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There are so many galleries and museums constantly welcoming new exhibitions and works to the city, that we can learn from, admire and, just, enjoy.
From delving back through chart history at the British Music Experience to learning about the history and legacy of the transatlantic slave trade at the International Slavery Museum, there really is lots to see, experience and explore.
We can’t wait for them all to re-open. There’s so much great stuff in store, and here’s 12 incredible exhibits you can look forward to seeing…
A group of four cotton shirts featuring designs by Ringo Starr, including two with psychedelic handguns titled ‘Knotted Barrel’, printed and embellished with crystals, together with two shirts featuring an original ‘Peace and Love’ design created by Ringo for whateverittakes.org. Ringo has been photographed performing in a crystal Knotted Barrel T-shirt during his most recent All Starr Band tour.
A heavily-stained set list in blue and black ink titled ‘George Side 1’, used by George Harrison during his last tour at Japan’s Tokyo Dome on December 17, 1991, and accompanied by an invitation ticket to the concert and a signed letter of authenticity from the recipient of the set list.
According to the recipient, Harrison said of the stains: “It was not usual for things to survive at all, let alone the recording studio.” This set list is featured on page 117 of Live in Japan, a limited-edition book set with CDs published in 1993 by Harrison and Eric Clapton that celebrates Harrison’s tour in Japan.
Bluecoat, Liverpool’s Centre for the Contemporary Arts, will be bringing an ambitious new outdoor artwork ‘Bluecoat Platform’ to its front courtyard in May 2021. It’s part of the UK-wide Here and Now programme, a celebration of culture within communities to mark the 40th anniversary of the National Lottery.
Created by artist duo Simon & Tom Bloor, Bluecoat Platform has been made in collaboration with Liverpool children from Out of the Blue, Bluecoat’s after-school art club for 5-11 year olds and is inspired by the shapes and structures they made in a workshop with the artists. Resembling a scaled-up model of their designs, the playful sculpture creates a physical platform to bring some of Bluecoat’s artistic activities out of the building for audiences to enjoy this summer.
Part of Liverpool Biennial 2021, on the side of Bluecoat, Jorgge Menna Barreto’s Mauvais Alphabet (2021) will be a mural that’s been created in collaboration with students from Liverpool John Moores University and local mural artist, Anna Jane Houghton.
It documents weeds and wild edibles found in Liverpool, with Barreto presenting the types of plant that thrive naturally in local conditions as our associate, rather than product, and promoting the idea that, through eating and foraging locally, we can learn more about the place we inhabit and the local stories which are read not necessarily by the brain but by the stomach.
Exhibitions by photographer Don McCullin and New York artist Aliza Nisenbaum have both been extended until the end of summer to give everyone the chance to appreciate them.
Aliza Nisenbaum’s portraits of Merseyside NHS key workers, along with two large scale murals of hospital staff, are a must-see.
Inspired by the dedication of Liverpool’s key workers, she created a series of new paintings of NHS staff who worked tirelessly for their community during the pandemic. The exhibition captures the stories of frontline NHS workers and highlights the impact Covid-19 has had on their jobs and home lives.
Sitters include a professor of outbreak medicine, a respiratory doctor who became a father during the first wave, and a student nurse who comes from a family of nurses who all chose to return to frontline work.
One of the world’s leading photographers, Don McCullin has spent his life covering war, famine and displacement around the world and his images are accompanied by his brutally honest commentaries of the atrocities he witnessed.
When at home, he often turned his attention to the lives of people in Britain that had been left impoverished by policies of deindustrialisation. Within that the exhibition features images depicting life and industrial scenes in Liverpool and other northern towns and cities during the 1960s and 70s, where he saw similarities between the lives of the people he photographed and his own childhood.
Returning to FACT for 2021, Liverpool Biennial: The Stomach and the Port will look at the body and ways of connecting with the world. Drawing on non-Western ways of thinking, The Stomach and the Port will challenge an understanding of the individual as a defined, self-sufficient entity.
* Works by B.O.S.S. (Black Obsidian Sound System) – a collective established in 2018 by Kiera Coward-Deyell, Phoebe Collings-James, Evan Ifekoya, Onyeka Igwe, Shenece Liburd, Marcus Macdonald, Nadine Peters, Shamaica Ruddock.
B.O.S.S. have created an immersive environment titled The only good system is a sound system, which reflects and describes ways in which marginalised groups have developed methods of assembling against a background of repression and discrimination in the UK. The audiovisual installation envelops the viewer, resonating through the body, creating a club-like space of collective pleasure and healing.
* SOFT BOYS – a short film about queer and trans joy, specifically through and within the Somali culture and community. By re-engaging with Somalian traditional dances, cooking practices and garments, artist Kiara Mohamed connects with his nomadic ancestors and to a heritage from which he had always been made to feel excluded.
In this solo exhibition, Kiara’s new work highlights how modern concepts of masculinity can be surprisingly conservative, even within the trans community. The experimental documentary questions what it means to be a man by focusing on emotion, empathy and joy.
John Moores Painting Prize
The John Moores Painting Prize (until 27 June 2021), brings together the best of contemporary British painting every two years. Five extraordinary paintings are in with a chance of winning the coveted £25,000 first prize. Work by artists, Robbie Bushe, Michele Fletcher, Steph Goodger, Stephen Lee and Kathryn Maple are shortlisted from almost 3,000 entries, with the overall winner to be announced on March 4.
Check out the 67 paintings that make up this year’s JMPP, but look out especially for ‘Plasticity Horizon’ by Liverpool artist, Brendan Lyons. Made entirely of paint, apart from the canvases and shelf, it’s an extraordinary work which you will definitely want to see up close when the gallery opens.
PoemPortraits by ES Devlin
AI: More than Human (until 31 October 2021): The fascinating world of artificial intelligence comes to World Museum in a new exhibition bursting with interactivity through immersive artworks and scientific developments, giving visitors a thrilling vision of the future.
But pay particular attention to PoemPortraits by ES Devlin. An experimental, collective artwork, woven at the intersection of AI and human creativity, it combines poetry, design and machine learning and was conceived by artist and designer ES Devlin in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture Lab and creative technologist Ross Goodwin.
The Last Bohemian: Augustus John
The doors of Lady Lever Art Gallery will re-open with a brand-new exhibition. The Last Bohemian: Augustus John will showcase around 40 works by one of Britain’s most iconic and controversial artists.
Lord Leverhulme’s infamous ‘beheaded’ portrait by John will claim the spotlight and the exhibition will explore the extraordinary events that provoked Lever to destroy his own portrait. The scandal was leaked to the press, causing outrage and protest.
A new exhibition, it features objects that represent how local people from across our communities have responded and are being affected by the pandemic. Objects include several key worker ‘thank you’ banners, an LFC v Atletico Madrid programme and homemade Eid card.
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