It’s a new year, new arts diary, as Getintothis’ Janaya Pickett rounds up her top eight exhibitions and events this month to help you chase away those January blues.
You can’t beat that sense of hope and enthusiasm at the start of a new year, in my humble opinion. Yes, for the majority of us the resolution fervor dies down after a week or two but imagine the lives that have been changed as a result of December morphing into January – even if it is just another day?
Part of these promises to oneself usually include a healthier lifestyle, bucket lists and shit. In modern times we may even wish to decrease our carbon footprint, spend less time away from our screens, become more or less of a social justice warrior.
Of new years resolutions, I’m reminded of a friend who never discusses a list of particular things but says, every year, that hers is to ‘just be better’.
We all want to lead full and fulfilling lives and what better way to do that than becoming more engaged culturally with our surroundings. We’re fortunate to live in one of the most happening cities in the country, in that respect, with free events popping up on the daily.
So, we’ve rounded up the most interesting looking arts events for the rest of the calendar month in the hope that you’ll stop working on that social media profile and do something in real life. Variety is the spice of it after all and the internet will still be here when you get back, we promise.
Hale, Mersey, Full of Grace: The Art Space at Cass Art, 18 School Lane, January 9 – 22
Liverpool artist John Elcock explores the significance of place in his exhibition of paintings at Cass Art this month. Hale, Mersey, Full of Grace is a collection focusing on the history of the Mersey in relation to Hale in particular (it’s abandoned shoreline and duck decoy – which dates back to the 16th century).
Bird species associated with the Hale area are also subjects of Elcock‘s paintings. Being a keen bird watcher, Elcock refers to the ‘divine’ nature of birds and their ability to transcend the ‘temporal’ as they’re little unchanged compared to ourselves.
Silent Voices: Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, Birkenhead, January 13 – Febuary 26
This exhibition, in partnership with the Liverpool Friends of Bil’n, focuses on the daily life of the occupied Palestinian village of Bil’n through the eyes of its children. Guided by Liverpool community photographer Elaine Stapleton the exhibition features twenty five large scale images taken by children as well as eleven by Stapleton herself.
As is now tradition in Bil’n, residents gather weekly to protest against an Israeli occupation that has them under constant control and threat of large scale arsenal attack. The way in which children deal with and overcome these extreme situations is what is in focus in this thought provoking exhibition. Having been in circulation across the globe for four years now, its reputation really does speak for itself.
Activism and Archives: The International Slavery Museum, Albert Dock, January 28
The International Slavery Museum will be hosting an afternoon at the Martin Luther King Jnr building to highlight the importance of community archiving. As part of their Sankofa and Collecting Cultures project, the International Slavery Museum are inviting members of the public to bring along material relating to black activism in Liverpool.
With the emphasis on education, there will also be displays from the Slavery Museum‘s extensive collection as well as Bristol’s Museums, Galleries and Archives. Experts will be on hand also to offer advice and discussion on preserving collections.
On Paper: HeadSpace@EggSpace, Egg Cafe, January 19 – Febuary 2
Liverpool based artist Nathan Pendlebury has been enjoying huge successes lately. He was first commissioned to design cover art for Jake Bugg‘s 2016 LP On My One and from that nominated for the Best Art Vinyl Award, which compiles global opinion on the best art and design within the music industry.
HeadSpace@EggSpace will be hosting a mini-retrospective of Pendlebury‘s work from 1996 -2016. The works, all of which are on paper, trace the changes in Pendlebury‘s style and approach over the years. There will be a private viewing (with artist in attendance) on January 19 from 7pm with the exhibition itself running until February 2. Find out more, here.
Bluecoat Book Fair: The Bluecoat Chambers, School Lane, Jan 13 – 15
For the avid readers among you there will be a book fair held at Bluecoat Chambers this weekend, offering collectible purchases as well as bargains. And while you’re there why not take in current exhibitions including Keith Piper‘s Unearthing the Banker’s Notes and Adam Faramawy‘s Janus Collapse (the juice-box edition).
Clinical Psychology Fringe Festival: Mulitple venues Jan 18 – 21
This year Liverpool has been chosen to host the annual Clinical Division of Psychology conference. Along side this and in conjunction with Soul Inspired Events there will be a series of talks and performances centered around normalising aspects of mental health.
Focusing specifically on suicide, addiction, sexuality and homelessness planned events include Reclaiming the Language of Lunacy with Sean Burn – a workshop that explores the crossovers between literature and art in an attempt to better place the issue of mental health. There’ll be spoken word performances, digital art and photography exhibitions at the Open Eye Gallery, a dramatic performance at The Brink and much besides n this jam packed line-up.
The festival’s closing party at the Liverpool Guild, organised by SIE, will be a night of spoken word and food (aptly titled Soul Food) featuring local artist Spxken, James Broad and more. For full details on the festival and to book tickets for any of the events, click here.
Verso and Queen of the Track present Sheila Rowbotham: The Bluecoat Chambers, School Lane – Jan 26
Renowned academic and socialist feminist Sheila Rowbotham will be at the Bluecoat, in partnership with Verso and Queen of the Track to discuss her new work Rebel Crossings: New Women, Free Lovers and Radicals in Britain and the United States.
Known for her blending of Marxist and feminist theories, Rowbotham has traditionally focused on radical women in history and how the nature of a capitalist patriarchy has hindered their progression. Sexism is so entrenched in our culture that it’s as pervasive on the left as it is on the right, she says. With over forty years of writing and activism under her belt, they don’t come more qualified than this. Know your herstory and book tickets here.
The Female Gaze: ROAD Studios, 69 Victoria Street, January 20 – 29
On the subject of herstory, ROAD Studios will be exhibiting works that attempts to challenge contemporary notions of femininity. On display will be a number of works by artists Elizabeth Brownsword and Lois Tierney and in an attempt to garner constructive discussion on feminism in 2017 members of the public are asked to record their responses to the exhibition.
There will also be life drawing classes on offer to the public after which they will be invited to contribute their own artwork to the exhibition. Yes in order to properly explore the theme, audeicne participation is key to this event. Find out more, here.