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									News Release 9th January 2008

Liverpool’s the Bluecoat will become a base for the UK’s most talented emerging artists when it re-opens on Saturday 15th March 2008 after a £12.5 million re-fit. The Bluecoat, Liverpool city centre’s oldest building and one of the UK’s oldest art spaces, previously showcased the early works of everyone from Picasso and Van Gogh to Benjamin Britten, Yoko Ono, Captain Beefheart, Michael Clark, Nitin Sawnhey and Jeremy Deller. The refurbished and extended space opens in Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year and will provide a true legacy for the 08 celebrations by building on the tradition of supporting and showcasing the very best creative talent as it emerges. It will nurture new talent by providing studio space for young artists within a unique creative community. It will use new exhibition spaces to showcase the talent across all creative disciplines and develop programmes which emphasize the Bluecoat’s tradition of experimentalism and support for emerging artists and projects. Alastair Upton, Chief Executive at the Bluecoat, said: “Like the new Liverpool, we are building on the great strengths of our past to create something different, ambitious and very exciting. “The Bluecoat will be a place where you can see creative talent on the cusp of national and international renown - the Turner Prize winners of tomorrow, leading new composers, choreographers, musicians, designers, writers, craftspeople and artists of all kinds. “Our 2008 programme, to be announced later this year, will set the bar high, establishing us as a major landmark on the UK map of contemporary culture and a unique expression of a changing city with a dynamic vision for the arts.” Press Preview: Wednesday 12 March

For further information please contact: Antony Pickthall, Head of Marketing at the Bluecoat. School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BX tel 0151 702 5321 email

Opening Programme at the Bluecoat  Opening exhibition – Now Then 15 March – 4 May

Alec Finlay, Janet Hodgson, Hew Locke, Paul Morrison, and a celebrated international artist to be announced A group exhibition featuring specially commissioned works, Now Then highlights the Bluecoat’s history and heralds its bright future as a cutting edge artspace, including a video installation, sculptural installations and a large wall painting, Now Then draws attention to the architecture of the Bluecoat and presents a range of contemplations on Liverpool’s culture and global connections. Reflective of the Bluecoat’s reputation and ongoing desire to be a place that nurtures and supports emerging artists and ambitious projects, Now Then showcases the work of Hodgson and Morrison, who both previously received support from the Bluecoat earlier in their careers, and Finlay and Locke, who are eagerly welcomed for the first time.


Opening live programme - Live at the Bluecoat 15 – 16 March

A two-day weekend celebration with performances by high quality, local artists throughout the day including the Queen of Culture, Philip Jeck, Sense of Sound and Jonathan Raisin and high profile ticketed events in the evening (full programme to be announced later this year). Live artist Rajni Shah will present her performance installation Mr Quiver, a stunning durational piece that audiences will be able to walk in and out of. Maintaining this momentum, the opening fortnight will showcase leading artists currently working within the fields of music, dance, live art and literature as will the Bluecoat’s ongoing programme of over 130 live performances a year.

Forthcoming highlights at the Bluecoat.  Second exhibition - Variable Capital 15 May – 29 June

Edward Burtynsky, Melanie Jackson, Louise Lawler, Hans Op de Beeck, Santiago Sierra, Andy Warhol and many more As a regenerated Liverpool is unveiled as the European Capital of Culture in 2008, this exhibition presents a timely comment on consumer culture. Organised by artists David Campbell and Mark Durden of Common Culture, Variable Capital seeks to explore the diverse ways in which international artists have responded to contemporary cultures of commodity production and consumption.


Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival

10 – 27 July 2008

After a spectacular 2007 Summer festival including a performance by international music legend Marcel Khalife with the RLPO, the seventh annual Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival will be the largest to date. Alongside events across the city such as the popular family day at Sefton Park Palm House, the Bluecoat returns as the festival’s main focus with a full programme of dance, music, literature and a specially organized exhibition focusing on Arab cities.


Third exhibition – Arab Cities

10 July – 11 September

Arab Cities considers how inhabitants view and experience urban texture and develop their own identities through desires for the future and lessons from the past. Arab Cities is organized by guest curator November Paynter in partnership with the Bluecoat, Open Eye Gallery and Zenith Foundation, London.


Made Up - Liverpool Biennial 2008

20 September – 30 November

As one of the venues for the Biennial’s International 08 exhibition (along with Tate, FACT, Open Eye and public realm sites), the Bluecoat is developing a dialogue with a group of international artists around the idea of imagined futures, dystopian as well as utopian, in a way that is playful for the artists and compelling for audiences.


Liverpool Live 08

During Liverpool Biennial 2008, the Bluecoat presents the city-wide live art programme Liverpool Live 08, including a major performance installation by leading German artist Angie Hiesl from Liverpool’s twin city Cologne using pairs of identical twins.


Writing at the Bluecoat

9 – 19 October

The Bluecoat launches its first literature festival, a high profile two-week event for Capital of Culture, featuring international and UK writers across a wide spectrum. This will be the highlight of a year-round programme of live literature and debates, presenting words and ideas in innovative ways.


Best of Liverpool

11 December – Jan 2009

A season of work reflecting the diversity and strength of artists currently working on Merseyside or making work about the area.

Editor’s notes: Full programme details will be announced later this year. To be added to the Bluecoat’s press list please email Further information contact: Rachael Eades, Marketing Officer at the Bluecoat. School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BX tel 0151 709 5297 ext 24 email Antony Pickthall, Head of Marketing at the Bluecoat. School Lane, Liverpool L1 3BX tel 0151 702 5321 email

About the Bluecoat
On reopening in early 2008, after a £12.5m redevelopment, designed by Rotterdam-based BIQ Stad, the Bluecoat will be a major landmark on the UK map of contemporary culture and a unique expression of a changing city with a dynamic vision for the arts. It will engage, inspire and stimulate visitors, whether they come to create, view, listen, eat, shop, talk - or simply be. It will house a vibrant community of creative people - artists, performers, writers, crafts people, creative businesses and retailers - all committed to using their emerging talent to innovate and excel. Together they will break down traditional barriers between creator and consumer, involving and exciting visitors.

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