Upcoming Biennial Events, Independents etc.


Written by Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney (Transvoyeur)

04 September 2006
The upcoming events of the Biennial in what ever strand we each fall (artists, art collectives, curators, institutions) are literally less than two weeks away.

I would assume everyone is a hive of activity, stress levels up, final touches to art work, telephone calls manically made to ensure the management of projects is in place, etc., etc., or maybe I am conceding my own position and experienced in this. This is not exclusive to me or any of the associate artists of Transvoyeur, but something relative to everyone in the upcoming events.

There has been deconstruction and reformations of the Independents, some say too late in the day, but the most important thing we, as artists and those involved in culture have, and that is the creative insight and energy that makes each of us do what we do as practitioners. Everything is trial and error, but this is a fundamental and integral part of life and creatures all over, significantly in human evolution and civilisations.

To me this time of unknown is actually a positive one, because without the preconceptions of what has gone before there is an element of we have a certain challenge and level of control on how good we make the Independents. The emphasis of ‘Independent’ is paramount this time around, but is not such analogous of the role of the artist anyway. We exercise autonomy in our creativity and although we may collaborate, there is the element of concept, which is generally derived from the self. The individual. The artist. We are not isolated creatures, but respond to life by experience and dialogue of diverse media.

I am not a political person, rather I do not perceive myself this way, rather as an artist based in the city and admittedly there are issues of limitation placed in front of us, but it is not one to ‘winge’, as from certain quarters the artists of Liverpool were accused, rather it is a time to prove what good art and indeed test ourselves to realise exceptional art and culture.

I talk simply from the heart, instinct and as a professional in more pragmatic terms. There is exceptional art in this city of Liverpool and people who are immensely focused, passionate and disciplined to what they do. I have been fortunate to know some of them and I am not going to do an ego trip here and isolate my assertions to the Transvoyeur group only. These qualities are demonstrated by many in the city and I believe it is now time we address everything by what has gone before by producing work and events that are the utmost in our professional capacity.

Idealistic maybe, but I do sincerely believe it is not a case of ‘us’ and ‘them’ that has been the general ethos by some. Such stalemate only pervades by equal animosity and barriers need someone somewhere to start to break these down. This is something relative to everyone. It is one now to prove worth in what we do as artists and indeed gain the respect that should be to each and all involved in arts and culture and life overall. It is not about intrigue and taking sides, it is about explicating in everything we do the fortitude and dignity that should be expressed.

I was lucky. I was raised by two exceptional creative people, but who also believe implicitly the precepts I outline here. These are basic fundamentals of modern society and life, but yet it is strange at times we each throw to wayside such and then nothing is resolved.

To everyone involved in whatever capacity in the upcoming events, I wish you well and good luck.

Gaynor Evelyn Sweeney
(UK Projects Co-ordinator)
Tel. No.: 0151 726 0247
Mobile: 07944733576
E-mail: transvoyeuruk@hotmail.co.uk
Website: www.transvoyeur.co.uk


  1. Added note … The Biennial per say overall has always been a roller coaster ride and significantly the Independents strand. Everything shifts and changes and even upto the eleventh hour. Everyone is prone to this and from experience I expect such.

  2. Gaynor raises some interesting points but perhaps the most crucial, it seems to me, is this matter of whingeing.

    I am sure this lazy caricature of artists is not one that just applies to Liverpool and it is easy to see how this arises. They are rightly ambitious for their work, they are often by nature and education critical (this admirable quality is itself often caricatured as negative and whingey) and of course they don’t always make themselves clear.

    One of the most exciting aspects of art in Liverpool is how dynamic artists’ groups like Transvoyeur and Arena and more loose associations have made it their own business to know about administration and direction through, doubtless, some trial and error but also through their independent knowledge, research and promotion. Through this embrace of the world of ‘them’ artists know what it is reasonable to expect and demand.

    As I see it we all owe it to ourselves and the city to make concerns known when there is time for action to be taken and to be specific and (ambitiously) reasonable in what we ask for.

    If people want to call that whingeing they can but they do so with no basis. We might even call them whingers (except we are far too polite).

    And most importantly yes … let’s have a great Biennial!


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