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HomeFeaturesEditorial: Art in Liverpool issue 41, June 2024

Editorial: Art in Liverpool issue 41, June 2024

Wirral is the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture for 2024. In this issue, we’re sharing highlights from that programme, but also looking in more depth at some of the projects that happen regardless (a word I’ve become quite attached to recently).

Cultural titles and rolling programmes are exciting, but they are built on the back of independent collectives of artists making exceptional things happen. Ron’s Place, featured on the cover and later in the issue, is a perfect example of doing things regardless. Not just regardless of permission (and Ron’s Place famously was) but to actively disregard the structure of permission and land ownership we’re used to.

Future Yard is well supported by the council, and by the combined authority, and by Arts Council England but its worth remembering why. They’re supported because they make a significant difference to how culture works. Future Walls gallery, the exhibition space at the centre of Future Yard supports local artists, as well as musicians, with Ellie Hoskins featuring across the middle pages of this month’s issue ahead of her exhibition there.

Wirral Open Studios has happened annually since 2009 and isn’t going to slow down. This year, they’re sharing the work of 99 artists in 52 studios across the Wirral. It’s one of the biggest open studio events in the country and it just keeps growing.

That creative spirit, shared in spades across Wirral’s side of the river, is impossible to miss, and right now, through Borough of Culture, a light is being shone on it.

No borough is ‘awarded’ Borough of Culture. The title rolls from Wirral, to St Helens, to Knowsley, to Halton, to Sefton, every year. Instead, the title is an opportunity for councils to capitalise on the stuff that happens regardless, and to make sure it can be sustained for another five years until the funding boost rolls around again.

In 2024, Wirral are supporting dozens of artists, announced later this month, with some projects to ease people in, and others to challenge them. The recipients are a mix of established groups and individual artists at the start of their career, with most events happening throughout the summer and into Autumn.

It’s a meaningful approach to Borough of Culture, and one that hopefully leads into a lasting legacy of support for the studios, galleries and producers who have set up spaces across the Wirral.

As for this issue, we’re grateful to the culture team at Wirral Council, because not only have they supported us to produce something entirely dedicated to the Wirral, they’ve enabled us to get out and see places we’ve not seen, and meet people we’ve not met.

For twenty years, Art in Liverpool has strived to represent the entirety of Merseyside, and it’s incredible that there’s still so much we’re missing, and I genuinely hope we get to do with the other boroughs and pull creatives into the folds of these pages.

So sit back, grab a brew, and take in everything the Wirral has to offer this month, with a few highlights for the rest of summer thrown in.