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LOOK Photo Biennial opens eyes to the world

LOOK Photo Biennial is taking over a host of venues on both sides of the Mersey this summer.

A series of exhibitions aim to reflect on shifting national identities, worldwide environmental issues and how we can communicate effectively.

The six month long festival is built on Liverpool Open Eye Gallery’s international exchange with China. And while Most of the events place in Liverpool and Wirral, there are also exhibitions in Manchester, Preston and Shanghai.

The biennial is divided in to two chapters with the first – titled Transplant - open now and the second, which has two strands – Translate and Transition, being launched on October 21.

Transplant looks at attempts to re-root the past in the present, focusing on the conflict or friction between the two, while Translate considers how the present can be broken down and better understood through photography. The final strand, Transition, encompasses projects which give us the perspective needed to forecast and shape the future.

Full details of the second chapter are yet to be announced, but will include exhibitions across Liverpool, the wider North West and Shanghai.

Open Eye Gallery itself will produce a major exhibition titled Peer to Peer, featuring international breakthrough artists selected by 14 leading photography curators, directors and collectors from across the UK and China, curated in partnership with Serein Lui, Shanghai.

Here is what you can see from now until October.

Liz Hingley – Shanghai Sacred

Victoria Gallery & Museum

Photographer and anthropologist Liz Hingley uncovers the spiritual landscape of China’s largest city – and Liverpool’s official twin, which currently sits at the forefront of the communist country’s religious revival.

Evocative photographs reveal the spaces and rituals embedded deeply in the fabric of the cosmopolitan ‘megalopolis’ port city of 24 million people.

The installation is set within a unique bamboo structure designed by Hingley and Shanghai artist Chen Hangfeng.

Until September 25.

Yan Wang Preston – Forest

Birkenhead Priory

Shown outdoors on lightboxes, Forest looks at the modern practice of moving ancient trees into new places, or planting trees in climates that aren’t suitable.

In recent years, developers in China have been transplanting old trees into new leisure developments, in an attempt to create a feeling of ready-made authenticity.

The trees often die in the process of being moved or adapt poorly to their new climate.

Until August 30.

Tabitha Jussa and John Davies – Can’t See The Wood for the Trees

Victoria Gallery & Museum

Urban green spaces in Liverpool appear to be increasingly under threat from development.

Jussa and Davies create a visual exploration of trees in the urban environment through the prism of contemporary scientific understanding and the symbolic significance of trees to people through history to raise issues they believe are important to our futures.

Until July 4.

Stephanie Wynne and Stephen McCoy – Triangulation

Victoria Gallery & Museum

Panoramas from an ongoing project to visit all 310 primary triangulation points that were built and measured between 1936 and 1962 by the Ordnance Survey for the ‘Retriangulation of Great Britain’.

The work will provide a comprehensive survey of the British landscape, considering how we represent territory and the layering of history, land use, ownership and boundaries.

July 18 to August 22.

Pauline Rowe and Dave Lockwood – The Allotments

Victoria Gallery & Museum

The Allotments is a collaborative artistic ‘meditation’ about Dingle Vale allotments in Aigburth, one of 25 working allotment communities thriving in Liverpool.

The project explores these spaces of cultivation and society through the work of photographer David Lockwood, poet Pauline Rowe and painter Arthur Lockwood.

August 29 to September 28.


Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead

Distinctly takes a unique approach to the depiction of Britain and its distinct landscapes, industries, social and economic changes, cultural traditions, traits and events as seen through the eyes of 12 established and emerging photographers working in Britain over the last six decades.

They are: Martin Parr, Chris Killip, Marketa Luskacova, John Myers, Elaine Constantine, Tish Murtha archive, Daniel Meadows, Ken Grant, Robert Darch & Kirsty Mackay.

September 27 to November 24.

For more information visit the website HERE

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