• Liverpool

Renowned artists to feature in Bluecoat’s 300th anniversary celebrations

Works by Yoko Ono and Turner Prize winners Jeremy Deller and Mark Leckey will feature in a celebratory arts programme to mark Bluecoat’s 300th anniversary next year.

Details of a 300-day programme of exhibitions and events have been revealed ahead of the milestone year for the site, which is the oldest arts centre in the UK and the oldest building in central Liverpool.

The trio of renowned artists will be among 100 to feature in a special exhibition entitled ‘Public View’, which will help get the programme underway on 4 February 2017.

The display will feature a wide range of works including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and video – all created by artists who have previously exhibited at Bluecoat with many showcasing work there early on in their careers.


Bluecoat, Liverpool

Work by Yoko One will form part of the 300th anniversary celebrations. Image courtesy of Sheridon Davies


Meanwhile the 300 days will also play host to an ‘Art at the Heart of Bluecoat’ exhibition – the first of a series of heritage displays set to go on show throughout the year inspired by the building’s history.

A major solo exhibition by Palestinian artist Larissa Sansour will follow in May, titled ‘In the Future, They Ate From the Finest Porcelain’; and a new installation by British artist Laura Martin will also go on show.

The celebrations will also see an ambitious new performance installation from Siobhan Davis Dance in July, comprising contributions by choreographers, visual artists and designers; and group exhibition ‘Abacus’ will be aimed at children as it takes inspiration from the building’s origins as a charity school.

‘In the Peaceful Dome’, an exhibition themed around transformation and continuity, will take a fresh look at Bluecoat as it concludes the 300 days and will also prompt questions about the future of arts venues.

Away from the venue, Bluecoat will also present a 13 May musical event at the city’s Metropolitan Cathedral. ‘Messe de Liverpool’ by French musique concrete composer Pierre Henry, who was commissioned to create the electronic mass for the opening of the cathedral in 1967 but did not complete it, will be performed as a live mix.

Henry’s sound design partner and engineer Thierry Balasse will play the mix using 40 speakers designed especially for the space.

Throughout 2017, Bluecoat will welcome sociologist in residence, Dr Paul Jones from the University of Liverpool to lead a course for students and members of the public as well as leading talks, walks and discussions.

Plus the Heritage Lottery Funded ‘My Bluecoat’ project will continue, telling stories of and piecing together the Grade I-listed Bluecoat’s 300-year history.

Bryan Biggs, artistic director at Bluecoat, says: “We are thrilled to announce such an ambitious and diverse programme to mark Bluecoat’s 300th anniversary. The programme illustrates Bluecoat’s place in the city, and the country, as a progressive, inclusive and innovative centre for the contemporary arts.

“Bluecoat was the UK’s first arts centre, following the arrival of the Sandon Studios Society which moved into the building in 1907. Since then the building has been a home for exciting contemporary art, from a display of works by Picasso and Matisse in 1911 through to present day exhibitions by leading contemporary artists such as Keith Piper.

“We look forward to celebrating our heritage and achievements during our anniversary year, whilst at the same time continuing to grow in our role as a leading regional arts centre at the forefront of developments in contemporary art.”


About Author: Natasha Young

Natasha Young is our Editor. She can be contacted by email natasha@movepublishing.co.uk or by phone on 0151 709 3871.