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Located in the heart of Liverpool's shopping district, the Bluecoat houses a number of specialist independent retailers offering an eclectic range of beautifully designed handmade and unique products.

Stocking the best in contemporary craft, design, music, fashion and homewares, the shops at the Bluecoat should be your first destination in the city for the unique and the unusual. Use the links on the left hand side and below to see what each of our ten retailers make, sell and do.

Stitches
the Bluecoat Display Centre
Kernaghan Books
R&J Porter: Jeweller, Silversmith and Hand Engraver
Root Houseplants & Mary Mary Florists
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Bluecoat, Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, announces 2018 exhibition of sound art

Bluecoat’s gallery is transformed into a sonic chamber for collective singing in this ground-breaking new sound installation by Emma Smith, based on the music of social communication. Euphonia is an interactive sound work illustrating how we unconsciously make music through interlocking rhythms, pitch and tone when we engage in friendly interactions - such as chitchat with friends.  Smith will draw from sounds created by the many people who visit Bluecoat on a daily basis –parents and babies, visitors to the café and the choirs and groups who rehearse there in the evenings.

The exhibition launches Thursday 26 April 6pm and runs until Sunday 24 June 2018.

Euphonia is based on the premise that when we engage in friendly interactions - chitchat with friends - we unconsciously make music through interlocking rhythms, pitch and tone. Supported by The Wellcome Trust and working with a team of world experts on psychology, music and the brain, Smith is extracting this music of social communication to create an interactive sound work. As part of this process the artist has created a new form of musical scoring to share the sound of human relationships.

In the lead up to the exhibition Smith is developing her research through public facing experiments and workshops, working with many of the long term communities of interest who visit Bluecoat on a daily basis – the parents and babies who come here for weekly sessions, visitors talking informally in the café and the choirs and groups who rehearse here in the evenings, including Liverpool’s Choir With No Name, set up for people affected by homelessness and marginalisation and 20 Stories High, an award winning youth theatre group. The full civic, social and artistic breadth of Bluecoat as an arts centre is indirectly captured in these recordings. Also working further afield, the theartist is creating workshops and online experiments to capture and understand the musicality of social interactions in a range of languages.

The exhibition is the first of its kind in Liverpool and has been developed through collaborative research with Professor Robin Dunbar (University of Oxford), Professor Lauren Stewart (Goldsmiths), Professor Ian Cross (University of Cambridge) and Dr. Victoria Williamson (Universityof Sheffield).

An events programme accompanying the exhibition will share the research behind the making of the work and invite the public to undertake their own vocal experiments and add their voices to the show.

Mary Cloake, Chief Executive of Bluecoat said “We are delighted at Bluecoat to continue to break new ground through artistic and cultural commissions. After the Philosopher in Residence (2015) and Sociologist in Residence (2017), both unique ventures for a UK arts centre, we turn our attention to the music of communication through the groundbreaking work of British artist Emma Smith and collaborating academics. This exhibition is the first of its kind at Bluecoat and in Liverpool".

Marie-Anne McQuay, Head of Programme at Bluecoat said "Bluecoat was originally founded by artists in the early twentieth century who were interested in establishing a centre for ‘Art, Literature, Science for Adult Instruction and the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge’. This interdisciplinary spirit of enquiry continues today with Emma Smith’s exhibition Euphonia, which also provides a partialsonic portrait of the communities of interest who visit Bluecoat on a daily basis”.

Biography: Emma Smith (1981) is a British artist currently based as a studio resident at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire, and works internationally. She has a performance based social practice, creating public platforms for experimentation and research through site-specific actions, events and installations.

Recent projects include: touring exhibition material / rearranged / to / be with Siobhan Davies Dance that premiered at the Barbican before traveling to Tramway, Glasgow; Whitworth, Manchester; and Bluecoat, Liverpool (2017); Hunch – a major public performance work and installation in Cambridge city centre (2017); The Whistling Orchestra – that premiered at Primary, Nottingham before traveling to Nottingham Contemporary and Wysing Polyphonic Music Festival (2016) and which has subsequently won an award to be re-commissioned in the USA; as well as projects for Art on the Underground, London (2017), Tate Exchange, London (2017), MAAS, Sydney Australia (2017), Delfina Foundation, London (2016), B-A-U, Italy (2016), Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (2015), Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland (2015), and Arnolfini, Bristol (2015), among many others.

Tags:Exhibitions

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About the Bluecoat

Bluecoat is Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, the oldest in the UK. Our landmark building, located in the ...

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