Liverpool's centre for the contemporary arts

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A major part of the recent redevelopment of the Bluecoat was the construction of four purpose-built exhibition spaces. Spanning over 350m² and with nearly 100m of running wall space, the four new galleries are characterised by a lot of natural light and views onto the Bluecoat garden and busy Liverpool 1 area of College Lane. The spaces are flexible and hardworking as concrete is a consistent architectural feature throughout. However an elegant intervention of brick work brings a reference to the historic part of the Bluecoat in this most contemporary corner of the building. [Significantly, the area near the ramp at the entrance to the galleries reveals the one area of the Bluecoat where four centuries of architecture are visible.]

Since opening in the spring of 2008 the galleries have hosted a variety of exhibitions featuring contemporary art in all media by regional, national and international artists. The gallery programme presents a diversity of styles and approaches by artists at every stage of their career, from the student who has just-graduated to senior artists with established careers. Significantly, the Bluecoat commissions new works from artists for each exhibition. This support for artists - - in the development of their practice as well as the opportunity to take risks – is key to the continuing success of the gallery programme and the unique nature of exhibitions at the Bluecoat.

Marianna Simnett in Left Hand to Back of Head, Object Held Against Right Thigh, Installation Shot, Bluecoat, 2016

Gallery 1 is the smallest of the Bluecoat’s galleries. A black-box space, it is typically used for video projection and new media works.

Public View, Installation Shot, Bluecoat, 2017.

The Bluecoat’s largest exhibition space Gallery 2 is a versatile rectangular space featuring a series of double doors leading onto the Cloister, a bright, airy space that looks onto the Bluecoat garden.

Larissa Sansour, In the Future, They Ate from the Finest Porcelain, Installation Shot, Bluecoat, 2017.

Featuring a series of large, striking windows, Gallery 3 faces onto College Lane, a busy thoroughfare that leads into Liverpool 1, the heart of the city’s shopping area.

The Serving Library, Installation Shot, Bluecoat, 2015.

Gallery 4 on the first floor is nicknamed “the chapel” because of the elegant scale and height of the space, where the ceiling reaches to a skylight at a height of almost 7m. Three large box windows punctuate one side of the gallery, looking out onto College Lane.

The Vide, named by its architects after the Dutch for ‘void’, occupies a tall space over several floors and is often used as an exhibition space.  It reaches an impressive height of over 12m and is viewable from multiple levels.

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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