Art in Liverpool Magazine: Issue#5, July – Editorial

Kiara Mohamed, Humanscapes

Independents Biennial is back. The 14th July will see Merseyside welcome a new wave of creative output, with artists producing new exhibitions, events and work over four months in every corner of the region.

In the heart of Liverpool City Centre, over 80 artists will rotate in residencies, producing new work, installations and one-off exhibitions in St John’s Market, working with stall holders and building a new narrative around the people and cultures of Liverpool.

In a first for Independents Biennial in it’s relaunch year, four new commissions go outside the city lines and push festival audiences to Birkenhead, St Helens, Kirkby and Southport, while four new public art trails open around the region.

If you hadn’t gathered, this issue is dedicated to the festival that puts local artists at the front of the cultural conversation.

After four years away, Independents Biennial is back, and we’re not just showing off the work of artists around the region, but showing artists at work too.

St John’s Market is the site for the busiest artist project space in the UK this year, while galleries and redicovered spaces around the region provide a platform for groups to work in residence within their own exhibitions, responding to audience ideas and work from around the festival.

The programme takes over the last half of this newspaper, with full details on everything happening in July, with August – October highlights at the back. The programme will shift and evolve as the festival goes on, with talks and events announced by artists while they take up fortnightly residencies around the region.

Along with project spaces for artists, the festival is also working alongside eight of the region’s most exciting emering writers, over four months, working towards a new multi-disciplinary response to the festival, through short stories, poems, scripts and essays.

With over 200 events, from 250 artists, in 5 boroughs of the Liverpool City Region, its a festival that seeks to share the creative process, from idea to exhibition with residents and visitors to Merseyside.

The festival sticks to its roots, running alongside Liverpool Biennial, so in another festival first, we asked a key Independents Biennial artist to interview one of Liverpool Biennials headliners. The result, this month’s lead feature is an indescrible eduaction on the importance of sanctuary.

But it’s not all Independents Biennial (see, we’re not completely biased), this month sees the return of Liverpool Biennial as well as John Moores Painting Prize at Walker Art Gallery and the Bloomberg New Contemporaries, back in Liverpool at LJMU’s Art & Design Building.

The UKs most important painting prize has seen the rise of artists who have changed the face of modern art. JMPP winners include David Hockney, Peter Doig and Bruce McLean, while New Contemporaries is one of the most dedicated talent finding exhibitions picking the best work from the UKs most exciting graduates.

It’s a shame all this only comes around once every two years, but its a chance to pack 24 months into four, and none of it is missable.