Artist takeover at North West's unused and iconic department store.
Artists to takeover one of the North West’s most beloved department stores 165 years since George Henry Lee’s opened its doors in Liverpool, the building is to get a new lease of life as it’s handed over to artists.. Part of the city’s Independents Biennial, the historic department store will host three floors of exhibitions and a pop up cinema. Opened as a bonnet warehouse on Basnett Street in 1853, George Henry Lee’s was the go to department store for the well heeled of Liverpool and the surrounding areas. Its grand building on Church Street gradually grew into a famous department store, with historic engravings and stained glass throughout its interior. When the building closed in 2008, as John Lewis moved to Liverpool ONE, the building housed a discount store and homeware. Since the closure of Rapid, much of the building has remained empty. For the Independents Biennial, launching on Saturday 14th July, the building will host three floors of exhibition. *A Long The Riverrun The biggest show of local, professional painters in LIverpool presents work from eleven Merseyside artists. Featuring Pete Clarke, John Elcock, Clare Flinn, Cherie Grist, Simon Job, Anna Ketskemety, Vincent Lavell, Paul Mellor, Paul Romano, Amanda Oliphant and Tony Smith, the exhibition is co-curated by Paul Mellor and John Elcock. *Tony Mallon Quiet Room Photographer and artist Tony Mallon presents work from his series Quiet Room, created in collaboration with The Salvation Army International Heritage Centre. The exhibition uses work from Mallon’s project Homeless, examining the spaces and experience of homeless hostels on Merseyside, with images form the Salvation Army’s archive. Included in this exhibition will also be work from Mallon’s Homeless Hostel Storeroom, where belonging of ex residents are stored for 28 days. *LJMU and Liverpool Hope Graduate Award Exhibition Twelve exceptional students from LJMU and Liverpool Hope exhibit their new work. The exhibition brings together Liverpool’s newest, confident arts graduates. *Yellow Door Artists St Helens based artists collective exhibits an ever changing series of responses to interborough culture and their twin town Stuttgart *Unio Collective and Disparity Collective Two exhibitions from two branches of the Redeye Photography Network exhibit two Liverpool focussed projects from outside perspectives. *Empty Spaces Cinema With a bold statement that anywhere can be a cinema, given the right opportunity, Empty Spaces create a pop up cinema space in the old George Henry Lee’s schoolwear department. With regular screenings, partnering with different film projects and organisations, it’ll provide a city centre cinema in a grand old space. *Not Just Collective Extending their work in Rimrose Valley, the former Liverpool Biennial volunteers show major new exhibition. The Independents Biennial runs concurrently to Liverpool Biennial and is the sister festival, profiling the city region’s emerging and established artists. Now in its 20th year, it will be see over 200 artists and over 250 new works of art created for the festival, which runs from 14th July until 28 October.