RISE up!: Diverse programme of events launched to mark International Women’s Day

RISE up!: Diverse programme of events launched as part of RISE season

TO mark International Women’s Day, Liverpool is announcing a season of events which celebrate inspirational women.

In the year which sees the city host the Netball World Cup, the RISE programme will pay homage to extraordinary women from Liverpool and from around the world with the aim to inspire, educate and empower others – regardless of their age or gender.

It features a series of brand new artistic commissions, world-firsts, exhibitions and performances by leading female artists, thinkers and leaders, with the majority of activities being free to attend.



Sudarios, Liverpool Cathedral, 8-28 March, FREE

A moving showcase by renowned Colombian artist Erika Diettes, the exhibition features 20 large-scale, black and white shrouds, emblazoned with photographs of women who have been forced to witness the murder of, or violence towards, their loved ones. Diettes’ work shines a spotlight on the survivors, and acknowledges not only their suffering, but their continued faith in humanity. A collective of local artists called Mother’s Day Project will work with a group of refugee women and Erika Diettes on a response performance to Sudarios which will take place later this year.

The Female Gaze: Women Depicting Women, 8 March- 4 May, Dot-art Castle Street, FREE

This new exhibition showcases the work of three women artists, Liz Jeary, Mia Cathcart and Rebecca Atherton. Each artist depicts women in their work, capturing and exploring identity and the complex representations of women in art through diverse art forms.

Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett, 29 March-16 June, FACT, FREE

Bringing together the work of two filmmakers which spans more than 40 years, technology is used to subvert classic elements of fairy tale storytelling, and their works stand as a refusal to yield to patriarchal societies which exist to control, conform and conquer.


Kinship, Open Eye Gallery, 29 April-30 June, FREE

Kinship looks at how women are using photography to reflect upon their sense of kin. The projects collected together seek to uncover the ways people build close relationships amongst each other that feel like family. The exhibition features Pixy Liao, Momo Okabe, Margaret Mitchell, Lydia Goldblatt, Jenny Lewis, and Johanna Heldebro

Shanghai Sacred, Victoria Gallery (University of Liverpool), 1 May – 1 September, FREE

Award-winning photographer and anthropologist Liz Hingley explores religious rituals and their social contexts in Shanghai – a city she spent three years exploring and analysing its spiritual landscape. The work will be displayed using a Chinese freestanding bamboo structure made by artist Chen Hangfeng.

Yolart, Pier Head, 31 May to 28 June, FREE

In a brand new commission for both RISE and River Festival Liverpool, the Pier Head will become a canvas for in-demand artist Jola Kudela. Her speciality is working in public spaces and engaging with communities to recreate scenes from classic paintings, giving it a 21st century twist. Jola uses contemporary models to feature in her art, and creates huge collages which are then pasted on to unusual backdrops, often on to derelict abandoned buildings, so the composition itself becomes part of the urban landscape.


First Women Exhibition, St George’s Hall, 18 June – 27 August, FREE

This exhibition comprises of a unique collection of 100 portraits capturing women in the UK who were “first” in their field of achievement. Taken by internationally acclaimed photographer Anita Corbin, they aim to provide inspiration and insight for a new generation of women seeking an understanding of their own roles in a rapidly changing world in which equality is still an issue.

A Portrait Of…, Open Eye Gallery, 15 July – 30 September, FREE

This work looks at how we see each other through photography, something that most of us use to communicate every day. The projects on show share new perspectives on youth, disability and age.

April Ashley Archive, Liverpool Central Library, 28 July – 28 August, FREE

Liverpool City Council has been given exclusive permission to exhibit a small selection from the archive of April Ashley MBE, the trans-pioneer, model and actress. It will include artefacts recording April’s time from Pitt Street to the glamour of the Carousel Club in Paris and appearances in Vogue magazine. There will also be letters and photographs of the Liverpool woman and icon who helped change the legal and social representation of gender.

How to be a…

How to be a Songwriter, LIPA, Tuesday 12 March, all places already allocated

The powerhouse behind tracks on Beyoncé’s critically revered Lemonade as well as other global hits by Britney Spears and Craig David – Carla Marie Williams – will be giving an intimate masterclass aimed at aspiring young females. The session will see Carla give advice on how women can break into the male-dominated music industry.

How to be a Spy, St George’s Hall, Tuesday 18 June, ticketed

Dame Stella Rimington – the first female Director General of MI5 – will talk about her various roles in the security service. After leaving MI5, Dame Stella has become a celebrated author, with her ‘insider knowledge’ making her spy novels a must-read. Tickets will be on sale in the coming weeks.

How to be a Sports Journalist and Broadcaster, July, Liverpool ONE, FREE

Presenter, writer and broadcaster Clare Balding will take part in a special Q&A talking about her award-winning career, its highlights and any advice she would give to both men and women who are looking to follow in her footsteps.

Tickets and latest information for all events can be found by visiting www.riseliverpool.co.uk, following @Rise_Liverpool on Twitter and Instagram and using #RISEwithUS.

Any artist, cultural organisation or group across the city staging events or activities this year which celebrate women are encouraged to head to www.riseliverpool.com and fill in the online form and the event could be promoted on the website as part of the RISE season.

Although RISE officially launches today, a number of preview events have taken place, including the ambitious free, 209 Women exhibition – an all-female exhibit at Open Eye Gallery which features new portraits of women MPs from across the country, shot entirely by women photographers. It runs until Sunday 14 April.

RISE has been curated by Liverpool City Council and funded by Arts Council England. Other partners include University of Liverpool, The Women’s Organisation, Blackburne House, Northern Power Women, Merseyside Women of the Year, The Girls Network and the Mayoral Club.