With a host of festive themed events coming up over the next few weeks Getintothis’ Sinéad Nunes presents our December Arts Diary
Although it’s not a Biennial year (the next one begins 14 July 2018, with programme announcements expected in the Spring), Liverpool has had a lot to offer culturally, aside from music, in 2017.
From Homotopia arts festival throughout October and November, reminiscing right back to Tmesis Theatre’s Phsyical Fest in March, Light Night in May, Pride, DaDaFest and Look/17 photography festival, there’s been plenty to keep culture vultures entertained.
Some of my highlights from this year include dance at the Playhouse (Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures), talks at the Philharmonic (Jon Ronson’s Psychopath Night), art at FACT (current exhibition Wu Tsang: Under Cinema) and the re-birth of Liverpool’s alternative LGBTQ+ club scene (see below).
Looking forward across December into the New Year, here’s my pick of not-to-be-missed events (just as many as you can squeeze in amongst all the boozing and parties at least).
Lez Be Avin It: Launch Night
December 2, 10pm-late, Invisible Wind Factory £5 OTD (first 200 FREE)
Liverpool’s newest, alternative lesbian club night launches down at IWF’s Substation this Saturday. Long has the LGBTQ+ night life scene belonged to the Stanley Street Quarter, but recent art and performance-based nights such as Eat Me + Preach have been shaking things up, offering more late night options for our thriving queer community.
Expect music from 3 top queer DJs (Sandi Hughes, Stealing Sheep and Cash Boyle) alongside, dancers, burlesque performers and some surprises on the night. Lez Be Avin It is a night for lesbian, bi-sexual and queer ladies, created by women, for women, and all are welcome. Find out more and read the safe space policy.
Christmas Shopping, Independent Style:
Winter Arts Market , Liverpool Cathedral, December 2 10am – 7pm £3 OTD
Winter Arkade, Invisible Wind Factory , December 10 11am – 8pm
Open Culture’s Winter Arts Market transforms Liverpool Cathedral into a bustling bazaar of artists, designers and makers. With everything from photography and homewares to illustration, paintings, clothing and handcrafted beauty products, stock up on festive gifts, vintage clothes and homemade treats.
There’s also a Christmas crafting workshop for kids.
Meanwhile at Invisible Wind Factory, expect live music, hot food and drink, local brewers, doers, makers and bakers for a seasonal indoor market-party. IWF Studio members will be exhibiting, giving you the chance to meet your makers. Kazimier Garden‘s trademark mulls and other hot drinks will be available on arrival; this is how Christmas shopping was meant to be done.
December 8 – 17, 12pm-10.30pm Salford Quays FREE
Following the success of last year, MediaCity are putting on a season of public light art, taking over the Quays for 10 days.
Jump on a train to see two new large-scale commissions from emerging talent in the fields of art and technology, alongside a new interactive word sculpture by international poet and author Jackie Kay and a dynamic waterside sculpture of light and sound by Tom Dekyvere. See the full programme of installations, events and workshops.
21 December 3.30pm-5pm Meeting point: Lifeboat Road car park FREE
National Trust Formby and Sefton Libraries have commissioned artist Laurence Payot to create a magical installation and performance event for the Winter Solstice, celebrating the coast, reﬂecting on the past and imagining the future, at sunset on the longest night of the year.
The acclaimed artist, based at The Royal Standard also invites visitors to take part in one of a series of creative workshops at Formby Library and National Trust Formby during November and December, to help her bring the installation to life. Find out workshop times and details.
VR Exhibition: Future Aleppo
Until 7 January 2018. 11am-6pm FACT FREE
Think Marshmellow Laser Feast sounds edible? Think again. The techie collective, along with artist Alex Pearson have created a unique VR experience which shines a light on the Syrian city of Aleppo, now torn to pieces in the ongoing conflict in the country.
The film allows users to explore one boy’s reconstruction of his city from paper, in an attempt recapture the spirit of his home. If you’ve always wanted a go at VR and never had the chance, get yourself down to FACT (and have a look at Wu Tsang’s exhibition Under Cinema in Galleries 1 and 2 while you’re at it). More information.
In the Peaceful Dome
Until March 25 2018 , 10am – 6pm Bluecoat FREE
If you’re one of the lucky ones who has time off to play with over the holidays, don’t miss out on what Liverpool’s galleries have to offer. Though you may be skint, admission is usually free (apart from major Tate Liverpool exhibitions) and there’s lots to see.
Bluecoat’s current offering, In The Peaceful Dome features historic and contemporary art, new commissions and archival material, to set up conversations across the gallery’s 300 year life span.
The exhibition also traces Bluecoat‘s connection to the city of Liverpool and the wider world, and how it has reflected both local and global developments through the years, including trade and legacies of Empire; artists’ responses to war and gender; and the gallery as a continuing site for critical engagement.
SisBis presents Nabihah Iqbal FKA Throwing Shade + Giovanna
Saturday 13 January, 10pm-4am, Buyers Club, £8 ADV / £10 OTD
Produced by women, DJed by women, designed by women and open to EVERYONE, SisBis is a celebration of great music and the power of women. Resident lady DJ Giovanna returns to open the show in January, following her brilliant disco set at the last edition of Eat Me + Preach. Headlining the show will be Nabihah Iqbal, formerly known as Throwing Shade; a rising producer, DJ and NTS Radio host whose latest House of Silk EP was released via Ninja Tune in 2016. Check out her boiler room set here.
In the spirit of community and equality that SisBis seeks to promote, all proceeds from the night go to MRANG, a charity for Merseyside refugee and asylum seeker women.