Register Now for Liverpool Independents Biennial

Liverpool Independents Biennial 2010.

The independent strand of the Liverpool Biennial international festival of contemporary visual art.

18th September – 28th November 2010.

Registration is now open for solo artists, artists groups, galleries and organisations to be part of this exciting event.

The Independents is an inspiring mix of internationally experienced artists, as well young and mid career artists. The range of work has no bounds and in 2008 included film, performance, installations as well as normal gallery exhibitions. Locations were also completely diverse from one off street performances to more formal gallery exhibitions and included major locations such as The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and the Albert Dock alongside the Tate Gallery.

The 2008 Independents showcased more than 1000 artists, in 175 exhibitions across 92 locations. It is probably the largest event of its kind in the UK. It was truly an international festival with artists from over 27 countries including USA, Cananada, Australia, Iceland, Italy, Germany, Japan and China. It attracted international press and media coverage and is regarded as a fascinating opportunity to search out new and established creative talent and ideas. 2008 included Tracey Emin, Terry Duffy, Agata Alcaniz and many other international artists. The website archive provides indepth information as to all the artists and their exhibitions and events.

Liverpool has a thriving community of artists and many galleries, venues and exhibition location possibilities. However, from the experience of artists in 2008 it is never too early to start planning. The sooner artists register the sooner they can identify potential galleries, sites and locations as well as collaborators, funding, sponsors and promotion for their exhibition, event, etc.

Exhibitions and events can be for any duration, from a one off event to a major exhibition lasting the full duration of the Biennial. We advise that you search the archive to give yourself some idea as to what has gone before and what is possible.

TO REGISTER link to the following site and follow the instructions:


  1. The introduction and announcement of artists fees declares the death of Independents Biennial.

    This decision has transformed the Independents from an open access for all festival into an exclusive paying members only club.
    The principles of Independents was built upon fairness and inclusion for all, Independents is now similar to all other arts organisations.

    Why was there no open meeting to discuss this proposal with the artists? Where is the democratic process?

    Who made the decision to charge fees when it has never been an issue before? There are many questions that need answers:

    Is there no Arts Council funding to cover costs this year?

    Where is the money going? You must be accountable for the use of artists fees.

    Will there be any concessions, for example for people on benefits?

    Will there be a printed map and guide as there was in 2008?

    Will Art in Liverpool still promote exhibitions on its website during the Biennial if the contributing artists/group/event haven’t paid and registered with the “Independents”? Does this represent a conflict of interest?

    It has to be acknowledged that artists already pay for membership of artist groups/studios, hire of venue, own website promotion, materials costs etc. and now you expect them to pay for a listing on a website which will be promoted by who exactly? Will there be a link from the official Biennial website to the Independents website? Will there be a representative for the Independents who will attend press launches and ensure wide promotion of the participating paid-up members of this exclusive club?

    Why not re-brand the “Independents” as “Art in Liverpool Biennial” if you are going to transform the principles it was built on in such a way as to make it unrecognisable?

  2. Just to re-iterate the charging policy was not my decision but some brief answers.
    No, there is no funding from Arts Council, we may get some eventually but we’re taking the pessimistic view. Even if there is public funding this comes with a demand for match funding that we raise ourselves.
    So its nothing to do with exclusivity or membership it is simply a small charge to pay for the cost of running the website and all that entails. With the added good side-effect that only genuine people will register – I’ve had to clear out several would-be spammer and hacker accs every week over the past couple of years.

    There’s nothing to stop any artist putting on an Independents show you just have to pay to be on the website. If enough people sign up and we raise enough funds we should be able to produce a map and other printed material.

  3. I’m afraid many questions have not been addressed and this is symptomatic of closed managerial approach, many artists are asking these questions.

    Who made the decision to charge artists fees and why was there no open public meeting or discussion to enable a democratic debate on other possible sources of funding?

    Will there be any concessions?

    Will you still advertise and promote truly “Independent” exhibitions during the Biennial on Art in Liverpool if the contributing artists don’t register with the Independents website?

    Will there be anybody in charge of the Independents who will actively promote the Independents?

    Will there be a link from the Biennial website to the Independents website?

    If there were 1,000 contributing artists in the Independents Biennial 2008 does that mean you are expecting an income of £25,000 for running the Independents website? Match funding becoming £50, 000?

    I’m sure there will be many artists who will consider themselves to be part of the Independents 2010 without feeling the need to pay £25 to be included on the Independents website. Many will have immense experience of promoting their own work through various means.

    How do you own and control the Independents brand, was there an election to nominate a management team? Why no consultation with the most important part of this project, the Artists?


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