Tag: biennial

A little Biennial walk

It’s the Liverpool Biennial year. Unfortunately due to the loss of my dad I haven’t had the time to dedicate an entire day to walking the full Biennial trail. I’ve caught bits and pieces over the past few months like the dancing inanimate objects at the random apartment in One Park West, which while technically a fringe event was really nice. I’ve seen the stairs in Liverpool One, the Hummingbird telescopes in Derby Square and a few other things. I’ve also been lucky enough to see behind the scenes on a few commissions. So while I haven’t had the best chance to take time out and soak it all up like I normally do I feel like I’ve not missed out this year.

At the weekend we managed to find a few hours to nip to the out of town bits, Granby, Toxteth and Cains. I’m really not qualified to discuss the artwork. I couldn’t tell you what the deep meaning was of the lasers inside the Toxteth Reservoir but it sure looked cool. Thats why I enjoy the Biennial. I’m looking for the everyday made different so I can best photograph it. My brain just isn’t built for abstract artistic thinking.

I did enjoy our walk between locations but I did feel a bit like a tourist, well I guess I was. The only times I’ve ever really wandered around the Welsh Streets, Granby, Toxteth etc have been while there’s an event on because I feel “safe”. I’m a guy with pretty annoying social anxiety issues so for me to be able to casually wander around Toxteth with a camera I need the safety of an event. While I would like to walk around and document the street life there sometime I have no authority to do so. I’m not Tricia Porter or Paul Trevor. I’m a guy who loves street photography and fears people. I’m just kinda broken that way. Toxteth isn’t Bold Street. On Bold St you can vanish but Toxteth I feel that you need to be visible and you need to be accepted in order to do good work. Paul Trevor was, very much so. He’s a lovely guy to talk to.

What I mean is that I felt like I was a bit of an art tourist dropping into someones house party as a guest. I didn’t know the people there so I felt awkward, a bit shy etc. When I came out of the Granby house installation a guy on the street asked me for spare change. I had to apologise because I’m a trendy modern guy that only uses Apple Pay. I felt really uneasy after that. I questioned my motives for being there, for poking around what was someone’s home under the guise of interesting art. The whole area is filled with decaying homes and it’s upsetting because you can see that the community is passionate about the area. Those decaying homes that have been boarded up are covered with drawings. Round the corner the Granby 4 Streets project is working with the talented Assemble to create new homes. This project won the Turner Prize and has interestingly enough been classed as art. It’s at this point when everything just becomes hard to wrap my head around. What is art? Is everything art? Was the homeless guy asking for money art? No, that’s stupid. What am I thinking here? I guess at the end of the day I’m thinking that on the one hand I may not fully get the intended meaning behind the specific artwork of the Biennial but the experience certainly made me think. Thats a good thing. Art should encourage discussion and thought. If it can be used as a force for social change then bloody well deploy that art.

*phew* Right. That got kinda deep so heres some pretty pictures.

Oh and if you go to the Oratory and have some spare time say the words “I like my friends” at the desk. You’ve got a couple of weeks left to do that. It’s interesting.


Edmund Gardner Dazzle Ship lit up for Night of Heritage Light

In a collaboration between National Museums Liverpool, 14-18 Now, Tate Liverpool and the Biennial, the Edmund Gardner was repainted as a Dazzle Ship back in 2014.

Last night, 1st October, as part of a nationwide event called the Night of Heritage Light the Dazzle Ship was lit up for just an hour. You couldn’t have picked a better night for it. The sky was beautifully clear with deep dusk blues and a crisp autumn chill in the air.

The event focused on lighting up several UNESCO World Heritage Sites around the UK. The idea was to promote lighting as both an art form and a science.

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Dazzle Ferry – Everybody Razzle Dazzle

The Dazzle Ferry is a collaboration between the Biennial, Tate Liverpool, Mersey Maritime Museum, Mersey Ferries and Sir Peter Blake. It’s a working example of a dazzle ship.

Last year the Biennial launched the Dazzle Ship Edmund Gardner, a static example of a dazzle ship in the dry dock by the Museum of Liverpool. The Dazzle Ferry is a fully working ship and will be sailing until December 2016. How awesome is that? You can now razzle dazzle ferry across the Mersey.

You have to see the ferry in action. It’s beautiful and absolutely crazy. Take a trip on it too. If you go during commuter hours, before 9:30am, you can get a return ticket for less than £3. Do it. Dec 2016 will come around sooner than you think and I just know I’m going to miss this ship on the Mersey when it goes in for a paint job. I’ll commute the fudge out of it until then. It’s the best way of getting to the studio and I’m also working on a project about the ferry. More of that later.

Sir Peter Blake
Sir Peter Blake

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Liverpool Biennial Dazzle Ship

The first piece of public artwork for the 2014 Liverpool Biennial is now complete and open for viewing. The artwork was designed by Carlos Cruz-Diez and painted by a team from Cammell Laird. The boat is an old Liverpool pilot ship called the Edmund Gardner, owned by National Museums Liverpool. The whole event has been brought about by a group effort by Tate Liverpool, 1418Now, National Museums Liverpool and the Liverpool Biennial.

The project connects Cammell Laird’s painters with their heritage. Cammell Laird played an important role in WW1. During World War One Cammell Laird completed work on nine battleships, 60 cruisers, 100 British and 95 United States destroyers, eight submarines, 123 armed merchant vessels and 107 merchant ships. The Cunard passenger liner Campania and the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co steamer Ben-My-Chee were also converted at Cammell Laird into the first seaplane carriers for the Royal Navy.

It’s a very interesting piece. I saw a number of comments on twitter from people who wondered why it wasn’t black and white. Our memories of WW1 are all black and white as that was the photography technology available at the time. But the thing is, the paintwork was often in colour. I personally really like it. It’s very striking and really does stand out. I’m sure there will be quite a lot of interest in it. It’s definitely got that “What’s that?” quality to it, which is great as people who wouldn’t normally interact with art will do so now.

Liverpool Biennial Dazzle ship

Liverpool Biennial Dazzle ship

Liverpool Biennial dazzle ship

Liverpool Biennial dazzle ship

Artist Carlos Cruz-Diez
Artist Carlos Cruz-Diez

Liverpool Biennial dazzle ship





The Postman

A lone postman is riding around the North West spreading the word about the amazing art event that is the Biennial. Watch out for him.

Always fun working with the Biennial. Never know what will happen next.