As Tate Liverpool prepares to close its doors temporarily to undergo a major reimagining, the gallery will hold a celebratory weekend on 14 and 15 October. Tate Liverpool: Past, Present and Future will be filled with making activities for all ages, talks, music and a chance to make your own mark on the walls through a graffiti workshop. Most importantly, the weekend will give visitors a last chance to see work from the Tate collection, and the building in its current form, ahead of its transformation.
Throughout both days there will be three different making activities for visitors to enjoy and have something to take away from the event. There will be a free mini placard making workshop inspired by artist Bob and Roberta Smith, who is renowned for his “slogan” art and the formation of the Art Party in 2013, and his works such as Make Art Not War (1997) and All Schools Should be Art Schools 2016 which is currently on display on the 1st Floor at Tate Liverpool. Tate Collective Producers, the gallery’s programme for young people aged 16-25, will be hosting t-shirt customising workshops. While local artist Louise Waller is encouraging visitors to create teapot lids for topless Tate café teapots in an air-dry clay workshop that helps visitors repurpose and reuse.
As the building will be redeveloped, the final weekend before the transformation brings a unique opportunity for visitors to make their own mark in the gallery. People will be invited to join local graffiti artists to tag, paint and write the personal comments on the 4th floor of the gallery in a collaborative, communal mural that evokes the memory of past pop and street art exhibitions at Tate Liverpool such as 2019’s Keith Haring and Transmitting Andy Warhol in 2015.
By joining festivities visitors will be able to take away a specially commissioned, limited edition Tate Liverpool party bag with artist made prints and postcards. Among the artists contributing designs will be 2006 Turner Prize nominee Mark Titchner who is celebrated for his exploration of words and language. The commemorative gifts continue with a seed giveaway as artist Andrea Ku, who the gallery worked with on the recent Radical Landscapes exhibition, gives visitors seeds to grow along with Tate Liverpool during its closure period. The party atmosphere will be provided by a series of artist DJ’s and live performances by local musicians and choirs.
Tate Liverpool’s long-established Visitor Experience Assistants are renowned for their amazing rapport with visitors and their unparalleled knowledge and throughout the weekend there will be special, personal reflections and tours of the collection by the team members and special guest artists. The talks continue on 14 October as Tate Liverpool Director Helen Legg is joined by author Lauren Elkin for an In Conversation event on the first floor to discuss Elkin’s new book Art Monsters reflecting feminist practice.
During the weekend visitors will be able to enjoy four free displays as they get a final chance to take in the art. On the Ground Floor, Torkwase Dyson’s monumental work Liquid a Place 2021 directly converses with the brutal histories of the water and docks which surround the gallery. On level 1, Democracies features artists from around the world who have responded in various ways to the theme of democracy, including Jenny Holzer’s Inflammatory Essays 1979–82 and Chila Kumari Singh Burman’s, If There is No Struggle, There is No Progress – Uprisings 1981. On level 2 of the gallery, The Port and Migrations and Global Encounters feature more than 80 works exploring themes of movement, migration and international exchange, including Hew Locke’s spectacular sculptural installation Armada 2019.
Although the building at the Royal Albert Dock will be closed for the transformation work from 16 October, Tate Liverpool will move into the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) North, Mann Island from 27 October 2023. This is approximately 425m or a 5-minute walk from the gallery.
Image © Mark McNulty