018) a-n Assembly returns next month, with events in 4 UK destinations, bringing together artists for a mixture of workshops, talks and get-togethers that focus on issues that matter most. DEADLINE: (events end June 2018)

--Senior Exhibitions Manager, Museum of Science and Industry Can you successfully deliver large scale, innovative and complex exhibition projects? DEADLINE: 13th May 2018

CALLS Call for artists – “In my Town” – Wake up screaming The 10th edition of Wake up screaming will continue the outward orientation set by #9, but this month we will venture into the Towns. DEADLINE: 13th May 2018



Head of Learning and Public Programmes, Museum of Science and Industry Do you inspire futures by leading teams to create learning experiences for diverse audiences? DEADLINE: 4th May 2018

A B&B Associate Artist Scheme Looking for new work that is specific to the special context and location of A B&B in Blackpool DEADLINE: rolling

AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent: Graduate Residency 2018/19 AirSpace Gallery announces the return of its Graduate Residency Programme and invites students graduating from BA Fine Art courses in summer 2018 to apply. DEADLINE: 24th June 2018 -Metal – Time and Space Residencies Metal’s Time and Space Residencies are open opportunities for artists working in all disciplines to access Metal’s spaces, the support of its staff and its local, national and international networks. DEADLINE: 30th September 2018

-NNN CALL FOR WORK The New Networked Normal has launched an open call for new artistic projects to be presented on DEADLINE: 31st May 2018

Design, workshops and studio glass with one of the leading kiln formed glass artists of today, Deobrah Moses

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Design | Workshops | Classes Courses | Installation all classes, dates & information can be found on the workshop page of my website


Independents Biennial is back with a festival that celebrates visual contemporary art across the entire Liverpool City Region. Working with galleries and studios around Liverpool City Region to create a festival that is open to new and diverse audiences. We have opportunities to get involved with accross the region, and a select few commissions (Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens & Wirral), with details on how to apply are

below. As well as our own programme we are supporting local galleries & studios throughout the festival. So if you’re not applying for the commissions, space or open calls, check out the listings at the bottom of the page for select open calls from galleries with space for exhibitions throughout the festival.

If you’d like more information on how to get involved, head to independentsbiennial2018 where you’ll find all the latest news and updates as they develop. Or follow us on Twitter at: @artinliverpool & @indybiennial

In Knowsley we want to commission work by emerging artists. The commission is for £1000 to cover time and materials. There are several potential locations for the commission, ranging from public space to shop units, permanent and temporary, so we are seeking expressions of interest without a theme.

Art in Liverpool are seeking ideas from artists to fill space around the region. We’d love to hear from groups, collectives, and arts organisations who can benefit from access to these spaces. We welcome applications in all art forms, and have space that can be occupied for as little as 30 minutes, and as long as a fortnight. From screening & performance rooms, to underground galleries there are loads of venues all over the region that we want to rethink as art space for the four month festival. Studios, parks, galleries and markets are amogst the already lined up venues around the region. We’re interested in ideas and proposals and will work with artists to make their events a success. For full details on development spaces: In Sefton we want to commission work that is guaranteed to engage new audiences. The commission is for £1000 to cover time and materials, towards a one-day event to take place outdoors on 28th July 2018. The Atkinson in Southport will launch the annual Sefton Open exhibition on 28th July, and we hope to create a one off event in front of the gallery, in the iconic Princess Diana Gardens which centres on engagement. Applications could include performance, talks, intervention, film screenings, projection or pop up installations, but must consider how the work will engage audiences in the written application.

The goal of the Knowsley Commission is to enable an emerging artist to have a huge voice in a festival with an international audience, and to highlight the ongoing talent development voice that exists already in Knowsley though Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum who are supporting the festival. independents-biennial-2018-seftoncommission/

Featured CALLS independents-biennial-2018-knowsleycommission/

In Wirral we want to commission work that links to other photographic events taking over the Wirral during summer 2018. The commission is for £1000 to cover time and materials, towards an exhibition at Birkenhead Priory. We are seeking submissions from all art forms, but hope that the successful applicant will share connections with exhibitions around the Wirral during summer 2018, many of which have photography and local social history at their heart. There are two possible venues for the commission, one indoor and one outdoor, which will form a key part of Independents Biennial 2018.

Full details at:

Full details at:

Full details at: independents-biennial-2018-wirralcommission/

In St Helens, practitioners from all areas of visual art can apply, but it is preferred that applicants have a connection to St Helens (past or present, personal or professional) and we encourage applications from artists from diverse backgrounds with unique perspectives. We are particularly interested in work by collaborative artists, or those that locate themselves within the field of contemporary social arts practice Full details at: http://www.artinliverpool. com/independents-biennial-2018-seftoncommission/

Wirral Festival of Firsts work accross Birkenhead, Greasby, Hoylake, Meols, New Brighton, Oxton, Wallasey + West Kirby. ROAD Studios invite artists and artist groups/collectives to submit proposals to exhibit in our gallery as a part our 2018 biennial programme. http://www.

Thsi year they are calling for artists to work beyond the festival and spill over into the launch of Independents Biennial 2018.

Bridewell Studios are developing a plan for Independents Biennial 2018 and will be putting out calls and opportunities to exhibit in their gallery and alternative spaces throughout the festival. Find out more about this incredible city space and stay up to date with opportunities on Twitter @BridewellStudio