See all of Liverpool’s art in 24 hours… maybe.
Liverpool’s got loads of amazing art, no we’re not talking about the graffiti in The Swan Inn loos (we don’t believe yer ma would do that anyway… ) we’re talking world-class paintings, modern works that make your head spin and street art worth seeking out.
It’s ten years since we were officially Capital of Culture. Plenty has changed since, but our arts scene has continued to boom. So we thought we’d check out how much of it we could see in one day…
We’re still mourning the loss of the Berry Street Banksy rat… but there’s plenty of street art still to spot. Earlier this year Brighton graffiti artist Dotmasters brought his rude kids to the yard and dotted them around the city centre – if you want to see all six of his Liverkids together head to Prescot Street opposite the Royal.
10am Walker Art Gallery
Who said beer won’t get you anywhere? The granddaddy of Liverpool’s galleries was funded by a local brewer back in 1873 and since then has housed an ever-expanding collection of outstanding art. You’ll find everything from Monet to Hockney, Rembrandt to Riley here and the building is an absolute stunner.
William Brown St, Liverpool L3 8EL
No art tour of Liverpool would be complete without a quick visit to see everyone’s favourite animal-fruit hybrid. As you’re walking past the JMU library give it a wave – it’s 17ft tall so don’t be a hero and try to mount it, many have tried… many have failed.
photo by www.artinliverpool.com
It’s worth seeking out dot-art just for a wander down Queen Avenue, one of the loveliest streets in the city. This little gallery does amazing things for local artists and the community. Pop in and check out some local talent, you might even find something you want to take home with you.
14, Queen Avenue, Castle St, Liverpool L2 4TX
12 noon Open Eye Gallery
Don’t write off the black slabs on Mann Island as just offices, in here you’ll find the new (ish) home of Open Eye, a gallery that’s been championing photography since 1977 – when selfies and insta were but a dream. We’re not normally fans of feature walls, but Open Eye hand over their mammoth outside wall to artists to use as a huge feature canvas too.
19 Mann Island, Liverpool L3 1BP
12.45pm RIBA North
Across from Open Eye you’ll find RIBA North, if you’re an architecture fan (and it’s hard not to be living in a city heaving with amazing buildings) check out the exhibition space here where there’s currently a display documenting the influence of Urban Splash.
21 Mann Island, Liverpool L3 1BP
1pm Tate Liverpool
See work from some of the biggest names in contemporary art for free? Thanks very much Tate Liverpool. But first we suggest you take a little lie down in the giant hammocks that Brazilian artists OPAVIVARÁ! have installed, you can even have a herbal tea as you recline – go on you deserve it. Warhol, Mondrian, Lichtenstein, Hepworth, it’s a who’s who of 20th century art to explore here, but we’ve got places to be…
Albert Dock, Liverpool L3 4BB
2.30pm The Bluecoat
Look out for the Peter Blake Dazzle Ferry crossing the Mersey as you leave the docks and head up to the oldest surviving building in the city centre. There’s something special about The Bluecoat, it’s a friendly space that’s been a creative hub for hundreds of years. Until the end of June there’s an interactive sound exhibition that’s made using conversations recorded in the galleries – so be careful what you say…
School Ln, Liverpool L1 3BX
3pm Big Foot Studios
Behind the unassuming exterior of the Gostins Building on Hanover Street there are superheroes at work… superheroes with pencils. This is the home of pop culture artists Tom Walker and Mike McGee from Big Foot Studios who have created comic book and fantasy illustrations for films including Predator, Alien and Big Trouble in Little China. Warning: comic book fans may not be able to resist the limited edition prints on sale.
Gostins Arcade, Liverpool L1 4AA
A place where Shia LaBeouf live streamed his anti-Trump project from has to be worth a visit. Come here for experimental digital art that to be honest we don’t always fully understand, but have fun trying – when we visited we were transported inside a video game and it was a pretty mind-blowing experience.
88 Wood St, Liverpool L1 4DQ
4pm The Royal Standard
There’s more to Cains Brewery Village than food markets… it’s also home to the Royal Standard, an artist-led art gallery and studios. It’s a massive space that’s all about nurturing new talent, so if you want to see the next big Liverpool thing this is the place to come – as long as it’s a Friday, Saturday or Sunday between 12 and 5pm.
Northern Lights, Cains Brewery Village, 5SD, 5 Mann St, Liverpool L8 5AF
4.30pm The Gallery Liverpool
You might not have heard of it, but chances are you’ve heard of some of the people who have worked with this Baltic gallery: Marc Almond, Jarvis Cocker and David McAlmont. Here they celebrate older artists, the LGBT community and counterculture – the current display ‘Caroline Coon: The Great Offender’ pretty much sums up what this all-embracing place is about.
41 Stanhope St, Liverpool L8 5RE
5.30pm Baltic Triangle street art
The Baltic has long been a canvas for street art, probably the most famous being The Liver Bird wings on Jamaica Street. Artist Paul Curtis couldn’t have expected his creation to be such a phenomenon, but it’s turned into an interactive piece of public art that really gives you wings.
So we failed. Kind of. There’s just too much art in the city for one day to handle. Honourable non-mentions go to the Victoria Gallery, Sudley House, Zap Graffiti, Museum of Liverpool and A Case History on Hope Street. Get out there and visit a couple of places, stop for a pint and some lunch en route and soak it all in.
We’re off for a lie down…
Words by Angela Barlow