Liverpool Biennial commissions leading artists to work with young people and children from the city to create major new works. 

Unicode Class Vernacular

Unicode Class Vernacular was created by artist Nathan Jones with 20 school pupils as part of Curious Mind's Specialist Leaders in Cultural Education (SLiCE) fellowship programme between Liverpool Biennial and The Studio, Liverpool. For the project, children spent a number of days playing ‘games’ in an attempt to explore the way we use visual, spoken and written language to communicate our identity. A dedicated website serves as a record of this game, reflecting on the potential for a new connectivity between ‘vernacular’ and ‘class’, using ‘unicode’ as a device to return the complexity of the spoken language to the written word.

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From the Beginning

From the Beginning is a new commission by artist Burak Kabadayi created as part of the education exchange programme between the Istanbul Biennial and Liverpool Biennial. The project was carried out in 6 different neighbourhoods of Istanbul with 48 children, aged 4-14. Sound, video and an intricate map of networks form an entity that relates to the broader notion of both Biennial titles; a good neighbour and Beautiful world, where are you? The children were invited to select and interpret a verse from their favourite song in response to both titles; their interpretations were recorded and combined, then transformed into a single track. A video, streaming in sync with the audio, was edited to make each of the verses visible. The project has been developed in collaboration with Protocinema.

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Marvin Gaye Chetwynd

For Liverpool Biennial 2016, artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd was invited to make a new work with young people from Liverpool. Through a series of workshops and live performances with 34 children and 44 teenagers, she produced the film Dogsy Ma Bone, using the city as a backdrop to the action. It was presented at Cains Brewery and parts of the film were performed live during the Biennial opening weekend. In 2017, the film, live performances and a supporting education programme toured the UK, visiting venues such as Touchstones Rochdale and Tate Modern, London as part of the Tate Exchange programme.

Childwall Sports & Science Academy with Hato

Hello Future Me is a moving work of art designed by Hato together with year 7 pupils from Childwall Sports & Science Academy, in partnership with Arriva North West. This ‘Space Bus’ contains coded messages to the future citizens of Liverpool, spelled out in an alphabet of newly invented symbols created by the pupils, depicting where they are, who they are and what they stand for, any problems that they encounter and who they are inspired by. The bus pays homage to the tradition of sending messages into outer space, in the hope that extra-terrestrial beings will be able to understand more about human civilisation. The bus can be seen driving on routes through the city.

Koo Jeong A x Wheelscape: Evertro

Evertro is the UK's first glow-in-the-dark wheels park. The park was created by leading South Korean artist Koo Jeong A and the designers from Wheelscape Skateparks, who worked with young people in Everton, North Liverpool and Liverpool city skaters to develop the idea, design and concepts. Familiar skating forms and features have been combined with new sculptural elements to create a unique space for experimentation, open to skaters and BMX bikers to use and enjoy. The design responds to its immediate surroundings, as well as drawing on Koo Jeong A’s references to diamond shapes and forms conceived through the artist’s interpretation of the area.

Liverpool Biennial and Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson commissioned Evertro, in partnership with Friends of Everton Park, the Land Trust and Liverpool Vision.

Dazzle Island

Dazzle Island is a permanent artwork for pupils to use and enjoy in the playground of Childwall Sports & Science Academy. The artwork was created by designers Hato and more than 100 pupils from Childwall Sports & Science Academy, Greenbank Primary and Childwall Valley Primary. The children explored dazzle camouflage and used bespoke digital tools to create symbols for play for the final design, which was inspired by Sir Peter Blake’s Everybody Razzle Dazzle commission for the Mersey Ferry.