Two floors of Lewis’s department store are being reopened to the public after 10 years as part of the Liverpool Biennial up to date artwork competition.

Although part of the constructing has been transformed right into a resort and places of work, the remainder has remained closed for the reason that store shut its doorways in May 2010 after 154 years of buying and selling.

The Grade II-listing constructing with Jacob Epstein’s well-known ‘Dicky Lewis’ bare statue above the doorway stays one of the town’s much-loved landmarks. It will type one of many exhibition areas as Liverpool is remodeled right into a city-wide large artwork gallery for the 15-week competition.

Among the works displayed in Lewis’s from February 2021 will likely be Neo Muyanga’s newly commissioned video set up A Maze in Grace, impressed by the hymn Amazing Grace, which has a robust Liverpool connection.

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The music was composed by English slaver-turned-abolitionist John Newton, who lived within the metropolis and sailed on slave ships from its port. It was adopted as an emblem of the Civil Rights Movement however Muyanga’s reinterpretation connects its origins to its murkier historical past as properly as Liverpool’s involvement within the Slave Trade.

The Biennial programme is being launched in full at 9am right now however the ECHO was given a sneak peek forward of the announcement.

We can even reveal the competition will characteristic six new public realm artworks displayed at outside areas throughout the town together with Exchange Flags, Canning Dock, Crown Street Car Park and inside Liverpool ONE.

Created by artists Larry Achiampong, Teresa Solar, Erick Beltran, Liverpool-born Linder, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané and Rashid Johnson, they’ll match into the Biennial’s 2021 theme of The Stomach and the Port.

Two floors of Lewis’s department store reopening to public as part of Liverpool Biennial
Neo Muyanga, whose work A Maze in Grace is being exhibited in Lewis’s

Sam Lackey, Liverpool Biennial interim director, says: “We are experiencing intense and transformative occasions throughout the globe, with many of us adapting to, and dealing with, life-changing shifts. At Liverpool Biennial we really feel that methods of sharing and decoding our lives and expertise are of enormous significance proper now.

“The 11th Edition of Liverpool Biennial has been curated with passion and nurtured over several years with a group of carefully selected artists who are connected to Liverpool as a place.

“The metropolis is thought for being an epicentre of social and cultural alternate, by way of connecting communities and artists and frequently reshaping its world identification by steadfastly investing in arts and tradition.”

Curated by Manuela Moscoso, the programme showcases more than 50 leading and emerging artists including Frieze Artist Award winner Alberta Whittle, Rashid Johnson and Jenna Sutela.

New and existing works will be showcased at key venues in the city including Tate Liverpool, The Cotton Exchange, Bluecoat and FACT.

Two floors of Lewis's department store are being reopened to the public after 10 years as part of the Liverpool Biennial up to date artwork competition.
Liverpool-born artist Linder, whose work is part of Liverpool Biennial 2021

The exhibition at Lewis’s will even characteristic highlights from Alice Channer, works from Camille Henrot’s Wet Job collection and a multi-sensory set up from Lamin Fofana.

Manuela mentioned: “Liverpool’s position as a port and hub of cross-cultural encounters, circulation, distribution and global transnational mobility – along with its difficult history of humans forcibly moved from Africa to the Americans and beyond – is central to the narrative of this edition.”

The Biennial was postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and can now happen from March 20 to June 6.

The UK’s greatest portray competitors, The John Moores Painting Prize, which normally runs alongside the competition, will open on the Walker Art Gallery on February 12.