Bluecoat Display Centre: Collect(ed)

14 May – 25 June 2011 at the Bluecoat Display Centre – ‘Collect(ed)’

The Bluecoat Display Centre’s stand concept for the 2011 COLLECT at the Saatchi Gallery event involves their represented artists looking at contemporary political issues in all their diversity including sexual politics, animal rights, warfare and current affairs. Following on from the COLLECT event at the Saatchi we will present the same group of artists as the ‘Collect(ed)’ exhibition at the Display Centre.

Artists featured include Stephen Bird, Michael Brennand-Wood, Stephen Dixon, Emma Rodgers and Paul Scott, with much of the work shown being newly commissioned for the Collect exhibition. Michael Brennand-Wood, will be giving a lecture titled, ‘Pretty Deadly”.

The theme of contemporary political issues links in well with Liverpool City of Radicals a program of exhibitions, events, debates and activities based around the idea of the radical. A hundred years ago, in 1911, Liverpool was at the height of its power and influence. Three very different, radical events marked that year:

The Liverpool Transport Strike – according to some historians, the nearest the UK has come to a revolution – took place over a long hot summer, so alarming the Government that Churchill sent a warship to the Mersey. The Bluecoat held a ground-breaking exhibition of paintings by the European avant-garde, including Picasso, Matisse and Cézanne, shown alongside works by local artists.

The Liver Building, the first major building in the UK to use reinforced concrete in its construction, was opened, a controversial, modern edifice crowned by two liver birds that came to symbolise the city’s resilience. And in the century that followed the city experienced many events, upheavals and innovations that contributed to its reputation for radical thought and actions, as it went from ‘Gateway to Empire’, through decades of decline, to its reinvention as a cultural capital in 2008.


Significantly it was individuals more than mass movements who left their mark. And a propensity for being ‘bolshy’ has arguably shaped the image of the city as uncontrollable, anarchic, separate and alienated from mainstream England.

This has gone hand in hand with creativity – cultural, sporting, etc – which has in the second half of this period reverberated beyond the city, from the Beatles changing the face of popular music, to Liverpool’s unrivalled international visual arts offer today. 2011: Liverpool, city of radicals invites individuals, grass roots arts, community and other organisations to join in a programme of exhibitions, events, debates and other activities that, whilst drawing on a rich history, will identify and examine what – and who – is radical at the start of the 21st Century.

The year is being organised by the Bluecoat on behalf of partner organisations which include Liverpool City Council, RLPO, Africa Oye, Unity Theatre, Liverpool Irish Festival, Collective Encounters, the Duncan Society, Hope University, News from Nowhere bookshop, Liverpool Parks and the Primary Care Trust.

For more information on this, visit for  a full list of events and programmes.

Venue: Bluecoat Display Centre
The Bluecoat, College Lane Entrance
Liverpool L1 3BZ