Posts in Visual arts
For a chance to win, visit the Light Night venues below and send as many answers as you can find to firstname.lastname@example.org or Laura Davis, Light Night Competition, Liverpool Post, PO Box 48, Old Hall Street, Liverpool L69 3EB by Thursday, May 23.
The person with the most correct answers will be given a tour of the repository and conservation studio and can take up to three friends along with them too. Best of luck!
1. Walker Art Gallery: How many bails of plastic waste are contained within Robyn Woolston's installation Strangers in a Strange Land?
2. Open Eye Gallery: What is the figure in Eva Stenram's photograph Drape Centrefold 2 being hidden by?
3. Liverpool Central Library: Which species of bird is on the currently open page of the book Birds of American by John James Audubon, which you can find on display in the Oak Room?
4. Leaf, Bold Street: What symbol is on the tattoo on the neck of the man wearing a leather jacket in Pete Carr's photography exhibition Leaves?
He will perform his one man show This Filthy World at the Philharmonic Hall on November 8 as part of the city's queer arts and culture festival.
The "joyously devious monologue" focusses on his early negative artistic influences and fascination with true crime, exploitation films, fashion lunacy and the extremes of the contemporary art world.
Waters, who has been exhibiting his photo-based artwork and installations internationally since the 1990s, said: "I can't wait to see Liverpool, the town I've always wanted to come to but never have. I bet it's as extreme as Baltimore!"
Festival director Gary Everett added: "From modest beginnings in 2004 Homotopia has grown into an international flag-bearer for high quality queer culture consistently punching above our weight. We are very excited to bring an international star like John Waters to Liverpool for our big tenth birthday celebrations."
LiVERPOOL artist Nicola Taggart has brightened up the busy underpass linking both sides of Aigburth Road from Jericho Lane to Ashfield Road with scenes and memories of the local area.
Nicola, who was also recently responsible for a community artwork project in Speke to celebrate Jack Jones' centenary, carried out a number of workshops, working alongside local residents groups and Sudley School to gather ideas and personal memories.
The project was initiated by neighbourhood officer Gary Steele with the backing of Cllr Patrick Hurley. The area's three ward councillors committed through their Neighbourhood Fund and additional financial contributions came from Your Housing Group and Pier Head Housing Association. The installation of the artwork was carried out by social enterprise Jigsaw.
Twenty schools are taking part in the scheme, which gives them a public platform to display their art work outside the school environment .
Each participating school selects 25 pieces of work which are put on display via the dot-art Schools website, where students, family and friends, as well as the public, are able to vote for their favourite piece. An exhibition will then be held showcasing the top works from each participating school in the Domino Gallery, Liverpool, a scholarship awarded to the top student in the program, and certificates awarded to the top students at each school.
The complex painting shows 24 figures sat around a dinner table, who are all real people from different periods of Walsh's life. It features famous friends such as the artists Maurice Cockrill and Adrian Henri and the poet Roger McGough, as well as Walsh's neighbour, solicitor, ex-wife, partner and bank manager.
Irish-born Walsh settled in Liverpool in 1960 and established himself at the heart of the city's creative crowd. The Walker's collection and Walsh's circle of artist, poet and musician friends were an important source of inspiration and often the subjects of his work.
He appears twice in the painting, sitting on opposite sides of the table. The Walsh on the right-hand side is shown wagging his finger at his opposing self, a mannerism he particularly disliked.
He will lead a team of six members of staff with one of his first tasks being to appoint a deputy director and programme co-ordinator.
Fusi Lorenzo curated the Liverpool Biennial's 2010 and 2012 exhibitions, entitled Touched and The Unexpected Guest.
Last year, he also curated a suite of three retrospective exhibitions for the Galleria Civica di Modena in Italy, bringing together the work of Peter Hujar, Mark Morrisroe and Jack Smith under the collective title Changing Difference: Queer Politics and Shifting Identities.
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
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.
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.
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: