Liverpool: One attractive city

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As museums and galleries open up again from today, it’s going to be a massive week for culture in Liverpool. With new exhibitions, return of performances, and some major events, we’ve rounded up what’s coming up over the next few days.

All of National Museums Liverpool’s venues are reopening from 18th May, and the team have been very busy in recent months to bring bold new exhibitions to the city.

At World Museum is AI: More Than Human, a blockbuster exhibition which delves into the world of artificial intelligence. It asks the key questions: what actually is AI? How is AI changing our lives? And where is it going?

Museum of Liverpool, which documents life in the city, welcomes another new exhibition: Liverpool 8 Against Apartheid. In the 1980s, Liverpool 8 was tireless in its support of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, with demos, product boycotts, park runs and the Free Nelson Mandela Campaign. This exhibition recounts the strong connections between the city’s Black community, Nelson Mandela and the anti-apartheid movement.

The John Moores Painting Prize, one of the most high-profile competitions in British art, is open at the Walker Art Gallery. There are 67 artworks in the exhibition and you can vote in person for the Visitors’ Choice award until 13th June.

Liverpool Biennial, the UK’s largest contemporary art festival, has been running since March with works around the city including Rashid Johnson’s Stacked Heads on the waterfront and Teresa Solar’s Osteoclast in Exchange Flags. From 19th May, the full Biennial programme will be available, with indoor venues throwing open their doors. As well as galleries, there will be artworks in Lewis’s building, Lush and Cotton Exchange.

Tate Liverpool will be reopening its doors from 18th May. If you haven’t seen Don McCullin’s magnificent photos capturing Liverpool, the North and international conflict, there is still time as the exhibition has been extended. There will also be some Biennial highlights to see, as well as the permanent collection.

Just across the waterfront, Open Eye Gallery features Alberta Whittle and Zineb Sedira for its Liverpool Biennial 2021 exhibition. On its Digital Window Gallery, there will be work from three local artists as part of the Independents Biennial.

FACT will be presenting its share of the Biennial from 19th May, as well as a new exhibition Soft Boys by Liverpool-based artist and filmmaker Kiara Mohamed, curated in collaboration with Fauziya Johnson, co-founder of ROOT-ed Zine.

Bluecoat also reopens on 19th and visitors will be welcomed by a new-look Hub space and café, with artworks for the space by Babak Ganjei, Sumuyya Khader and Harold Offeh. There is also an ambitious new outdoor sculpture created by Simon and Tom Bloor together with children from the Bluecoat’s after-school art club, and an exhibition as part of Liverpool Biennial.

On 20th May, Liverpool Cathedral will unveil a new art installation, Peace Doves, created by renowned sculptor and artist Peter Walker. The work features more than 15,000 paper doves suspended in the cathedral. Before lockdown, visitors to the Cathedral, along with local schoolchildren and community groups were invited to write messages of peace, hope and love onto thousands of paper doves.

The week culminates with one of the biggest dates in the Liverpool calendar, as LightNight returns on Friday from 5pm-late. The one-night free arts festival will again take over the city, with the theme of ‘Play’ tying together performances, tours, family activities and workshops.

For more info on what to do this week, head to visitliverpool.com/whats-on.

Joe Keggin is the PR Manager for Marketing Liverpool, promoting the city region externally as a place to visit.

Liverpool Waterfront