A new and exciting exhibition at the Bluecoat, opera and tattoos as Getintothis’ Rick Leach selects the best of Merseyside art happenings for October.
Tattoos are a strange and wonderful thing when you think about it.
For a few minutes, or hours of quite mild pain, you end up with something you carry with you the rest of your life.
It’s with you all the time: morning, noon and night. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Through all the ups and downs of life’s vagaries. Good times, bad times, indifferent times.
And if you get a good tattoo- not always a given to be honest- then it’s as close to a work of art as you can imagine. In fact, it can be and is a work of art. That’s how we should consider it. Art.
This is what makes a tattoo totally unique. It’s an artwork which is not only with you all the time and there is nothing else that has that link to you as a person. You could own the greatest painting in the world or a piece of sculpture or whatever artifact you can think of but nothing is with you all the time.
What’s more, in some weird symbiotic way, it’s part of you. It shifts and changes and breathes over time. always different but always the same. You end up with a sort of connection, your tattoo and you.
All this preamble is leading up to one of picks of this month’s Arts Diary, the Liverpool Tattoo Convention. We’ve covered it before at Getintothis and it’s an event that’s well worth your time; whether you’ve got a tattoo or not, or whether you’re just thinking about getting one in a sort of curious way.
And speaking of curious just in case you’re wondering, this writer does have one single tattoo, one that provokes a certain amount of derision from fellow editors and staffers at Getintothis, but it’s something I got at the ripe old age of 50 and which I proudly wear on my arm as a badge of pride.
Lights will guide you home. Five words from the Coldplay tune. Not the hippest thing in the world but it’s my piece of art and I love it. Maybe I’ll get a Mahler tattoo next. Or a Fall one.
Anyway, with tattoos and more, here’s the best picks for October…
October 3 – October 12
Various venues, Liverpool
LEAP 2019 Dance Festival is more varied than ever, with outdoor spectacle, six major touring companies and a brand new (free) Fringe Festival as part of this year’s programme.
In MDI‘s 26th year producing the festival, LEAP launches on October 3 with acrobatic performance WILD from global touring production company Motionhouse (best known for their stunning large-scale performances including the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games). Integrating dynamic choreography, acrobatic movement and hand-to-hand partnering, WILD will be staged atop an urban forest of industrial scaffolding in the epic Hinterlands space.
Over the following 10 days, LEAP festival floods Liverpool with dance from critically acclaimed performers, in a celebration of cross-artform storytelling..
Seke Chimutengwende & Alexandrina Hemsley’s Black Holes (October 5) explores blackness in the context of the big bang; Rosie Kay Dance Company’s Fantasia (October 8) sees three bold female dancers discover love, loss, emotion and joy to a soundtrack of Beethoven and Bach; and PuzzleCreature invites audiences to step inside a giant, inflatable bubble within the vast Invisible Wind Factory and be part of Neon Dance‘s immersive show (October 7).
The festival will also include performances from MDI‘s Merseyside Youth Dance Company and LEAP‘s first ever fringe, popping up in unexpected places along Hope Street.
World Museum October 4 2019 – April 13 2020
Taki Katei was once the highest-paid artist in Tokyo. He was a favourite of the Emperor of Japan, and his works travelled to international exhibitions around the world. After his death, his delicate paintings of flowers and birds fell out of fashion and his work was slowly forgotten.
World Museum is hosting the first-ever exhibition of Taki Katei’s work outside of Japan as part of the Japan 2020 Cultural Olympiad.
The exhibition draws their rare archive of more than 300 exquisite preparatory drawings that Taki Katei used for teaching, for preparing some of his major commissions, and as an aide-mémoire.
The exhibition not only reveals the techniques of this great artist, but it tells the story of how this astonishing collection of ink drawings and watercolours travelled thousands of miles from an artist’s studio in Tokyo to a museum in Liverpool.
The Audland Talks: The European Opera Centre
RIBA North, Liverpool
October 7 6.15pm and more events through to 2020
The European Opera Centre is bringing leading experts and much-loved stars to Liverpool for The Audland Talks, a brand new series of evening talks exploring the extravagant world of opera this autumn.
Presented in venues on the city’s iconic waterfront, and forming part of the Liverpool-based Centre’s wider commitment to developing audiences for opera, the season launches on October 7 at RIBA North with a talk at 6.15pm on country house opera by music historian Dr Sophie Redfern and the architect behind the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize-shortlisted Nevill Holt Opera theatre, Christopher Watson, of Witherford Watson Mann. Watson previously won the prestigious prize in 2013 and the talk comes on the eve of this year’s award ceremony in London.
Carefully planned to relate to the operas and opera companies visiting Liverpool over the coming year, the season continues with thought-provoking and entertaining talks by the country’s most distinguished opera experts.
On October 22 Professor Simon McVeigh of Goldsmith’s University considers how Handel conquered London in the 18th century, while on November 11, BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4 regular Nigel Simeone delves into 19th-century Britain’s insatiable appetite for Italian opera.
Spring 2020 sees Mozart authority Professor Cliff Eisen of King’s College London re-evaluate that most famous of musical prodigies on March 2, and on March 16 French opera specialist Professor Sarah Hibberd of the University of Bristol reveals what made 19th-century Paris Europe’s most exhilarating operatic capital.
The series closes with an end-of-season celebration at the Royal Liver Building featuring one of Britain’s best-loved opera singers, Dame Felicity Lott. With a view overlooking the Mersey, on May 11 she will discuss her international career and the composers, operas, and artists who have been part of her extraordinary life on stage.
Since moving to Liverpool in 2004 the European Opera Centre has increasingly worked within the region, staging critically acclaimed opera performances and pioneering an award-winning education programme in Greater Liverpool schools.
Kenneth Baird, Chief Executive of the European Opera Centres says: “Many people have asked me how they can find out more about opera, setting us on track for this new venture. I am delighted we are able to bring such a notable line-up of speakers to the city to open up this fascinating art-form. You would be hard-pressed to find a series of this quality outside London.”
Picturehouse at FACT
October 9 8.30pm
S&M2 is a must-see celebration of the 20th anniversary of Metallica’s groundbreaking S&M concerts and album recorded with the San Francisco Symphony.
Metallica are again performing with the Symphony as legendary conductor Michael Tilson Thomas leads a portion of the show, kicking off his final season in San Francisco.
The film was recorded live on September 6 and 8, and the shows also commemorate the opening of the state-of-the-art Chase Center, a historic addition to the San Francisco’s waterfront.
The film includes several tracks from the original ’99 S&M release as well as symphonic versions of new songs released since then, this theatrical release gives millions of fans around the world the chance to eclipse time and experience the show as a modern-day big screen concert.
What better way to liven up October than a trip to Picturehouse at FACT to see the marriage of metal and classical?
We The Youth- Keith Haring’s New York Nightlife by Dave Haslam
October 16 7.00-9.00pm
This launch of DJ and writer Dave Haslam‘s new book, which documents the music and night life that filled Keith Haring‘s nights out and inspired his work.
Haslam‘s talk promises an adventure through key New York clubs and venues of the late 70s, early 80s. The evening includes music excerpts, a book signing and this event will be introduced by Director of Tate, Maria Balshaw.
Liverpool Tattoo Convention
Adelphi Hotel, October 18-20
Liverpool Tattoo Convention returns to the city this October, celebrating its 12th year with another three days of world class tattooing, live music and entertainment.
Widely perceived as the most prestigious and innovative tattoo event in the UK, the show takes place on October 18, 19 and 20 at the Britannia Adelphi Hotel in the heart of the city centre and just a stone’s throw away from Lime St Station.
Renowned for its innovation, non-stop entertainment and atmosphere, the 3-day event will include over 250 UK and international tattoo artists, the UK Tattoo Awards, tattoo competitions, 2 stages of non-stop live music from some of the country’s finest bands (including a Foo Fighters tribute), stunt shows, fire shows, burlesque glitz, glamour and tantalising performance.
The Convention is a great opportunity to get tattooed by some of the world’s finest artists and promises to be a weekend to remember and a true celebration of the art of tattooing.
Last year’s show was a huge success with 6000 people enjoying the festivities and setting record attendance numbers in the process.
Organised by Liverpool tattoo studio Design 4 Life, The Liverpool Tattoo Convention is regarded as a must-attend event and well-respected show in the industry, honouring tattoo culture, lifestyle and art. There is something for everyone during this relaxed and enchanting weekend of tattoo, art and variety entertainment.
Alexis Teplin: It’s My Pleasure To Participate
October 26 2019 to February 23 2020
The Bluecoat is due to host American artist Alexis Teplin’s new exhibition from this autumn, with her largest UK solo show to date.
Teplin, known for her large abstract canvases of fragmented colour and poetic performance works, will exhibit newly commissioned painting, performance and videos.
Her new work is rooted in the discipline of painting. Blocks of colour dance across her canvases, oscillating between ground and foreground. The artist often hints at figuration and familiarity in her paintings, overridden by Teplin’s adherence to the rhythms of playful abstraction. Her fragments of colour are mirrored in the canvas itself, made from a patchwork of different material, from traditional canvas to more delicate dress fabrics.
Teplin’s performance works share a methodology of patchwork and a feeling of seduction with her paintings. Gestures, movements and dialogue from the films of Luis Buñel, François Truffaut and Rainer Werner Fassbinder are woven in with everyday interactions between people.
Conversational phrases are mixed together with the glamour and exquisite phrasing of the silver-screen. Like her paintings, Teplin’s performances hint towards the familiar and recognisable while consistently pushing into abstraction and alluring rhythms.
She will also premiere two new video works in the exhibition, situated within an installation of her paintings and objects. These video works tie her performances to the history of cinema from which she borrows dialogue and movements. As with painting, cinema carries the weight and baggage of its own history, conventions and tropes.
Through Teplin’s exhibition the medium of film and painting are brought into dialogue, reflecting the inherent qualities of each other; the composition of the films following the composition of paintings, discrete gestures, acts, brush strokes and phrases combined to form an atmosphere that compels the viewer to reflect on the nature of painting, film and performance.
Chester Literature Festival
November 9 – November 30
This year Chester Literature Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary with 128 events from 9-30 November 9 to 30, featuring major authors, storytellers, broadcasters and poets with performance and discussion across the festival.
Authors Armistead Maupin and Michael Morpurgo, poets Imtiaz Dharker, Benjamin Zephaniah and Lemn Sissay and writer and TV presenter Nadiya Hussain top the bill alongside a raft of writers, storytellers, musicians and spoken word artists.
Sam Bain, Senior Programme Manager, Storyhouse says:“We are delighted to bring such a rich programme to Chester in the Chester Literature Festival’s 30th anniversary year.
Our artist in residence Imtiaz Dharker has produced stunningly beautiful illustrations and words for our walls and we can’t wait to bring her curated events to life.
This year we explore cultural identity across our programme, with themes of ethnicity, religion, disability and physicality, generation, sexuality and gender, class, parenthood and the care system, and belonging and displacement in all their forms. We hope you’ll find a home at Storyhouse during this year’s festival.”