Liverpool Independents Biennial

Vicky Andrews
Montse Mosquera - Too Foreign
Montse Mosquera, Too Foreign © Montse Mosquera, courtesy of Independents Biennial

Independents Biennial at Metal Liverpool, Liverpool 20 March — 6 June 2021 Entrance is free — Visit now

Liverpool’s Independents Biennial has revealed a packed programme that will celebrate Merseyside’s creative talent and cast a fresh eye on how we see, make and use art. The festival, which runs alongside Liverpool Biennial from 20 March – 6 June 2021, puts the spotlight on the region’s grassroots creative community, many of whom have been hardest hit by lockdown.

Festival Director Patrick Kirk-Smith says: “Independent artists rarely get the opportunity to profile their work, discuss the ideas behind it and engage with their audiences in a meaningful way. We want this year’s festival to be a chance for everyone to see the creative talent on their doorstep and to understand why it’s so important to preserve and support it”.

Independents Biennial will focus on using as many platforms as possible across its hybrid programme to provide a greater voice and profile to its artists. A printed festival will launch in March, filled with new work, provocations and summaries of festival commissions. Blogs, new writing and residencies (some in person, some remote) will roll out during the course of the festival and social media takeovers will allow the commissioned artists to talk to audiences about the ideas and inspiration behind their works.

“We want this year’s festival to be a chance for everyone to see the creative talent on their doorstep and to understand why it’s so important to preserve and support it.”

In partnership with Metal Liverpool, Independents Biennial is working with Pierce Starre, Sufea Noor, Jay Hampton and Sorrell Kerrison, whose work will be commissioned for the final programme. Other highlights include a collaboration between Open Eye Gallery and artists Sam Venables, Feiyi Wen and Monste Mosquera, for a digital window display and residence.

An ongoing partnership with St Helens Council’s Arts in Libraries will see already commissioned artists represented in new ways through the programme, including Emmer Winder, Fiona Sterling, Grace Collins, Ian Brownbill and Sarah Gilman.

Independents Biennial is also supporting new work produced by artists and collectives from around the North West, including, ROOT-ed, Mark Simmonds, Rule of Threes, Avoid Collective, Alan Dunn’s FOUR WORDS: WIRRAL and photographer Mark Hobbs, whose current project Dads looks at men who are the majority child-carer in their family.

Mark Hobbs, Dads (extract) © Mark Hobbs, courtesy of Independents Biennial


The four month programme is funded by Arts Council England and produced by Art in Liverpool with partners across the region including Liverpool BID Company, Culture Liverpool, Bluecoat, FACT, Heart of Glass, Kirkby Gallery & Prescot Museum, Tate Liverpool, The Atkinson and Wirral Council.

The full programme will be available at

Independents Biennial at Metal Liverpool, Liverpool 20 March — 6 June 2021 Entrance is free Visit now

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