COMMUNITY: Bluecoat to transform front courtyard with sculpture designed by artists and Liverpool children
Bluecoat, Liverpool’s Centre for the Contemporary Arts, is set to bring an exciting new outdoor artwork to its front courtyard in May 2021.
Bluecoat Platform is part of the UK wide Here and Now programme, a celebration of culture within communities as part of the 40th anniversary of the National Lottery.
Created by artist duo Simon & Tom Bloor, Bluecoat Platform has been made in collaboration with Liverpool children from Out of the Blue, Bluecoat’s after school art club for 5-11 year olds. This new temporary public art work is inspired by the shapes and structures that the children made in a workshop with the artists. Resembling a scaled-up model of their designs, this playful sculpture creates a physical platform to bring some of Bluecoat’s artistic activities out of the building for audiences to enjoy this summer.
In light of the lack of opportunities for families to visit indoor attractions in recent months, Bluecoat is providing a programme of free events for families over the summer. Performers will be auditioned and selected by a group of local families who will work with Bluecoat’s Participation team to develop regular events - storytelling, music, comedy for kids and much more - designed to engage children of all ages. These activities are kindly supported by Liverpool City Council Mayoral Inclusive Growth Fund.
Simon & Tom Bloor previously worked with Bluecoat as part of the 2017 exhibition Abacus, making a hugely popular artwork - a chalk room - that encouraged children to bend conventional gallery rules and draw on the walls of Bluecoat’s gallery.
Betty Ritchie, Bluecoat’s Participation Manager, said: “We’re delighted to be able to bring Platform to Bluecoat, despite inevitable delays caused by the UK lockdowns. We can’t wait to see the work of our Out of the Blue children come to fruition on this project, and share this with our visitors in our historic courtyard. Simon and Tom’s previous work at Bluecoat has really captured our audience’s imagination and I’m sure their new sculpture will be especially popular with families and offer much needed outdoor entertainment this summer.”
Simon & Tom Bloor said: “We were pleased to have the opportunity to work with the Out of the Blue kids. The project allows them to develop ideas about art and about wider society, helping to give them agency as citizens; we’re interested in how spaces and structures in a city can also do this. We like the idea of a platform in a literal sense as a stage or a pavilion and how such structures might be used as performative spaces or as meeting points, play spaces or hang-out areas. We’re also interested in the idea of a platform as a context to allow things to happen or ideas to be expressed.
“This project was initially developed in a pre-Covid time and the events of the past year give more urgency to society finding ways of re-engaging, and if possible, of coming together; hopefully in a small way the installation can help this to happen.”
Bluecoat Platform will launch on Friday 21 May, as part of Bluecoat’s programme for LightNight.
The sculpture will be accessible for the public over the summer and will be animated by a special live events programme in August 2021, government restrictions permitting.
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