The LightNight programme is out!

lightnight14-flyerLiverpool’s Culture Crawl Is Back

Our favourite night of the year, Liverpool’s LightNight is back for its fifth year. 

On Friday 16 May from 4pm until late thousands of visitors of all ages will descend on Liverpool for LightNight, the city’s annual arts and culture festival.

LightNight unlocks the doors of Liverpool’s world-class museums, galleries and heritage sites late into the night to showcase creativity in the city region. Visitors can experience a vibrant mixture of events all on one night; from interactive light projections to a psychedelic sound spectacle, ‘sound battle’ street performances to exhibition launches. With a fire performance, giant dance workshops, big sings, a candle-lit labyrinth, sing-along walking tours, and stargazing at the Tate, there is something for all ages.

For LightNight 2014 over 100 of Liverpool’s finest creative’s and arts organisations have joined forces to offer an unforgettable night of over 130 FREE events. Visitors will be invited to:

·       Visit a secret, iconic building for a sneak preview of the building that will be at the heart of this year’s Liverpool Biennial.

·       Rediscover Liverpool Cathedral to experience the booming Grand Organ, reflect in the Lady Chapel, join the Big Dance Pledge with Merseyside Dance Initiative, or be mesmerised by PZYKSONG as musicians from Liverpool International Psychedelic Festival and the Cathedral collaborate for the first time.

·       Witness a fire performance by Bring the Fire Project, Liverpool’s up and coming fire artist collective as they light up the area around Wellington’s column with fire costumes, installations and live drumming.

·       Explore class and taste in modern Britain through the eyes of Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry on the opening night of The Vanity of Small Differences at the Walker Art Gallery. Along with music, dance and drama from LIPA students and the opening of the dot-art Schools Exhibition with winning artwork from 50 local schools.

·       Dance the night away in St George’s Hall as the ever-popular late night ceilidh returns.

·       Stroll around Liverpool’s Central Library one year after its reopening, when you’ll be invited to lie on the floor for a live musical and visual performance, belt out Sea Shanties with Up for Arts, listen to West Everton Super Strings, join Writing on the Wall up on the roof terrace for Word Up, hear from Scottie Writers, find out about the LJMU’s Merseyside at War project created to commemorate the outbreak of WW1 or the Give Us 5 campaign with The Reader Organisation.

·       Experience the new Youth and Community space in the Everyman as YEP (Young Everyman Playhouse) surround you in light, sound and projections.

·       Journey into the unknown with Impropriety and Hidden Liverpool as they take you on an exploration of the beautiful banking hall in Martins Bank.

·       Spot yourself in the Liverpool Photo Booth Project, 600+ black and white portraits taken by photographer Louise Lowe that opens for the first time on LightNight after a yearlong endeavour to capture the identity of Liverpool today.

·       Immerse yourself at the Museum of Liverpool with dance and choir performances, a Liver Bird workshop, exhibitions and films plus the big Bayk-over which celebrates 80 years of the Liverpool invented Bayko model construction set.

·       Join the circus at The Black-E as it comes alive with aerial workshops, trapeze and juggling, along with an energetic World Dance performance and workshop courtesy of Movema and free runners Airborn Academy.

·       Walk the candle-lit labyrinth designed with the help of LIPA students in the walled courtyard of Blackburne House.

·       Discover Baltic Creative, Liverpool’s vibrant creative and digital hub in the Baltic Triangle, as they invite you to take part in workshops, open their creative studios, enjoy live music in the cafe, or even have your tea leaves read.

·       Uncover the history of the oldest Chinese community in Europe through photographs and words at the Open Eye Gallery, when you can also try your hand at Chinese calligraphy, be enthralled by the sounds of the Chinese harp or watch the Pagoda Taichi and Dance group perform ancient exercises and Fan dances.

Lorenzo Fusi, Open Eye Gallery Director said, “Open Eye Gallery is thrilled to once again be a part of LightNight Liverpool – it’s a fantastic evening of participation, family activities and fun for all across the city. There’s always a great atmosphere as Liverpool’s cultural institutions offer an exciting tour of the city at night.” 

Mark Lawler, Baltic Creative Managing Director said, “We’re really looking forward to throwing open our doors again for LightNight. Last year Baltic Creative was buzzing with visitors and activity. And again this year our programme offers something for all ages, so why not come and find our more about Baltic Creative.”

LightNight 2014 is the fifth edition of this annual late night festival. Each year the audience and the programme grow, with many new arts organisations joining this one-night celebration of Liverpool’s arts and culture. New comers include Mercy, HIVE, Bring the Fire Project, The Friends of the Flyover, Liverpool Biennial, Alison Appleton Studio, The Kazimier, Pagoda Arts, Merseyside Polonia, Karate Union of Great Britain, 20 Stories High, West Everton Super Strings, Scottie Writers, Outpost, Aurora Media, The Reader Organisation, Wanderpool and The Mixnots.

Charlotte Corrie of Open Culture, the LightNight producers said: “LightNight is the city really coming together, its starts at 4pm and doesn’t stop until 4am, so there really is something for everyone. It’s a jam packed one night extravaganza that’s not to be missed. It gives you a taste of what takes place in Liverpool everyday of the year!”

The FREE programme is now online at www.lightnightliverpool.co.uk or available from all participating venues.


Candle Lit Labyrinth at LJMU on LightNight

Get Culture, Get Fit! Liverpool Culture Quarter Walks


Continuing our campaign to use the city’s cultural heritage to get yourself fit while taking in the wonders of Liverpool, here’s a good one that pretty much anyone can enjoy.

Heart of Liverpool Tours  offer walking tours every Saturday morning at 10:30am. Whether you’re here on your first visit or even if you live here, the Liverpool Culture Quarter Walk will open your eyes to what Liverpool’s culture has to offer.

The tour takes in the brilliant landmarks of St George’s Hall, the World Museum, The Walker Art Gallery, our world class Central Library and much more. The tour costs £7.50 and even ends with a nice tipple in a local hostelry. What more could you ask for!

According to Trip Advisor, Liverpool Culture Quarter Walk includes 3 of the top 10 attractions in Liverpool.  All of the guides, including my own tour guide,  the lovely Margo, are professional Blue Badge guides  – official professional tourist guides recognised by Visit Britain – and I know you’ll love this walk through some of the best sites our great city has to offer.

If you fancy it (and who wouldn’t!) meet outside the entrance to the World Museum on William Brown Street any saturday morning at 10.30 and look out for the red heart umbrella.

You can contact Margo or another tour guide by email to liverpoolculturewalk@gmail.com or call 07908 268 356

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Five Days Out For A Fiver: Day 5 – Rolf Harris and other interesting stuff at the Walker Art Gallery

Money spent: £5.00

Fun had:  ✰✰✰✰✰

Weather conditions:  ☼

Oh, bright and shining day! At long, long last in our Five Days Out For A Fiver challenge the sun was out. And what did we have planned?  That’s right, more indoor fun. Planning for the worst (I’ve even started going around with an emergency rain poncho) we packed our picnic and headed off for the last few days of the Rolf Harris Can You Tell What It Is Yet? exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery.

The exhibition finishes this Sunday, so if you haven’t already been, stop reading this blog post and go there immediately! You’ll thank me for it.

Launched by the man himself as part of the wonderful Light Night events back in May, Can You Tell What It Is Yet? brings to life in three glorious rooms the amazing, huge and multi-faceted personality of the man. Rolf Harris has been around cooling it out since the 60s and has been hard at work since be it as an artist, a gold-disc winning muso or a general cult hero figure and these are all brought to life in this exhibition.

Rolf does Klimt, with Aboriginal designs

Using a host of media to get across the rich and diverse history of Harris’s career, the exhibition covers everything from the broad brushstrokes of his large landscapes to the intricate detail captured in impressionist paintings of zebra and lion.

One for Doctor Who fans. Rolf’s homage to The Church At Auvers by Van Gogh.

Our favourite part was a series of homages to iconic paintings by such luminaries as Toulouse-Lautrec, Klimt, Rembrandt and Vermeer (showing Harris’s daughter Bindi as the Girl With The Pearl Earring).  Each gave Rolf’s own unique take on a famous image that is lodged in the collective subconscious, so that the lovers in Kilmt’s The Kiss are clothed in gowns that are decorated with delicate, Aboriginal inspired art.

Fresh from being overwhelmed by this really rather brilliant exhibition, we retired outside to St John’s Gardens to enjoy our packed lunch in the beautiful August sunshine.  Not wanting to go home, we went back in to see what else the Walker has on offer for families during the summer hols.

Now I have to confess that the Walker has long been a favourite destination of ours and with good reason.  The Walker, far from being a stuffy, arty-farty type of place, positively welcomes families and little uns.  My kids have always loved the Big Art For Little Artists section, even though they’re now growing out of the little kids age group.

What we really love about the Walker is how much it encourages kids to get involved in art and even create their own.  And from a grown up perspective, there’s nothing quite like seeing art with kids, because they bring their own fresh take on it.  You can stuff your information cards, when you’ve got kids with you, they really do make up their own minds about what they like and what they don’t.  It’s a brilliant thing and I urge you do try it.

We went and tried out a couple of new exhibitions we hadn’t seen before.  The first was a series of extraordinary posters from the 1972 Munich Olympics.  Dotted with welcome seating to allow you to really take in the whole thing, this series of Pop Art inspired images is well worth a visit.  My son particularly loved an op art piece by Vasarely, which changed perspective the more you gazed at it.

On the way out of the Walker’s maze of rooms, we stumbled across an exhibit that I can’t find any mention of anywhere on the official website and yet it was wonderful.  It’s a mystery!  I do hope it’s still there.

Marcel Breuer design classic chair

Called (I think) Sitting On Art, this was a selection of design classic chairs set in a circle in a large and beautiful gallery space.  Like the world’s poshest game of musical chairs, we took turns in the chairs designed by the likes of Marcel Breuer, Harry Bertoia and Philippe Starck.  It kept us there for an extra half an hour, so good was it.

And that’s the thing about the Walker.  Whether you’re there for the latest big thing, or just ambling about, you’ll always find something that takes you by surprise.  The staff are friendly and welcoming and kids are positively encouraged to get involved.

There was a sign asking for a recommended £2.00 donation, but as we’d had such a brilliant day and hadn’t spent a bean, we happily left our entire £5.00 for the day and skipped out into the wonderful sunshine. Worth every penny.

Check out what’s on a the Walker Art Gallery over the summer hols.  Rolf Harris exhibition on until Sunday 12 August 2012.

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