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#ThanksToYou From 3-9 December 2018, we are offering free heritage tours and discounts to National Lottery players. This December as part of the #ThanksToYou campaign, ...


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Hannah Bays at Bluecoat

Brand Britain – A Place of A Safety?

Whilst news agendas are full of Brexit negotiations, customs unions and reports of threats to British prosperity the RRU has commissioned visual artist Hannah Bays to explore our emotional attachments to ‘British’ products.

As the artist herself explains;

“When there is so much uncertainty and worry about what the future holds  after we have left the EU I think people cling to nostalgic notions of what makes us ‘British’".

“I want to look at the construction of so-called British brands and unpick how designers and advertisers manipulate consumers so that we believe confectionery or condiments or cars are part of our national identity even when they are now manufactured abroad.”

Following a period of research at the Museum of Liverpool archive Hannah will work on 3 new paintings focusing particularly on products from Liverpool’s former Bryant and May factory. She will work in the Rapid Response Unit’s own bureau and a disused shop both located in the city centre and publicly accessible so that she can chat to passers-by about her work.

At the end of her residency her paintings will be exhibited as part of Liverpool’s Light Night event on Fri 18 May here at Bluecoat where Hannah will present a short talk about her work (6.30pm). The works will stay on display for one month.



Hannah Bays, b. London, 1982, has a BA in Graphic and Media Design: Illustration from the London College of Communication, 2006, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from the Royal Academy Schools London, 2015. Early work included designing record sleeves and fashion illustrations before moving exclusively into Painting. She has completed a number of residencies, including the Kings Mall Shopping Centre Residency, Hammersmith, London, 2017, and Eton College Artist in Residence, 2018. The artist has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows, and has work in a number of collections including the Jerwood and Hiscox.



Rapid Response Unit / RRU News is a unique year long cultural experiment designed to interpret, create and challenge how we receive news. Operating out of a newly formed independent news bureau, located in Liverpool’s St John’s Market, our reporters and correspondents will be national and international artists, creatively responding to global events as they happen. 

Commissioned artists from all art forms, paired with some of the City’s most innovative and acclaimed arts and cultural organisations, will produce new artistic content inspired by a story or topic in the headlines. 

All artistic content will be distributed digitally through RRU platforms and across national and international broadcast, print and online media, with some performed or exhibited at venues across the city. 

Public engagement will be integral to the programme, with opportunities for the public to come forward with news stories which matter to them.

Rapid Response Unit / RRU News forms part of the Liverpool 2018    

programme and is supported by Liverpool City Council and Arts Council England. 



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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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