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Liverpool Independents Biennial returns to city region venues


The 2023 Independents Biennial is taking place in Liverpool over the summer.

The event, which has run alongside the main Liverpool Biennial since 1999, is a voluntary run festival of visual art which aims to make sure the work of local artists is seen during the busiest few months of the city’s cultural calendar.

It has been managed by Art in Liverpool CIC since 2018. Two years ago took place online because of the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Despite funding issues, this year art lovers are able to see work in the ‘flesh’ at venues again, with a number of locations showcasing artists including Bridewell Studios, The Royal Standard, the Egg Café, Invisible Wind Factory and Victoria Gallery & Museum.

Bridewell Studios in Prescot Street is host rolling exhibitions from dozens of Merseyside-based artists including the return of Material Matters and The Drawing (Paper) Show, celebrating the history of Jon Barraclough’s The Drawing Paper and current illustrators and pen/pencil-based artists in the city.

The Royal Standard has put together its own programme featuring artists including Freddy Franké and changing each week until September.

Meanwhile Shuffle, produced by Max Mallender and Josie Jenkins, has taken over a new warehouse space in the North Docks, managed by Make Liverpool, and will host a late-night celebration of North West artists, their work, and their music from this Friday.

St Helens-based artists Andrew Small and Fiona Stirling continue their long-running collaboration with a new exhibition - Everything We Wanted to Say - at The Egg Café in Newington.

Above: Little Girl by Andrew Small who is exhibiting work with Fiona Sitrling at The Egg Cafe.


The Factory Kitchen at the Invisible Wind Factory on the North Docks features photography exhibitions by John McDonald, who has spent years photographing the city’s buskers.

And in the building that once housed The Gallery Liverpool on Stanhope Street, Space Liverpool is hosting the collaborative work of Emma Case, The Red Archive, and 27 Liverpool fans who all took cameras to the Champions League Final in Paris. The exhibition is a true-to-life documentary of what happened, from the eyes of those who were there.

In addition, there is a retrospective of Louise Waller’s ceramics at the Victoria Gallery & Museum and work from the Tate staff-artists collective across several venues in August and September.

And there are also exhibitions at venues including The Brain Charity in Norton Street, Avenue HQ on Mann Island, Birkenhead Arts Palace, dot-art Gallery in Queen Avenue, The Lake Gallery at West Kirby, The Atkinson in Southport, Elevator Studios, the Everyman, Hazlehurst Studios in Runcorn and Kent Street Studios in Oxton.

In addition, the Liverpool Art Fair is at the Royal Liver Building from June 30 to August 20.

Above: The Liverpool Art Fair takes place at the Royal Liver Building


Art in Liverpool director Patrick Kirk-Smith says: “When we found out we didn't get funding for the festival we were surprised, and obviously disappointed, but we knew we could still keep the heart of the Independents alive.

“Thankfully, every artist we know, and a fair few we don’t, wanted to share their work and built it into something that explores what it means to be an artist in Merseyside. “From our perspective, we’re just overwhelmed by the support we’ve had this year. Whether it’s from the venues who couldn’t afford to produce without funding, or those who were determined enough to make things happen, everyone has been wonderful, and made sure this year’s Independents could happen with the same vigour as always.”

Independents Biennial runs until September 17. More details and the full programme HERE

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