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200 artists and over 250 new works for the Independents Biennial

200 artists and over 250 new works for the Independents Biennial

Special commissions in St Helens, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley & Liverpool for 4 month festival

Let the art take over

200 artists and over 250 new works of art created by Liverpool and UK based artists will flood Liverpool city region as the Independents’ Biennial returns for its 20th year.

Running from 14 July – 28 October, the festival, includes four special commissions, celebrates grassroots and emerging artists. The Independents Biennial runs concurrently to Liverpool Biennial and is the sister festival, profiling  the city region’s emerging and established artists. Instead of being asked to respond to a festival theme, artists are invited via open call. Each of the four festival commissions will take place in key locations across Merseyside, including Williamson Art Gallery, Rimrose Valley in Sefton and in St Helens town centre. Working in new and existing arts spaces, with a largely free programme, the festival will offer a fresh perspective on how we see, make and use art in Merseyside.

The commissions run alongside a wider festival programme shining a spotlight on independent visual arts talent, with open studio events, special exhibitions, performances and more across a four month period. The commissioned artists and special festival events include; 

Brigitte Jurack, Williamson Art Gallery, Wirral

Jurack will create a sculpture for the Green Gallery, a new space at the Williamson. Inspired by Oxton Road, one of the most culturally diverse roads in Wirral, the multi coloured and richly patterned rock will be bright and glossy, reflecting the multicultural nature of the street itself. Home to a much loved Iranian fruit seller, K&K, a Thai food store, Polish International food shops, a popular record store, Skeleton, hardware, model making and electronic shops, Oxton Road is a bustling independent network.

Brigitte Jurack, winner of Independents Biennial 2018 Wirral commission

Kate Hodgson, St Helens

With an interest in print as a democratic art form, Hodgson’s work takes messages out of the confines of the gallery, and explores how print and performance can bring artwork to the people. In her most recent work, she poked fun at slogan t-shirts, with absurd messages designed to disseminate pointless information. For this commission she will respond to St Helens 150 year anniversary with a series of pop-up print workshops where artists, creatives and residents will invited to make screen prints for t-shirts, posters, tote bags and tea towels celebrating the town’s rich industrial past. Hodgson is one of the artistic directors at The Royal Standard.

Kate Hodgson, winner of Independents Biennial 2018 St Helens commission

Cath Garvey, Knowsley

Comic artist and illustrator, Cath Garvey will lead workshops in Knowsley that aim to empower young girls, while teaching the skills to create a unique character and printing their own comics. The workshops, Girl Comics, will run as a series, starting with words taken from local dialect and driven towards an exhibition of comics created by the young women of Knowsley.

Cath Garvey, winner of Independents Biennial 2018 Knowsley commission

Rimrose Valley, an environmental art trail, Bootle, Sefton

Currently under threat with plans for a proposed expressway, Rimrose Valley is a strip of green space in the heart of Sefton. A collective of artists will create a site specific series of works using eco-friendly materials to be on display for the duration of the festival.

Liverpool, various venues

The artists festival hub at St John’s Market will be accompanied by exhibitions at the former George Henry Lee’s building, supporting a series of emerging and recently graduated artists from RCA, LJMU and Liverpool Hope.

Artists and writers from Urban Sketchers and ROOT-ed Zine will takeover empty units in St John’s Market the bustling undercover market in the heart of the city centre over four months.

 department store, will host a painting exhibition of Merseyside artists with various events throughout the festival.

Seel Street Interventions

Artists from the RCA bring their unique brand of performance and intervention to 100 Seel Street. Expect provocative and thoughtful artistic moments in the public realm.

Art in Liverpool are producing the four month festival with production partners including; Heart of Glass (St Helens), The Atkinson (Sefton), Williamson Art Gallery & Museum (Wirral), Knowsley Galleries & Museums (Knowsley), VAiL and Metal Liverpool (Liverpool). Funded by Arts Council England, Liverpool City Council, VAiL and the above partners.