Liverpool Biennial & Culture Liverpool Announce New Public Artwork by Nathan Coley

Installation view: From Here, 2020, by Nathan Coley, St George’s Dock Pumping Station, Mann Island, Liverpool © Photography by Mark McNulty.

Liverpool Biennial and Culture Liverpool are delighted to announce their latest co-commission, From Here, 2020 by Turner Prize shortlisted artist, Nathan Coley.

The installation has been revealed on Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront and is the latest in a series of high-profile outdoor artworks following 2018’s Liverpool Mountain by Ugo Rondinone.

Coley’s text-based light sculpture is made up of the words From Here, All the Worlds Futures, From Here, All the Worlds Pasts.

The installation is inspired by the writings of German philosopher, Walter Benjamin, and acknowledges the curator, Okwui Enwezor’s influential exhibition All The World’s Futures at Venice Biennale 2015. Nathan Coley’s expansion of the phrase presents a new meaning that reinforces the power of Liverpool as a place, its history and speaks to the hope for the future.

Measures 20 metres in length, the site-specific artwork and has been especially designed to wrap around all four sides of the St. George’s Dock Pumping Station – an iconic Victorian building located on Mann Island in the heart of the city.

Nathan Coley, artist, said:

From Here in Liverpool is the largest text work I have made to date. Like the others in the series, it presents the public with a powerful poetic proclamation. I’m hoping in a small way it can be seen as an antidote to the darkness of 2020. The phrase speaks of place, history and times still to come. In the way I’ve given power to the words, I hope the sculpture creates a healthy discussion about public space, the making of place and the possible futures we all have.”

Dr. Sam Lackey, Interim Director of Liverpool Biennial, said:

“Nathan is a brilliant artist, and we are delighted that we have been able to work with him on this project. The piece feels incredibly pertinent yet also expansive – a snapshot of the world in which we find ourselves in; a focus to give us a moment to both pause and reflect. Everyone worked so hard to get the piece built and installed before Christmas, as it felt important to us that the message of the work came at the end of this challenging year and to provide optimism for 2021.”

Claire McColgan MBE, Director of Culture Liverpool, adds:

“I couldn’t actually imagine this artwork being in any other city. Its message is a perfect fit for Liverpool. It is both reflective and thoughtful but also full of hope and ambition. Creativity is in this city’s DNA, and I am so very proud that even in the challenging moment we find ourselves in, we are still committed to creating brand new work and using our streets as a playground for artists to inspire and make people think about what we aspire to be.”

The installation will initially remain in situ for twelve months, alongside the 11th edition of the Liverpool Biennial, The Stomach and the Port, which runs from 20 March – 6 June 2021.

Watch exclusive aerial footage of the work, accompanied by music from UNKLE, courtesy and thanks to James Lavelle, and a reading of an extract from Walter Benjamin’s text Theses on the Philosophy of History, The State of Things by presenter, Ngunan Adamu – here