Words by Sinead Nunes, Editor
The Liverpool Biennial may be at an end for 2014, but as a city renowned for its cultural offering, which has earned its place on the UK map of contemporary art, there is plenty to see this Autumn across Merseyside.
You can’t get far in Liverpool without stumbling across art; from street art and public realm installations, to indoor gallery and museum spaces, there is always a trace of creative flair close by.
In Liverpool city centre, you will find the biggest museums and galleries that the city has to offer; the iconic Tate Liverpool at the Albert dock brings The Father of Pop Art Andy Warhol to the city this season, whilst the Walker Art Gallery is currently showing the UK’s best-known and longest-running painting competition, the John Moores Painting Prize. Elsewhere, at the World Museum you can always find fascinating displays about the natural world, and experience the history of the city at the Museum of Liverpool.
Just a stone’s throw away from these historic buildings is another; the Bluecoat, Liverpool’s oldest centre for Contemporary Art. The Bluecoat boasts an ever-changing carousel of exciting exhibitions, showcasing everything from traditional painting and sculpture to digital works, whilst at the Bluecoat Display Centre you can find hand crafted jewellery, ceramics, prints and more.
Meanwhile, up the road on Wood Street, FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) is Liverpool’s hub for creative new media, where science and art collide to create stunning new exhibitions at the forefront of experimental art. Open Eye Gallery on Mann Island is Liverpool’s top venue for photographic exhibitions and also offers an array of workshops to encourage beginners and pros alike to experiment with photography on anything from a iPhone to an SLR.
Rose Wylie recently came first in the John Moores Painting Prize, 2014.
As well as all this, there are many independently run spaces throughout the city, with a year round programme showcasing the work of both local and international artists; Fallout Factory, Domino, Arena, The Royal Standard and Cactus, to name but a few, and venturing outside the city centre will bring only more artistic delights. Metal at Edge Hill Station, home of the Liverpool Art Prize which returns in 2016, hosts an ongoing programme of exhibitions and events such as the ever-popular Future Station, inviting local artists and creatives to share ideas and projects.
Elsewhere, in Bootle you can find The Art Gallery, and in Aigburth there are two independently-run spaces; Lark Lane Artworks and the recently launched collective ArtsHub47. Further afield, the Atkinson in Southport offers theatre and music alongside an array of exhibitions, and in Port Sunlight, the Lady Lever boasts a collection of 18th and 19th century paintings including a selection of Pre-Raphaelites, and the worlds best collection of Wedgwood jasperware.
Also known for its Universities, Liverpool’s educational institutions offer exhibition spaces of their own. The Victoria Gallery and Museum, housed in the iconic redbrick buildings at Liverpool University have permanent collections alongside a programme of exciting touring exhibitions. Hope University’s Cornerstone Gallery is a great place to spot the work of up and coming undergraduates, and Liverpool John Moores University’s Exhibition Research Centre offers a unique insight into the work of the artist, with exhibitions exploring the historical context of the work.
If you are thinking about planning your trip to Liverpool this autumn, it is easy to find accommodation near great galleries. The Ibis hotel for example, is only a ten minute walk from Tate Liverpool, or a two minute ride if you’re thinking about hiring one of our city bikes!
It is clear that Liverpool has become a key player in the art scene in Britain, and you can find out more about what’s happening at each of these venues here at Art in Liverpool – just click “Exhibitions” from the drop-down “What’s On” menu to discover what the city has to offer.