Join us for the launch of The Lives of Artists, our new season of exhibitions, commissions, residencies, events and workshops. The Lives of Artists asks audiences what might be uncovered about ourselves when we listen to the testimony, histories, and stories of artists reflecting on their lives.
The evening will give visitors a first look at new exhibitions including Joshua Clague: and it feels like I just got home and Babak Ganjei: Thanks for Having Me.
Ganjei reflects on vignettes from his life and career as an artist. He has re-staged the market stalls that he began selling his work from; a means of sharing his work that Ganjei has outgrown, and yet can’t let go of. The deferential title of his exhibition, Thanks for Having Me, reflects back on a life of operating on the margins and never quite being sure where he belongs.
In and it feels like I just got home Clague is interested in enduring memories of the female voice in his life. The exhibition often riffs on the pop-icons and divas that he once emulated as a form of emotional resonance. Clague has produced his new work over the course of a year in which he returned home to the Wirral, having spent years away in London. His work lays out how his sense of self changes at different times, in different places.
Both artists have a longstanding connection to the Bluecoat, with Ganjei having designed a commission for the building’s revamped Hub space back in 2021. Clague has had a studio space at Bluecoat since March 2023 as part of the New Contemporaries Studio Bursary and has also used the gallery over the last few months as a space for making new work.
The Lives of Artists will also see the launch of two new billboard commissions by Tess Gilmartin and Ottman Said. Both artists use abstraction as a way to create beautifully complex landscapes.
Said draws Liverpool’s familiar waterfront as abstracted blocks that seem to jostle for space amongst layers of interwoven line. Gilmartin’s expressive work features brightly coloured animals and plants, drawing upon her experience of spending time outdoors.
Both artists feel rooted to the landscape, and reflect this sense of belonging in their work. Said and Gilmartin are part of the Bluecoat’s creative community as members of Blue Room and have been developing their practice in our supported studio project Studio Me.
Event Date: Thursday 8th February 2024