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The Bluecoat Residency Programme: Putting Artists at the Heart of the City

Having recently announced the details of our upcoming season, we are delighted to announce that Bluecoat’s Residency Programme is continuing to grow. This season we will host international artists such as Jade Montserrat, Suki Chan and Nurrachmat Widyasena.

Artists have long been at the heart of Bluecoat, having been established as a centre for the arts over ninety years ago when The Sandon Studios Society, led by Fanny Calder, launched a campaign to use the building for the development of arts. Bluecoat Society of Arts was officially established in 1927, with the view to cultivate and support artists.

Bluecoat has changed a great deal over the years that have followed, but this value is one we continue to uphold up to the present day. In the more recent years of our rich history, we have been working with artists to develop their work and practice through residencies in the studios, events and mentoring.

Last season we successfully hosted London based artist Jonathan Baldock throughout the month of February, who produced work during his time here that was used in a recent performance at Tate St Ives.

Looking ahead, these next few months will see Bluecoat’s International Residency Programme continue to grow as we announce two international open calls this summer. The first is a call out for a curator based in the Czech Republic to work in residence August - September 2018 at Bluecoat and get involved with the city’s artist-led scene. This is a collaboration with the Czech Embassy in London and Arts & Theatre Institute in Prague. The second international opportunity is for an artist, writer, curator or creative technologist from South India to undertake a residency at Bluecoat as part of the wider ‘Articulating Women’ programme in partnership with Liverpool Hope University; FACT and Christ University Bengaluru, funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council.

We are also pleased to announce that in January 2019 Bluecoat will host early career Indonesian artist Nurrachmat Widyasena, who will join us in Liverpool for his first UK residency. Widyasena’s residency forms part of a longer period of research by Bluecoat into the Indonesian art scene, supported by the British Council. Widyasena works with retro futuristic and space age themes and featured in the 2017 Jogja Miniprint Biennale.

Turning our attention closer to home, we will also be welcoming artist Jade Montserrat who lives and works in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Montserrat will undertake a research residency here in July 2018 while she prepares for a solo show at Bluecoat launching in November 2018. Montserrat works at the intersection of art and activism through drawing, painting, performance, film, installation, sculpture, print and text. She is currently working with Art on the Underground, London and is the Stuart Hall Foundation practice-based PhD candidate at The Institute for Black Atlantic Research, The University of Central Lancashire.

Artists working in social contexts remains an enduring interest at Bluecoat. From early autumn 2018 onwards, thanks to funding from Arts Council England’s new Celebrating Age fund, we will be embedding artists in ‘Belong Villages’ - groundbreaking specialist Dementia Care Homes. Residency artists for this programme include interdisciplinary London based visual artist and filmmaker Suki Chan and Liverpool City Region practitioners: dance artist Mary Prestige, sound artist Alan Dunn (Leeds University), dramaturg Roger Hill (BBC Radio Merseyside) and turntablist Philip Jeck (Touch Records).

Commenting on Bluecoat’s International Residency Programme, Mary Cloake, Bluecoat’s Chief Executive said:

“We’re delighted to welcome so many exciting artists to Bluecoat and to see our residency programme continue to grow. Local to international creatives will develop their artistic practice here in Liverpool and forge new relationships with each other and with the city.”

Having celebrated our building’s 300th year anniversary in 2017, this year marks the start of looking ahead to to how Bluecoat as a centre for artists can continue to grow and evolve.


Image credits:

Jonathan Baldock, Making magic and Rehearsing for tomorrow’s performance, Instagram, 2018.

Jade Montserrat, No Need for Clothing, (2017) - drawing installation at Cooper Gallery/DJCAD, photo by Jacquetta Clark.

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

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