TATE Liverpool is having a January sale this weekend, with all tickets to iits Tracing the Century: Drawing as a Catalyst for Change exhibition priced just £1.
The ticket offer is valid this Saturday and Sunday (January 12 and 13) and £1 tickets can be purchased from the gallery on the day - they are not available to pre-book online or on the phone.
Sunday is also the last chance to see Sky Arts Ignition: Doug Aitken - The Source, created for the Liverpool Biennial.
Above picture: William Orpen, Anatomical Study, Male Torso c.1906, Chalk on paper, 1120 x 803 mm, Tate, 2012
Directed by Spike's artistic director Mark Smith, the devised play will be scripted by Robert Farquhar while Spymonkey's Toby Park will co-direct and compose music for the piece.
Sink or Swim opens at the Liverpool Playhouse Studio from February 18-23 prior to a national tour.
Taking inspiration from tales of the 18th century 'bedlam ships' the company will tour to venues in both the North West and South East of England on the show's maiden voyage with support from new venue partners Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and The Lowry.
WORLD Museum Liverpool will open late on Thursday January 10 for a unique journey to the stars as part of BBC's Stargazing Live..
Visitors will boldly go to their favourite planets during a special stargazing night from 5.30-8.30pm.
During World Museum's special night families can gaze through telescopes, take virtual tours of the galaxy, enjoy special planetarium shows and see live images from telescopes across the world.
There will be a range of space themed craft activities for families to take part in, including badge making, Space and Time Gallery trails, space-themed quiz and colouring sheets.
There will also be the chance to learn more about local astronomer William Lassell (1799-1880) who discovered Neptune's largest moon, Triton, using telescopes which would be considered primitive by our own standards.
World Museum's 62 seat planetarium was opened in 1970. It has an eight metre dome and was the first to be opened in a museum outside London.
A NEW Wirral arts and cultural trail has been given the go-ahead by funders.
The permanent trail will include sculptures and murals and will run from Meols Station to Hoylake Station with a loop along the promenade.
The first stages of the project have been funded through a £6,000 grant awarded by Wirral Council from the Liverpool 08 Legacy Fund and now local artists have been commissioned to create installations - including stone carvings, poetry engravings and a Maypole.
The trail will incorporate existing artwork including David Annand's Knot, Paul Bearman's Hoylake Lifeboatman, Micheline Robinson's shell mural at Melrose Hall, Sue Sharples sculpture at the Holiday Inn and the mosaic and wall painting in the Parade Gardens. New features will further highlight the culture and history of the area.
AS PART of this year's Liverpool Post Arts Awards, we're inviting readers to vote for their favourite shows, exhibitions and performers. Votes will be counted on December 13, 2012 so if you vote after that it won't count.
Use the panel below or click here to take part.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Compared with even three years ago, we can, today, do a hell of a lot when and wherever we want to. We're in the middle of an exciting period in the development of human communications. Few working-age people in the UK live off-grid. Mobile phone technology and the Internet have hopped into bed together and decided to consummate their digital relationship. There's no reason to be incommunicado anymore, save you lose your charger, lose your phone, laptop or tablet PC, or find you've got no signal.
Digital technology is dazzling us like a siren. We have become enchanted, but instead of dragging us into the drink, technology and its battalions of aps, programmes and social media platforms is speeding us up.
Those gaps between our daily tasks are being filled by texting, tweeting and updating, or fretting over which ironing board cover product review to believe. These downtimes are precious times. These moments of sanctity, whether a quiet 15 minutes with a book or five minutes of idle daydreaming, bring balance to our lives. We seem to be 'moving' a lot more than we used to. In all senses of the word. Gentle reflection has made way for connection, silence for sound, and patience for impatience.
Our dancers are using the movement-stillness dynamic as the theme of their next show, Stillness in a Mobile World. Professional choreographers will work with third-year dancers to capture some of the spirit of our age through elements and fusions of ballet, commercial, jazz and tap. It is a challenging theme to explore through such a dynamic art form.
That's the beauty of art, though. You work from a blank slate, whether that's a piece of canvas or a group of students, shaping and creating until you find that perfect combination of colours, that perfect combination of movements. Art can say what you want it to say. It's like a ball of magical play putty.
On a similar note, in December some of LIPA's management students are putting on a secret cinema event in Liverpool, particularly aimed at those looking to escape the Christmas hullabaloo - and go off-grid - for a few hours.
Their event, called The Hidden Picture Show, is a film-screening with a difference. To find out more information and book tickets you'll have to go online. Digital technology's really has got us, hasn't it. The web in particular has become as sticky as an extra sticky, sticky-toffee pudding.
Coffee. Drawing board. Paper. Pencil. Subject. This should be the perfect situation for creativity but I am struggling for inspiration. Around me, other artists are producing absolutely beautiful images with no more exciting media than I have. I look up and there are some walking Mondrian paintings performing a sort of dance. It doesn't really matter that I am drawing nothing more exciting than the person who happens to be sat opposite me. The most important thing is that there are loads of people here making drawings, making a mess, listening to music and having a lovely time.
As the biennial draws to a close, the events and marketing starts to shift focus from what is happening now to the, as yet, nonexistent legacy. Those of you who attended the event Changing the World From Here on Friday evening, will already have a good idea of the Biennial's immediate plans and their hopes for the future. The Biennial will I am sure be pleased to know that the last weeks of my festival experience have been characterised by positivity and pure enjoyment. Although I haven't managed to see every exhibition (fortunately not all of the exhibitions are closing this weekend: Paul Rooney at Victoria Gallery is one I haven't caught yet, but it is on until 22 December) I am glad that I focussed my energies on attending three events in the last week, all of which were inspiring and surprising.
The first was Drawing Sessions 2, in Camp and Furnace, co-led by the Drawing Paper, the Royal Standard and the Biennial, and heavily promoted by Tate Liverpool as it links to their new show. The duo behind the Drawing Paper were shortlisted for the Liverpool Art Prize for producing their free quarterly newspaper-format publication showcasing contemporary drawing. Although I am still sad that there hasn't been a venue to step in and offer the sort of ambitious installations that were the speciality of A Foundation, new Greenland Street residents Camp and Furnace have succeeded in creating a multi-purpose space where a diverse mix of people feel at home. Drawing Sessions worked very well in that context; a little bit wacky, intense, immersive and family friendly.
The next event was an 'experts meeting' at Homebaked Anfield, my first visit to the bakery since the summer (the Anfield Home Tours have been fully booked for weeks). While the DIY aesthetic remains, it has moved on since the last time I was there and there is now a hygienic environment where volunteers can start producing some food. Maybe it was because this event occurred during an emotional week for me, but this talk made me feel as though my heart was filled with energy (in a way I hadn't experienced since Lynn Hershmann presented her film Woman Art Revolution at LJMU Art Academy in the run up to Liverpool Biennial 2010). Sally Tallant was the chair, and the two guests were Jeanne van Heeswijk and Katrin Bohm. The idea was to reveal a bit about how artists working the field of participation (as these two are) come to work in that way, and how their projects start.
The skill of the participatory artist seems to be in generating and galvanising strong emotions. Their work also takes time; it's intense and requires fierce belief in the power of art to generate change. Artists working on participatory projects ~ such as Homebaked ~ tend to have a background in architecture, or work closely with architects who understand the importance of housing, however appreciate that housing alone won't change people's lives. Katrin was an architect, but her practice now is so open it defies definition; she ideally works from an open brief ("someone says to you that they want to do a project, but they don't know what") and her intention is always to break down traditional roles. Some of what the artists were saying could be interpreted as cheesy or naïve but personally I found it inspiring to listen to artists with such a utopian agenda, who are actively doing something to make the world better.
Sally describes these artists as "a pollutant" or an "irritant", which sounds negative, but the now Director of Liverpool Biennial has a history of supporting this kind of practise, and worked with Katrin in her previous incarnation as Head of Public Programme at the Serpentine, London. These networks and long term associations are vital to artists working in this way. Jeanne has been in Liverpool for over two years, which demonstrates that change doesn't happen overnight and is also a testament to her personal belief in this project. After the talk finished, a camera crew started to set up to film Jay Raynor judging a bake off. As the critical debate segued into a light-hearted One Show feature, the bakery demonstrated the versatility that will ensure its longevity: and that when food and community are your trade you can actually be all things to all people.
From participation to a much more traditional form of art: I was one of the sizeable crowd last Tuesday that wanted to find out more about the painting Sighting by Elizabeth Magill (pictured), on display in the John Moores Painting Prize exhibition. The prize is one of the key strands of the Biennial, which ensures that every two years British painting is examined and placed within the context of international contemporary art. Being shortlisted for the prize isn't Elizabeth's first association with the city; in 1994 she was the artist in residence at Tate Liverpool, sponsored by Momart. This gave her an opportunity to step out of the "London bubble"; a comment that resonates with the ethos of the John Moores Painting Prize, which was deliberately established in a regional city. It was only at the end of the week that I discovered the rapt audience at Elizabeth's talk shared their appreciation with the majority of visitors to the Walker Art Gallery, who had voted for her to win the visitor's choice prize.
Hearing the audience gasp in wonder at Elizabeth's work (even as images in a PowerPoint) is convincing evidence that painting still affects people deeply. Elizabeth revealed that she lives with her paintings for four years, layering and reworking until "they don't annoy [her] anymore". Her paintings seem to speak to the soul of the viewer: conjuring up memories of any lonely natural beauty spot seen in childhood or the recent past. She cannot explain what makes her paintings "work" but she describes them as simply a way to build an exterior space to explore interior ideas. For such an accomplished artist, she has a very democratic view of art production, in particular drawing, about which she says: "I draw as I am waking up... anybody can draw... only comparisons with other artists can stop you". A sentiment definitely shared by the co-hosts of the Drawings Sessions.
It is the end of the festival and so Liverpool is back to business as usual. There are new exhibitions opening, many of which look really great. Tracing the Century at Tate is worth a visit (read my review here) and there is a new show opening at Open Eye in a couple of weeks ~ A Lecture Upon a Shadow ~ which looks intriguing. The cultural richness of the city, the reason that the Biennial was established here, is still apparent as the sea of the festival recedes, leaving a legacy through long-term projects such as Homebaked. New endeavours are setting up, new links are being made, artists are preparing to adapt and fight to continue what they are doing, and life goes on.
This is my fifth and last Liverpool Biennial 2012 blog for LDP, but I will continue to blog about visual arts in Liverpool in the New Year.
I PROMISED to share the winning photograph of our Thomas Joshua Cooper competition, so here it is....
We had lots of entries - and all were of a very high quality - but Mark McGowan's stood out to our judging panel, made up of Cooper and Metal director Ian Brownbill.
As a prize, Mark spent the day shadowing Cooper as he took photographs of the Mersey coastline. He has written a really interesting blog about it here, complete with plenty of pictures taken on the day.
If you want to know more about Cooper and what he was doing in Merseyside you can read my interview with him here.
TOP news this afternoon - LDP Arts blogger Linda Pittwood has won the first John Moores Critics Award, a competition to find the best critical writing about the John Moores Painting Prize.
The judges said: "The entrant wrote a fresh and lively review of this year's painting prize, which combined formal invention with insight."
Grace Harrison has been named as highly commended (Judges' comments: "This was a moving, personal description of a visit to the show, focusing on the work as the entrant guided her blind companion round the paintings."
And the John Moores Critics Award for the parallel China prize goes to Xu Jie (Judges' comments: "Intense and analytical writing, cleverly drawing together a common theme in three works"), with Wu Shen Zhi named as Highly Commended (Judges' comments: "This piece was focused and well informed").
Here is Linda's piece in full:
THRILLED to learn - via playwright Jonathan Harvey's Twitter account - that his play Beautiful Thing will be coming to Liverpool to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
This has been on my list of must-see plays for a while now so I'm very pleased to be able to watch it on his home turf. It will star Suranne Jones and will open in the West End followed by a tour of several venues across the UK.
His announcement has pre-empted the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse's season launch, which takes place on Tuesday, but it'll still be great to see what else they have in store for us next year.