Liverpool Biennial Announces Development Programme To Further Northern Artist’s Careers

Liverpool Biennial

The Liverpool Biennial, in partnership with New York based Independent Curators International (ICI) and Cactus Gallery, have announced a major new initiative, which aims to support artists based in the North of England to develop their careers internationally. The £290,000 Liverpool Biennial Associate Artists Programme is supported by a £250,000 investment from the Arts Council England International Showcasing fund.

Artists are increasingly able to build sustainable careers outside London if they have the opportunity to strengthen their networks and markets beyond the UK. Liverpool Biennial and its partners are working with ten artists to provide a unique opportunity to work with leading international figures in the art world and to showcase their work in Liverpool Biennial 2016, which runs from 9 July until 16 October 2016.

These artists were selected from a shortlist of 40 nominated for the programme by curators and artists based in the UK. The final ten were chosen by an international panel of selectors comprising: Chris Fitzpatrick, Director, Kunstverein München, Munich; Francesco Manacorda, Artistic Director, Tate Liverpool; Rosalind Nashashibi, Artist, Liverpool; Joe Fletcher Orr, Artist and Director, Cactus Gallery, Liverpool; Kitty Scott, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Katharine Stout, Head of Programmes, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; and Sally Tallant, Director, Liverpool Biennial.  

Capitalising on Liverpool Biennial’s national and international networks, each artist will be provided with mentoring and showcasing opportunities, and support to develop the presentation of their work at Liverpool Biennial 2016 and other international events. They will also build international networks with curators, art biennials, galleries and art fairs.

The Liverpool Biennial Associate Artists Programme is part of Liverpool Biennial’s year-round commitment to working with local artists and promoting the city as a creative and vibrant destination for artists to live and work in. It aims to create valuable networks, which can be developed beyond the two and a half year lifespan of the project, and the skills to use that network to build bigger markets.

Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial, said: “We are excited to be able to support artists based in the region. Together with our partners, we look forward to developing their international connections, which will demonstrate that artists live, thrive and can succeed internationally from anywhere in the UK.” 

Nick McDowell, Director, International at Arts Council England, said: “This platform for artists makes a major contribution to talent and market development. We’re keen to develop the growth of artists clusters and the conditions needed for them to forge successful careers with international critical acclaim while being based in cities across the North. The Arts Council’s international showcasing fund is designed to catalyse just these sorts of opportunities and so we are delighted to support this project.”

Liverpool Biennial is the UK Biennial of Contemporary Art. The Biennial is underpinned by a programme of research, education, residencies and commissions. The most recent commissions have been for Dazzle Ships and Koo Jeong A’s Evertro skate park. Founded in 1998, Liverpool Biennial has commissioned 268 new artworks and presented work by over 400 artists from around the world. During the last ten years Liverpool Biennial has generated an economic impact of £119.6 million.

Cactus Gallery is an artist-led space based at The Royal Standard, Liverpool, UK. Cactus Gallery is conceived by artist Joe Fletcher Orr (b. 1991, Birkenhead, UK). Recent shows include Jack Brindley, Original Copy; Charlie Godet Thomas, In Comes the Good Air…; Candice Jacobs: EXHALE; Alex Rathbone, Prehistory…TBC; Harry Meadley, LEVEL 2; Katharina Fengler, SWEETNESS; and more.

The ten selected artists are: 

Simeon Barclay (b.1975, Huddersfield, UK) lives in Leeds, UK. Barclay is interested in exploring the dynamic nature of language, the mediated image, and in objects that both seduce and provoke. These impulses are understood in relation to the human condition, an existence Barclay perceives as being caught up in the tumultuous, unfixed process of situating and defining ourselves within culture and tradition. Recent solo exhibitions include Man’s Not Ready, STCTHOTS, Leeds, UK (2015); Where Did It All Go Wrong, Dam Projects, London, UK (2015). Group exhibitions include True Players, W139, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2015); The Feast Wagon, The Tetley, Leeds, UK (2015); A British Art Show, Meyohas, New York, USA (2015).   

Jacqueline Bebb (b.1977, Chester, UK) lives in Chester, UK, and Portland, Oregon, USA. Bebb is interested in the impact of geographical dissonance on artistic endeavor. She uses travel as a means to galvanise thought, question cultural obsessions and examine the constructs of relationships from lifelong bonds to fleeting affinities. Recent projects and solo exhibitions include Small Collections Room, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK (2015), and Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2013). Her work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions including Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK (2014), Frutta, Rome, Italy (2014), and Mostyn Open, Llandudno, UK (2013). 

Lindsey Bull (b.1979, Hereford, UK) lives in Manchester, UK. Bull is a figurative painter whose work explores psychological states. She is interested in different states of mind and how these interior lives manifest or hide themselves from the outside world. With a fascination for dark, idiosyncratic psychologies, her paintings are investigations into often side-lined or marginalised groups and individuals. Solo exhibitions include Yellow, Varese, Italy (2015), High House, Oxford, UK (2013); Motorcade / Flashparade, Bristol, UK (2012); Transition gallery, London, UK (2012). Bull has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including at venues such as Centre d’art contemporain de Quimper, France (2014).

Robert Carter (b.1987, Blackburn, UK) and Lauren Velvick (b.1988, Preston, UK) live in Manchester, UK. They started working together in 2014 and founded ‘The Exhibition Centre for the Life and Use of Books’, one long, ongoing self-taught history lesson that touches on art, publishing, censorship, and regional politics. They are currently interested in translating ideologies into pattern. Recent exhibitions and projects include WE/OW, Fred’s Ale House, Manchester, UK (2015); Modern History Vol. I, curated by Lynda Morris, The Grundy, Blackpool, UK (2015); Butterworth, Kent State University Library, Ohio, USA (2015); The Use and Abuse of Books, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester, UK (2014). 

Nina Chua (b.1980, Manchester, UK) lives in Manchester, UK. Chua is interested in surface as a visual and visceral experience. Through repetition and accumulation, surfaces are built up which foreground line, colour, and support. Nothing is concealed; the process is essentially laid bare. The work is an exercise in limitation and the economy of means, which is used to maximal effect. Recent exhibitions include The Discerning Eye, London, UK (2015); Modern Histories Vol. II, Liverpool, UK (2015); Poppostitions, Brussels, Begium (2015); and Manchester Contemporary, Manchester, UK (2014).

Matthew Crawley (b. 1965, York, UK) lives in Leeds, UK. Crawley’s practice may be seen as a particular polemic brought about in some part by the influence of his day job, that of Art technician. With an eclectic approach, the artist has, amongst other things, made manifest an invisible friend, crafted a wicker footstool (under supervision), assumed the identity of a Sardinian Bottlenose Dolphin, resurrected a closed provincial Art Gallery and constructed a 1 to 1 scale facsimile of his then-13-year-old daughter’s bedroom.  Recent projects and solo exhibitions include Life Cycle of a Mould Mite, Leeds Weirdo Club, Leeds, UK (2015); Cheesecube, Toast, Manchester, UK (2015); Exhibition, CIRCA Projects, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK (2015); First Year, Leeds Weirdo Club, Leeds, UK (2014). In 2012, Crawley together with Harry Meadley and David Steans, founded the Leeds Weirdo Club.

Frances Disley (b.1976, Warrington, UK) lives in Liverpool, UK.  Disley seeks to expose the thought processes of the artist when wrestling with form and colour. She uses her own body to animate the crude painted objects and surfaces that she creates. Recent projects and solo exhibitions include the performance Roll Fix Slip, Bluecoat Performance Space, Liverpool, UK (2015); SSSS, White Wizard, Liverpool, UK (2015); Exchange Rates, a collaboration with Patte Loper, Schema Projects, New York, USA (2015). Recent group shows include SCOUSE HOUSE, Syson Gallery, Nottingham, UK (2015); Art Copenhagen (with Paper Gallery), Denmark (2015).

Daniel Fogarty (b.1987, Stockport, UK) lives in Manchester, UK and Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Fogarty applies the format of ‘the whim’ in his practice. He sees his sculptural and collage work as being close to publishing, in which paintings and thoughts of the day are as changeable and estranged as the weather, and as normal as the Cheerio’s he’s eaten this morning. Recent solo presentations include (2016); Another Television Ident, Shared Apartment Garden, Manchester, UK (2014); The First OXO Conference, Malgras|Naudet, Manchester, UK (2013); and IDENTS, Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK (2012).

Harry Meadley (b.1990, Leeds, UK) lives in Leeds, UK. Meadley takes a varied approach to art making, with a wide-ranging and interconnected body of work that appears to intentionally span all mediums. Recent solo and duo exhibitions include Turf Projects, London, UK (2016); Spike Island Test Space, Bristol, UK (2015); Code Duello, Loods 6, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2014); Paradise Row, London, UK (2013) and David Dale Gallery, Glasgow, UK (2013). Meadley’s work has also been shown in numerous group exhibitions, in venues such as Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK (2015); and Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, Sunderland, UK (2014).

Stephen Sheehan (b.1986, Birkenhead, UK) lives in Birkenhead, UK. Sheehan is interested in the beautiful, fragile, and transient nature of life. He explores those interests through performative actions and film. Sheehan’s work is usually produced in open spaces that are accessible to the passing public. This gives his work a sense of fragility and vulnerability due to the chance of it being disturbed by the human element of curiosity. In 2016, Sheehan will embark on two month-long residencies. The first residence will take place in April, at Arts Letters in Albany, New York, USA, succeeded by a residence in August, at the Cultural Centre Vanha Paukku in Lapua, Finland.