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Liverpool Biennial 2018: Artists Showing at Bluecoat

published by The Bluecoat

Liverpool Biennial is the UK’s largest international visual arts festival taking place over 15 weeks at Bluecoat and across ...


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Mary Cloake on our summer programme










From the Liverpool Biennial and Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016 to the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, Bluecoat Chief Executive Mary Cloake talks us through our summer programme.

Welcome to summer at Bluecoat. This is the time of year in which preparations made in previous seasons come to fruition, so here at Bluecoat it is time to bring our commitment to artists to the forefront of our programme. Our work in supporting artists often remains behind the scenes so this summer we are asking you to join us in celebrating this vital strand of our activities.

In July we welcome Bloomberg New Contemporaries back to our galleries, 30 years after we last hosted this show in 1986. The exhibition showcases the best work emerging from British art schools and provides a welcome opportunity to engage with the perspectives and issues raised by a new cohort of artists. Artists selected for this exhibition often emerge over time as among the most interesting of their generation. This is certainly the case with Keith Piper, who exhibited in the 1986 New Contemporaries exhibition at Bluecoat and who returns to our gallery in October with a new solo exhibition. The centrepiece of this - Unearthing the Banker’s Bones - is a 70th anniversary commission for the Arts Council Collection by Bluecoat and the Institute of International Visual Arts (INIVA).       

As a co-commission with Liverpool Biennial 2016 we are thrilled to welcome Dennis McNulty to Bluecoat, in his first major showing in the UK. Dennis’ series of new commissions titled Homo Gestalt, include an installation, an app and a series of performances, and will form an important part of the Biennial’s Software episode, which encourages audiences to look beyond the purely technical application of technology.  

This summer will see a number of artists taking up residencies with us. Sean Borodale, whose interests cross a number of arts disciplines, will take up the position of artist- and writer-in-residence for 2016. Also emerging Jamaican artists Di-Andre C.Davis and Leasho Johnson will join us for two weeks in June as the result of a collaboration with RWA Bristol. We look forward with much anticipation to the exciting new ideas and practices they will contribute. At Bluecoat we support artists’ development through our programme and our studios but also through off-site work. One example of this is our involvement with the National Trust in the Trust New Art residency at Speke Hall. Alice May Williams, who is the first recipient of this residency, will visit Bluecoat for a talk introducing her practice.

Across the programme we have plenty of our regular events including talks, literary walks, workshops and music in the garden on Fridays. Liverpool Arab Arts Festival returns in July with a wide offering of visual art, music, dance, film, theatre, literature and family-friendly events inspired by Arabic culture. Bluecoat will host a number of events this year, including the LAAF Big Sunday. If you’ve never attended before, it’s the perfect opportunity to discover this fun and inspiring festival, with activities for people of all ages.

We look forward to welcoming you to Bluecoat this summer.


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About the Bluecoat

Liverpool’s centre for the contemporary arts, Bluecoat showcases talent across visual art, music, dance, live art and literature. As the most ...

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