Liverpool exploded into life in the 18th century, rapidly turning from a small town into one of the world’s most important port cities. For 200 years, it eclipsed most of Europe in the trading stakes – nationally and internationally – Liverpool was where it was at.
What does that mean for the visitor today? You’ve only to look up: a skyline that’s part of a World Heritage Site, a waterfront that never fails to impress, and Georgian streets that are as graceful as they are grand. It is these architectural cheekbones that, along with the grand sweep of the River Mersey, make Liverpool such a visual treat. Sure, the city was for years on its uppers, its post-industrial decline as swift as it was comprehensive. But Liverpool has reinvented itself, as the UK Capital of Culture in 2008, as the home of the leading visual arts event Liverpool Biennial, as the place where artists make work and where a new, creative future is being written.
Step straight out of Lime Street Station and you’ll find yourself in the middle of the bustling St George’s Quarter. Together with the World Museum, is the Walker Art Gallery, housing a collection of historic and contemporary art. The Liverpool Empire, Royal Court and the Liverpool Playhouse Theatre are close by too. With two stunning cathedrals that sit on either side of Hope Street in the Georgian Quarter, the arrea is also home to the Everyman Theatre and some of the finest restaurants and bars in the city: The London Carriage Works, Pen Factory and the architecturally marvellous Philharmonic Dining Rooms are among our favourites.
Head to Liverpool Waterfront for a world-class visual arts offering alongside important historic exhibitions. Aside from an abundance of independent shops and eateries, the Dock is home to Tate Liverpool and its collection of contemporary art and changing exhibitions; the Merseyside Maritime Museum exploring Liverpool’s long nautical heritage and the uniquely important International Slavery Museum, examining Liverpool’s part in the Transatlantic slave trade.
Like the Liver Birds sitting atop the city’s most famous building, one turned to the sea, one turned to home, Liverpool is a city with a world view, yet a place with a personal, personable one too.
The 11th edition of the UK’s oldest and largest festival of contemporary visual art is about to open, with work by over 50 artists.
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, puts the spotlight on the region’s grassroots creative community, many of whom have been hardest hit by lockdown.
Artwork by jazz saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, Mercury-nominated singer Cate Le Bon, and folk musician Richard Dawson, will feature in the touring exhibition at Birkenhead’s Future Yard.
Positive Vibration 2021 will feature performances from a stellar line-up of the world’s most important and vital reggae artists including General Levy, Hollie Cook, Mad Professor, Gentleman’s Dub Club, The Nextmen, Tippa Irie, The Neville Staple Band, Don Letts, General Roots, Levi Tafari and many more.
Using state of the art LED screen technology, Horizons will fill the M&S Bank Arena with images of far-away galaxies, alien worlds, supermassive black holes and a time before the Big Bang.
Horizons is a celebration of our civilisation, of our music, art, philosophy and science; an optimistic vision of our future if we continue to explore Nature with humility and to value ourselves and our fellow human beings.
The first wave of artists to play Sound City 2021 include Rejjie Snow, Red Rum Club, The Snuts, The Lathums, The Mysterines, The Murder Capital, Lanterns On The Lake, Abbie Ozard, Brooke Combe, Hello Delaware, Miss Tati and Isabel Neib.
The prestigious John Moores Painting Prize moves online for the first time, featuring the best in contemporary British painting.
Every Thursday morning you’re invited to join the Poetry Walk with The Reader in Calderstones Park. Get into the great outdoors and escape the everyday, while exploring poetry and making the most of the beautiful surroundings in a safe and socially distanced way.
International portrait artist Aliza Nisenbaum will present a new painting at Tate Liverpool this winter, depicting members of the city’s key workers.