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Liverpool Biennial, Bluecoat Gallery and Shop Displays.

November 24, 2010

I’ve been putting off doing this post, not because I didn’t want to, but purely because I knew it

was going to be a bigee ! All done now. Phew ! So a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough

to get to spend a day with two great old friends of mine, walking around parts of Liverpool’s

Biennial Exhibition, Art Galleries and generally just catching up with the city itself.

I found this painted building in one of the back streets.

The Biennial is Liverpool’s International Festival of Contemporary Art and is a huge event

spread over 18 venues and on, this year, from 18th Sept until Nov 28th,

so there’s a few days left if you’re quick ! Initially we caught up with a few old favourites

in the John Moores Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery.

This was first held in 1957, the John Moores Painting Prize is the

UK’s best-known painting competition and is named after Sir John Moores (1896 – 1993),

the founder of the prize. The competition culminates in an exhibition held at the Walker Art

Gallery every two years, which forms a key strand of the Liverpool Biennial.

The John Moores exhibition is held in partnership with the John Moores

Liverpool Exhibition Trust, and although the appearance of each exhibition changes,

the principles remain constant: to support artists and to bring to Liverpool

the best contemporary painting from across the UK. Here’s some winners from 1957 0nwards.

and a feel for what exhibiting and judging the prize was like in the late fifties too.

This years entries were a real mix of styles and areas of interest.

The last two artists work above were part of the Shanghai Awards which is another

new addition to the JM Award.

After this we saw some more exhibitions at the Tate. Key figures from the cultural arena

had been invited to co-curate selected sections of an exhibition. Artist Michael Craig-Martin

and designer Wayne Hemingway, and his son Jack, assembled their own

interpretations of the Tate Collection, A few pieces were unusual and uplifting

but I thought some of the sculptures we’re there for shock value alone and were sadly rather

tasteless and unnecessarily offensive. Something for all as they say ! More info on that here.

The Bluecoat School was next and as usual one of my favourite Liverpool haunts.

There was a room densely filled with coloured ribbons that were tied to a framework

on the ceiling. Artist Nicholas Hlobo created a bizarre environment where the ribbons

were hanging so close together that it was like entering a dreamlike swimming pool

of coloured strands and you had to push your way through the dark labyrinth to see

in front of you and to also create a path to walk on.

A most creepy and bizarre, yet enjoyably refreshing experience.

Also beautiful work in the Bluecoat Gallery Shop by artist and toymaker Robert Race.

The rest of the day was spent admiring the creative window and instore displays.

Oh and before I forget I picked up a leaflet about a Winter Arts Market on at St George’s Hall in the

city centre on November 27th. Tons of interesting gifts and crafts going on.

Ideal for some pre-christmas browsing.  More info here.

Thanks again to Gill and Sarah for their company on such a great day.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 24, 2010 10:41 am

    goodness we did do a lot ! Thank you too for a super day….not forgetting lots of coffee & yummy food ! Might have to get one of those lovely John Lewis Xmas trees…you’ve reminded me how lovely they are.

  2. ssarahlou permalink
    November 24, 2010 12:55 pm

    Li weizhou was by far my fav. Amazing movement, depth and detail with so little brush strokes. I also liked the contrast of the huge white space of canvas 2 the size of the people. For how much longer can u c the “ribbons” ? X

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