a-n’s Narbi Price and Chris Sharratt visited the opening weekend of Liverpool Biennial 2018 and posted commentary and images from the John Moores Painting Prize 2018 as well as from the biennial’s themed exhibition programme on a-n’s Instagram.

Here are some of their highlights, starting with Jacqui Hallum’s King and Queen of Wands, the winner of the 2018 John Moores Painting Prize.


Matthew Krishanu was selected for the John Moores Painting Prize 2018 for his work Mission School. “The work is part of a series exploring the artist’s memories of ‘growing up in Bangladesh, and [the] experience of a complex world that includes expatriates, missionaries, and expansive landscapes”, explained Price.

Also from John Moores Painting Prize 2018, Richard Baker’s Cupboard 2 is part of his ongoing series of works showing domestic furnishings “depicted in a multi-layered and complex fashion”.

And Price photographed Cara Nahaul with her work Inches of Dust. “Nahaul dissolves the boundaries between interior and exterior by transforming objects and spaces through colour and composition,” said Price.

Chris Sharratt’s first post from the Liverpool Biennial 20th anniversary edition, which is titled ‘Beautiful world, where are you?’, featured Reetu Saatar’s film, Harano Sur (Lost Tune), exhibited at the city’s Playhouse theatre.

“It’s a serious-minded biennial with important issues on its mind”, explained Sharratt. “Saatar’s beautifully mundane film pits droning harmonium players against the tyranny of recent cultural repression in Bangladesh.”

Sharratt described Melanie Smith’s film Maria Elena at Bluecoat as “compelling and gorgeously shot”.

The work is set in Atacama Desert and revolves around the colonial history of the oldest salt mine in Chile and includes “a sloping, shaggily carpeted viewing area that seems to vibrate with onscreen explosions. Salt never looked so interesting…”

Tate Liverpool has given half of its top floor gallery space over to Liverpool Biennial, with an exhibition of new and existing works by Kevin Beasley, Dale Harding, Brian Jungen, Duane Linklater, Annie Pootoogook, Joyce Wieland and Haegue Yang.

“This is by Brian Jungen, ‘feather’ sculptures made from Nike trainers,” said Sharratt. “They are said to resemble Cheyenne headdresses… the legacy of colonialism and those resisting it is thick in the air.”

Sharratt noted a lack of new public realm work at this year’s biennial as he posted Holly Hendry’s sculptural installation at Exchange Flags by Liverpool town hall.

“These glass-reinforced concrete half pipes look perfect for skateboarding tricks but that’s definitely not being encouraged! They draw on Hendry’s research into the many tunnels and underground world beneath the surface of the city.”

Also pictured is Hendry’s work at the grand and beautifully tiled Victoria Gallery & Museum.

For more posts from the Liverpool Biennial opening weekend, head over to a-n’s Instagram.

1. Cara Nahaul, Inches of Dust (detail). Photo: Narbi Price
2. Jacqui Hallum, King and Queen of Wands. Photo: Narbi Price
3. Matthew Krishanu with his work Mission School. Photo: Narbi Price
4. Richard Baker, Cupboard 2.
5. Cara Nahaul with her work Inches of Dust. Photo: Narbi Price
6. Reetu Saatar, Harano Sur (Lost Tune). Photo: Chris Sharratt
7. Melanie Smith, Maria Elena. Photo: Chris Sharratt
8. Brian Jungen. Photo: Chris Sharratt
9. Holly Hendry. Photo: Chris Sharratt

More on a-n.co.uk:

Jacqui Hallum wins John Moores Painting Prize 2018


Now Showing #253: The week’s top exhibitions


Gertrude Jekyll photograph installation. Courtesy: diep-haven 2018

Cross-Channel collaboration: the diep~haven festival and its post-Brexit future