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Weekly Blog 15: Artists and the Bluecoat Building

published by The Bluecoat

This week's blog will be the last in our series dedicated to My Bluecoat, as we look ahead to the ...


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This week as part of our focus on the work for artist Suki Chan and the theme of the passing of time we are delighted to have an exclusive UK preview her new film HALLUCINATIONS (2020) which is currently on show at Science Gallery, Rotterdam as part of the group exhibition UNSEEN

The film is available to watch on Vimeo until 5pm on Wednesday 3 June. 

HALLUCINATIONS is a sensitively constructed immersive journey into the personal experiences of two people - Pegeen O’Sullivan, the daughter of Irish novelist, Liam O’Flaherty and Wendy Mitchell, who wrote her first book, after being diagnosed with young-onset dementia at the age of 58 - who are living with dementia, juxtaposed with the perspective of two carers. 

The film reveals intimate details that convey how dementia changes perceptions – resulting in hallucinations, altered experiences of time and sense of identity.  There are within the film real moments of hope, acceptance and calm, as well as an honesty about the bewilderment caused by old memories being more vivid than the day to day. 

HALLUCINATIONS was filmed in Belong Care Village, Crewe, where Chan undertook an artist residency as part of Where The Arts Belong, a pioneering project which explores how art and the creative processes can improve the lives of those with dementia. Where the Arts Belong is the brainchild of Bluecoat and award-winning dementia care provider, funded by Arts Council England and the Baring Foundation. 

The wider project, which also involves Liverpool city region based artists Alan Dunn, Roger Hill, Philip Jeck, Brigitte Jurack and Mary Prestidge was featured in The Guardian June 2019.

HALLUCINATIONS is part of a wider body of work entitled CONSCIOUS which explores the nuances of what it means to be conscious in a technological age. We look forward to bringing the entire CONSCIOUS project to Bluecoat in 2021.  

The CONSCIOUS project is funded by Arts Council England. You can find out more about CONSCIOUS in their article here.

We are also delighted to share an earlier work by Chan, Lucida (2017)

Lucida is an experimental journey through the micro spaces of the eye, the brain and the labyrinthine library spaces and boiler rooms Senate House, London. Chan's short film weaves together extraordinary images and documentary testimonies, from personal experiences of losing one's sight to scientific inspirations. Lucida also reflects the artist’s on-going interest in the relationship between the brain, perception and lived experience. 

Our focus on Suki Chan this week allows us to look back at an earlier phase in her practice. Suki Chan’s relationship to Bluecoat first started in 2002 when she participated in You Are Here, a live art programme during the Liverpool Biennial 2002. Curated by Bluecoat and Live Art Development Agency, performances and installations took place on and offsite. A diversity of UK and international artists reflected new identities, beyond nationality, ethnicity and sexuality. Suki collaborated with another Hong Kong-born photographer, Dinu Li. Their Shadow Songs, a two-channel video installation with live performance, played with concepts of dualities, blurring distinctions between real and imaginary. 

Read the illustrated brochure here and see images from Shadow Songs below

HALLUCINATIONS was commissioned by Science Gallery Rotterdam and Bluecoat, funded by Arts Council England. Research and development supported by Where the Arts Belong, a partnership between Bluecoat and care provider Belong, funded by Arts Council England and The Baring Foundation.

Lucida was commissioned by the University of Salford Art Collection and the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) in partnership with the Centre for the Study of the Senses, University of London and Tintype.

Lucida was funded by the Wellcome Trust Small Arts Awards and Arts Council England.

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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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