Your Arts & Culture Guide to Liverpool Biennial this Bank Holiday Weekend

Posted on 26 August 2016 by Liverpool Biennial

Lara Favaretto, Momentary Monument – The Stone, 2016. Photo: Mark McNulty

Lara Favaretto, Momentary Monument – The Stone, 2016. Photo: Mark McNulty

Liverpool Biennial 2016 has taken over the city this summer with hundreds of artworks, exhibitions and events in galleries, public spaces and unused buildings to visit for free. Here we've put together some of the top things to see and do this August Bank Holiday weekend.

1. Take your time in Liverpool 8 

Explore the inner-city streets of Liverpool 8 and stumble across a number of unique artworks, including an enormous 24-tonne granite stone, a ‘monument from the future’ by acclaimed artist Lara Favaretto on the Welsh Streets. Then visit the cavernous Toxteth Reservoir where the whole family will be spellbound by Rita McBride’s large-scale light installation: a ‘portal between real and fictional worlds’ created with laser-beams. 



Rita McBride, Portal, 2016. Photo: Joel Chester Fildes

Also nearby, an empty house is transformed into a museological display by Arseny Zhilyaev on Granby Street and Alisa Baremboym's hybrid metal sculpture invites passers-by to discover what's beneath the perforated sheets.

2. Discover art in public spaces

Liverpool is a great city to spend a day or more, simply wandering around, and never more so than during the Biennial. Keep your eyes peeled for some unique and unexpected artworks located within the city’s landscape. 

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Hummingbird Clock, 2016 at Derby Square. Photo: Mark McNulty

At Derby Square Lawrence Abu Hamdan’s Hummingbird Clocka tree of binoculars resembling CCTV cameras, keeps watch over the Town Hall’s clock and serves as a tool for investigations into civil and human rights violations. Outside George’s Dock Ventilation Tower, Betty Woodman’s Greek-inspired bronze fountain is a must-see. At Liverpool ONE, an infinite staircase built for a time-travelling character is the latest creation from Mariana Castillo Deball, and is the perfect place to stop for a rest. Join a free curator tour of these artworks on Saturday starting 3pm from ABC Cinema (booking required).

Mariana Castillo Deball, To-day 9th of July 2016, 2016 in Liverpool ONE. Photo: Jerry Hardman-Jones

3. Pop into Cains Brewery 

Liverpool was one of the world’s most thriving ports in the 19 th Century. As a result, it became home to a variety of businesses, including Cains Beer and its famous brewery, which finally closed in 2013. This year, Liverpool Biennial has transformed this iconic building’s canning hall into an exhibition space with works by more than 15 artists from all around the world.

Cains Brewery. Photo: Shirlaine Forrest

4. Make the most of the waterfront

From Koki Tanaka’s  recreation of the 1985 student march at Open Eye Gallery, in which 10,000 children took part, to an imagined world where artists from Ancient Greece and contemporary times have collaborated at Tate Liverpool, the city’s iconic waterfront is full of thought-provoking commissions and exhibitions situated amongst a hub of bars, restaurants and museums.

Koki Tanaka, Provisional Studies Action #6, 2016 in Open Eye Gallery. Photo: Jerry Hardman-Jones



Betty Woodman, Liverpool Fountain, 2016. George's Dock Ventilation Tower. Photo: Joel Chester Fildes

5. Have fun with the family 

There is plenty of art activities to keep the little ones engaged with this weekend. On Saturday, Pokémon Trainers are invited to come together and find out exactly what sorts of Pokémon can be found at this year's Biennial venues around the city. Head to FACT to take part in the Pokémon Go Biennial Trails, logging and recording which Pokémon you spot along the way. Trails set off from 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm and are free (booking recommended).

Then on Sunday, travel back in time with our Comedy Club at Tate Liverpool where families are invited to create their own props, costumes and performance acts. Go back in time to visit dinosaurs, relive the moment that man first stepped on the moon or meet mummies in Egypt. Sessions are free and run at 1pm, 2.45 and 3.45pm. 

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Dogsy Ma Bone, 12 June 2016. Courtesy the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Mark McNulty

6. Indulge in Art (Deco) at ABC Cinema

A Grade II listed Art Deco building, the ABC Cinema first opened its doors to the public in 1931. The last film shown there, in 1998, was Casablanca. Now, film fans can step inside this iconic venue and enjoy an exhibition of newly commissioned works including Samson Kambalu’s films in which children are asked to imagine the content of Casablanca and Fabien Giraud and Raphaël Siboni’s film series recounting a history of technology in reverse.

Exhibition view at ABC Cinema. Photo: Jerry Hardman-Jones

When the films stop playing, the ABC Cinema undergoes a transformation with audio and sculptural works by Marcos Lutyens, Lara Favaretto, Oliver Laric and Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian.

We'd love to see what you get up to whilst visiting the festival. Send us your photos on social media using #Biennial2016.

Liverpool Biennial 2016 runs until 16 October and is open daily in venues across the city.

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