Art takeover at Liverpool’s iconic Lewis’s building

An ambitious public-facing art exhibition ‘CLEARANCE!’ is now on display at Liverpool’s iconic former Lewis’s department store building, showcasing the work of MA Fine Art students and graduates

Lewis art show web banner 835 x 500

After weeks of preparations developing works specifically for the department store space, the students and alumni undertook the final installation in less than 48 hours to be ready for this week’s opening event.

Everyone across the city is welcomed to visit the exhibition, which runs until Thursday 19 May, and images of the works and profiles of the artists can be discovered on a dedicated Instagram page @lartsc

Dr Imogen Stidworthy, Programme Leader MA Fine Art at the Liverpool School of Art and Design, said: “The exhibition looks amazing and features subtle and powerful works by both current students and alumni, in a dramatic and beautiful space.”

The curated display features the work of 15 artists and includes live performance, video and sound works, painting and sculpture. As well as being an assessment point for current students, the project ensures that they can experience staging an ambitious public exhibition in as inspiring and challenging iconic city space.

Dr Stidworthy added: “We approach exhibition-making as an individual and collective project, a medium in an expanded sense and a hugely effective learning tool. Students are galvanised into new directions and forms, build invaluable professional experience, confidence and skills, and develop new networks. As artists, LJMU students and alumni, we want our practices and activities to engage with wider publics and new audiences, as well as professional arts networks, among the local communities and beyond.”

Hundreds of visitors have already made their way through the space including local NHS and Post Office workers who now work in some of the spaces that have already been re-purposed from their former department store days.

Whilst the current MA students are in full swing working towards their degree show the alumni featured in the exhibition are already on their professional journeys. Gary Finnigan, Cos Ahmet and Abbie Bradshaw were recently awarded a residency at Static; Linda Jane James is currently a resident artist at Bidston Observatory; Angelo Madonna will have a solo show at the Williamson Gallery in Birkenhead in September; Ami Zanders has been selected for the Bermuda Biennial 2022 and Serah Stringer is currently working on a large public art commission. 

An innovative public group crit will take place in the exhibition space on Thursday 19 May from 1.30pm until 4pm. It will be led by Marie-Anne McQuay, Head of Programme at Bluecoat, and anyone is welcome to take part.  

The exhibition will be open 12noon to 5pm on the following dates at Lewis’s, Renshaw Street L1 2SA:

Wednesday 11 May
Thursday 12 May
Friday 13 May
Wednesday 18 May
Thursday 19 May (late opening until 6.30pm)

Find out more about studying at Liverpool School of Art and Design.  


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