Hirst, Tillmans and Shonibare feature in a new exhibition at the Walker

Hirst, Tillmans and Shonibare feature in a new exhibition at the Walker

A new exhibition at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery will ask whether art can help us to see things differently. Transparency, an Arts Council Collection National Partners exhibition, runs from 24 March to 18 June 2017 and showcases work by artists including Damien Hirst, Wolfgang Tillmans, Christine Borland and Yinka Shonibare, MBE.

More than 40 artworks feature, including sculpture, painting, photography and video. The exhibition draws largely on works from the Arts Council Collection, with additions from the Walker Art Gallery’s own fine and decorative art collections.

Transparency looks at how artists have used transparent materials, forms and ideas about transparency to explore how we experience the world. From Christine Borland’s Sim Bodies to Toby Patterson’s Rotterdam Relief, the exhibition considers how using see-through materials such as glass and clear Perspex within artworks can affect the way we see things.

Ann Bukantas, Head of Fine Art at National Museums Liverpool, said: “Taking the theme of transparency as its starting point, this exhibition brings together artworks from across a wide range of mediums, by a dynamic cross section of artists.

“Works by some of the most well-known artists working in Britain today feature, alongside pieces by rising stars such as Emily Speed. She is a Cheshire-based artist whose work looks at the body and its relationship with architecture. We are excited to be showing her installation Build-Up,which was recently acquired by the Arts Council Collection.”

Using works by Ruth Claxton, Hannah Starkey and Mary Martin, the exhibition also considers how mirrored surfaces can create an illusion of transparency, while at the same time concealing what lies behind them.

Transparency suggests that the inspiration for encounters with transparent materials can be found both in domestic settings and outdoors, where transparent materials can convey the extraordinary visual qualities of the natural environment.

Dan Holdsworth’s Blackout 21 shows the Sólheimajökull glacier in Iceland. This photographic print reverses light and dark to reveal an array of different tones in the dynamic landscape. Meanwhile, Damien Hirst’s Untitled (from London Portfolio) heightens the glittering appearance of semi-precious stones by photographing them against a matt pink background.

Marcus Taylor’s ghostly sculpture Upright Fridge and Victor Newsome’s painting Corner of a Bathroom both present playful examinations of domestic objects and architectural space. These artworks test the boundaries between objects and images, and between what is art and what is not. They reaffirm art’s ability to help us find the extraordinary in the everyday.

The exhibition is accompanied by a resource area, in which visitors are encouraged to respond to the exhibition and to explore and share their ideas about transparency in art. There will also be a free programme of artist talks, exhibition tours and hands-on family workshops. For details, visit www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walkeracc

Transparency is an Arts Council Collection National Partners Exhibition. It was originally conceived by Yorkshire Sculpture Park with the Arts Council Collection and was displayed at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2016. It has been adapted and expanded for exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery, and features additional artworks and resources.