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Bluecoat announces Black History Month programme

4 years ago

Bluecoat announces Black History Month programme

Bluecoat is celebrating Black History Month with new public art commissioned by artist and illustrator Sumuyya Khader and a rare interview with senior Liverpool-born artist Tony Phillips.

From Tuesday 6 October – Sunday 25 October Sumuyya Khader will showcase the work of 5 Black artists from Liverpool using billboard style technology along Bluecoat’s facade on Blundell Lane. The project will feature the work of artists Amber Akaunu, Sumuyya Khader, Kiara Mohamed, Salma Noor, and Millie Toyin Olateju.

Khader’s project responds to a lack of visibility for Liverpool’s Black artists.

Sumuyya Khader says:

“We have one of the oldest Black communities in the UK and a wealth of creative talent that often gets overlooked. Although Liverpool is known for being a city that celebrates culture as a Black woman I rarely see people who look like me being acknowledged and their work shared.”

The exhibition can be viewed on Bluecoat’s exterior wall on Blundell Lane.

The project is funded by Culture Liverpool’s Without Walls 2020 Programme.

To find out more about Sumuyya Khader’s work visit the website here.

As well as that in mid October Bluecoat will publish an interview with Liverpool-born Black artist Tony Phillips (b.1952) who trained at art school in the North West and gained acclaim over the decades for his printmaking and sculptures. He has exhibited at Bluecoat on a number of occasions including Black Art: Plotting the Course (1989), Jazz (1993), followed by a large solo show, The City in 1994. More recently the artist exhibited The History of the Benin Bronzes print series at Tate Britain in 2015.

Now living in Italy, Phillips is a frequent visitor to Liverpool and will return to the city in Spring 2021 to show his etching series. 12 Decades continues a survey of modern history that has occupied him over the last 40 years. This presentation at Bluecoat complements a new installation, 20th Century Chapel, that he is working on for Liverpool’s ‘Bombed Out Church’, St. Luke’s, and a proposed pedestrian trail of public artworks between the two buildings.

More information on Tony Phillips’ upcoming exhibition at Bluecoat can be found here.

Marie-Anne McQuay, Bluecoat’s Head of Programme said:

“We are thrilled to present Bluecoat’s programme for Black History Month. This October it is more important than ever that we celebrate the achievement of Black artists, and recognise their lived experience, especially artists from our own city.

Sumuyya Khader’s public poster exhibition makes visible the work of Black artists working in Liverpool today. We are delighted to be able to play a part in bringing this new public work to a city-centre audience by exhibiting the posters on Bluecoat’s outer wall. That this project has happened is entirely down to Sumuyya Khader’s tenacity and also reflects her sense of generosity to others.

As an established artist who has worked with Bluecoat for over 30 years, Tony Phillips has a wealth of experience to share, and we are grateful to him for doing so via our interview which we’ll release mid month. We greatly look forward to bringing his latest project to the city in Spring 2021.

Across October Bluecoat will also look back at the presence of Black artists in the organisation’s programme over the decades via our archive website “My Bluecoat.”


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