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24 September 2014

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Installation at St Luke's Church
Installation at St Luke's Church

Liverpool Biennial 06

Lions caged at St Georges Hall, upturned boats in the bombed out church and a question mark over Wirral... Do you think it's art? Join the online discussion

The next ten weeks will see artists from around the world display their work in over 40 sites around the city.

Caged lions at St George's Hall
Caged lions at St George's Hall

From the bombed out church to Picton Library, the Pier head and across to Cammell Laird, art installations are popping up everywhere and in the most unlikely locations.

audio Angela heslop speaks to Mattej Andraz Vogrincic >
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This year the event is focusing on the regeneration that is currently taking place in Liverpool as the city prepares to be the European Capital Of Culture in 2008.

Question Mark on Cammell Laird
Question Mark on Cammell Laird

There main exhibitions take place in the city's galleries including FACT, Open Eye Gallery, Bluecoats Art Centre and Tate Liverpool. But as the festival is famous for bringing the art to the people it's not surprising to see public parts of the Pier head, St John's Gardens and streets in the city centre become temporary exhibition space.

One of the most impressive pieces is the untitled installation of upturned boats in St Luke's Church by Slovenian artist Mattej Andraz Vogrincic. The green boats are a powerful reminder of the city's maritime history. He spoke to Angela Heslop on how city's relation with the sea has influenced his work.

The festival runs at various locations across the city from 16 September to 26 November. the four main programmes are:

Liverpool Biennial 06 >
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International 06

The exhibition is inspired by Liverpool’s people, history and built environment with responses to personal readings by consultant curators Gerado Mosquera from Cuba and Manray Hsu from Taiwan.

International +

This is the Biennial learning programme which gives participants the chance to be creative and access the creativity of others with collaboration between the International artists and the local community.

John Moores 24 exhibition of contemporary painting

The UK’s most prestigious and longest running national painting competition open to all UK-based artists working with paint with a prize of £25,000. This years jury comprises of Sir Peter Blake, Tracey Emin, former Moores prizewinner Jason Brook, Curator of Fine Art at the Walker Art Gallery, Ann Bukantas and Director of Visual Art at the British Council, Andrea Rose.

Bloomberg New Contemporaries

Giving people still at, or just after, art school the opportunity to show their work in a professional art gallery.

For a full listing of programme events, talks, tours and performance art visit the Liverpool Biennial 06 website

last updated: 19/09/06
Have Your Say
What do you think of this year's Biennial? What are your views on the street art? Add your comments here.
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I went to see the boats in St Luke's church and loved the installation! Art is about making people think, comment and debate... and from all the comments here, it certainly has done that.. long live art!

If you want to see caged lions go to Chester Zoo.

God lord
Ahh, the good old, 'art should make people debate' rubbish. I dont recall anyone saying Michael Angelo's 'David' as being 'tosh' 'unsightly' and a 'waste of money'

I have to agree and disagree with people here. As an illustrator now going into animation I think visual expression is very important and art is needed in Liverpool as we reach 2008. I do not however see the point of the caged lions. Yes it has generated discussion but most of it bad. Art is about IDEAS but what comes to mind here is a poorly thought out publicity stunt. Very dissapointing.

The majority of these comments demonstrate exactly why Liverpool will never move on, even with Capital of Culture coming up. The one thing I hate about our city is the negativity of its people in accepting anything new. There is nothing wrong with art for art's sake, it enhances our lives in many ways and brings joy to many. With citizens like these Liverpool is doomed.

The comments from Stuart Farquhar make me angry. Art is not a waste of tax payers' money.It enhances a city scape and provokes discussion.

Paul Philips
By chance I was in Liverpool during the last Biennial, it was great. I wish I could return this year to see more of it. It's a shame the cage cannot be deployed to capture the "scallies". They are the real people ruining the city and wasting tax payers money

mike valentine
Please get rid of the cages; it looks like a war zone; modern art, like Political Correctness needs to be banned....talentless drones! - get a job!

Paul - Vancouver
By chance I was in Liverpool during the last Biennial, it was great. I wish I could return this year to see more of it. It's a shame the cage cannot be deployed to capture the "scallies". They are the real people ruining the city and wasting tax payers money.

having recently moved, i & all my visitors find the view of a huge question mark an eyesore!it really distracts you from the general view of the river and beyond! please remove!

paul spain
What is the point of spending money on putting cages around the lions? They look unsightly. Why not go the full hog and put a cage around the hall. However the boats are good and they are symbolic to Liverpool. A good use of the old Bombdie.

Jimmy Phillips
I think that the cages around the lions in Lime Street looks awful. The sooner they are taken away the better.

Last Friday there were thousands of people at St George's Hall, but for some reason they all had their backs to the caged lions and were listening to people who want to save our fire service.

alan f
"The Biennial, the UK's biggest contemporary visual arts event" It's just about being covered locally. Radio Phone Ins dont know about it.when questioned about details. Nothing on Media Nationwide. The Caged Lions have something to do about Guantanamo Bay I think.

Tom Molloy
It`s a wholly, mother beautiful pea green boat.

Former talented architects & artists created beautiful buildings & monuments etc that helped establish Liverpool as a Cultural World Heritage city. Today talentless charlatans supported by "the emperor has no clothes on" pseudo brigade, degrade works that visitors travel from all around the world to view.If the modern artist has anything worthwhile displaying, then compete or enhance past successes, not deface them with trivial modifications and so called intellectual explanations. Respect past works and their artisans while trying to improve and enlighten our cultural future.

I thought St Luke's church had been left in its bombedto be filled out state as a war memorial to the victims of WWII Blitz. The Liverpool council seems to have ignored this. By allowing it to be filled with green boats and calling it a work of 'art'. What next. Let an 'artist' decorate the Merchant Seamen War Memorial at the Pier Head

Pete H
I love the unusual things that the biennial throws up every two years. The lions and the question mark have produced a far bigger reaction amongst the people than the Turner exhibition in the Tate earlier this year - so yes of course it's art and it's doing what it sets out to do.

Derek Rothwell
Yet more Council Tax payers money wasted on a complete load of absolute tosh. It's about time some people screwed their heads on staright and got a proper job

Jamie M
It is important that liverpool is home to such events as this is a key player in liverpool's image to the artistic world. The city should build upon its artistic nature to become a diverse artistic setting for many more events of this nature. We have many artistic and architectural wonders within the city so why not build upon this and update it for the 21st Century. Well Done Liverpool and the Biennial team 2006 in providing great art in and around the city centre!

Mark E
Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard's Silent Sound event in the amazing small concert hall at St Georges Hall last Thursday Was very special.

A waste of council tax money and whatever it is on display makes a new target for the vandals and graffitti artists,also the towns seagull and pigeons coat them with their own distinctive guano tradmark!

get a life helen love, the whole point of caging the lions is to make them visible, and to get people talking about them, the lions hold strong significance to liverpools past yet they are ignored as purely aesthetic, yet in caging them, the artists draws focus to them and their history. a positive out of a seemed negative.

Like last time there may be some thought provoking pieces among the usual commercial art tat. Thankfully, unlike last time, Lewis Biggs won't be displaying Ono's porn collection with the blessing of the council and police.

art is important. liverpool is full of artists. this is an international event. liverpool is part of the international community. why is it next to impossible for local artists to exhibit and receive funding?

i love street art

John P
Think Helen seems to have missed the point. The Bi-ennial brings a breath of fresh air to the city. I was on a bus going past and everyone had an opinion about the caged lions. Surely what art should be. Dont worry Helen, it is temporary. Well done Bi-ennial.

i think the money spent on "art" for the biennial could have been much better utilised.

Alex Parkinson
The Lion Cages are not art - they are ugly and make a mockery of St Georges - Free the Lions Now and cage the person who authorised the funding. What a waste of public money!

when i first saw the Cages around the Lions, i too thought that they to protect the lions. however, upon reading the information sign, i soon realised what a clever and simply igenious way the artist was using the Cages. my congrats... i think it's excellent that people are offended by and therefore, discussing art.

the principal
free up the lion dem,if yu want to see lion caged up.. go a zoo.. what is art about that.. spend the money on protecting the lion dem go a africa an see the lion dem..... bless up

why dont you stop moaning and get a life

I went past the museum last night and saw the lions caged up. Not knowing about the Biennial I thought it may have been for some sort of anti-social behaviour in the area! In my opinion they are an eyesore. The buildings in that are are truly magnificent and those cages just ruin it!

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