Fancy yourself as an art critic?

LJMU and Shanghai University are pleased to announce the launch of the John Moores Critics Award in the UK, which recognises emerging new talent in critical writing about contemporary art.

The Awards in Shanghai and Liverpool will provide an international platform for budding critics in both countries to connect with their audiences and arts communities.

The UK John Moores Critics Award runs parallel to the John Moores Painting Prize as part of this year’s Liverpool Biennial at the Walker Art Gallery (National Museums Liverpool). Judging has already started on the Award in China as the panel is set the task of whittling down the entries of critical writing, focusing on the John Moores Painting Prize China held earlier this year in Shanghai.

In the UK, entrants will have to focus their critical eye on this year’s John Moores Painting Prize shortlist.

The UK Award closes on 28 October and winners will be announced publicly at the Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool) on Friday 16 November 2012.
Professor Juan Cruz, artist and Director of the LJMU School of Art and Design commented: “Critical writing about art, and art itself – like all forms of independent thinking – are constantly under threat from the pressure to conform exerted by social, political and consumer forces, whether in China or the UK. This new award is an important way to bring those pressures to mind and to resist
them, as well as to share experience between two significant art schools in the two countries.”

Professor Wang Dawei, Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Shanghai University said: “Our responsibility as scholarly and socially engaged organisations is to develop critical thinking about art and the importance of international cultural exchanges. This is particularly important as Liverpool and Shanghai are twinned cities and have a breadth of shared history and contemporary alliances.”

Two winners, one from the UK and one from China, will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges.

  • Marjorie Allthorpe-Guyton, UK President of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA)
  • David Batchelor, artist and writer
  • Sam Thorne, Associate Editor, Frieze Magazine.

Each will receive £2,000, plus the opportunity to complete a three week exchange visit to either the UK or Shanghai, as guests of either LJMU or Shanghai University. The winner from this year’s Award in China will be visiting Liverpool during the Biennial.

Four further awards of £1,000 will be presented to two highly commended entrants to the competition in each country.

Winning entries will also be published on a new dual language John Moores Critics Award website and published in a bilingual publication, alongside the winners of the John Moores Painting Prize. This will be jointly edited by LJMU’s School of Art and Design and the University of Shanghai.

How to enter

Critics of all ages and abilities are welcome to enter. Although the Painting Prize exhibition is open till 6 January, the Critics Award is open until Sunday 28 October. Entries received after this date will not be considered so please bear this in mind if you would like to enter.

Once you have visited the show at the Walker Art Gallery, consider what you have seen and think about how it has inspired you or otherwise. We encourage you to read the details in the official Painting Prize catalogue and online, then write your response piece, aiming for between 750-1000 words or equivalent in Chinese characters. Each piece will be judged anonymously and the winners’ names will only be revealed to the judging panel once a unanimous decision is arrived at.

This article was sponsored by Liverpool’s painting and decorating specialists Merseyside Painting who operate there painting services across the whole of the city, there contact details are as follows

Merseyside Painting
37 Moorcroft Rd
L18 9UQ
0151 329 0038

All works should be electronic rather than paper-based, and emailed to: before the closing date.

Chinese artists set up residency at ADA

Following last year’s successful artist residency as part of the John Moores Painting Prize China, four of the five finalists from this year’s competition have flown into Liverpool to exhibit their work and produce new works inspired by the city.

The painting prize is an extension of the long-running Liverpool-based competition which is due to open at the Walker Gallery as part of Liverpool Biennial 2012 on 15 September.

The artists have come over to Liverpool for a month and will be spending their time at Liverpool John Moores University’s Art and Design Academy, home to the Liverpool School of Art and Design and METAL at Edge Hill Station.

The finalists were whittled down from nearly 3,000 entrants by the panel of esteemed judges; Michael Craig-Martin, Tony Bevan, Yu Hong, Ding Yi and Liverpool Biennial’s former Chief Executive, Lewis Biggs.

The finalists are:

  • Winner of the prize, Nie Zhengjie was selected for his oil on canvas work, ‘Being’, a study of migrant workers in China
  • Hu Wenlong was shortlisted for his stunning oil on canvas, ‘Aphasia’ which took 18 months to paint using fine detail to create a photograph-like finish
  • Zheng Jiang’s oil on canvas, ‘Waiting’, uses varnishing techniques to stunning effect
  • Pu Yingwei’s oil on canvas, ‘Desire’ explores the different states of body in contemporary Chinese society
  • Zhang Aicun’s piece, ‘Makeup NO.2′ is a bright acrylic on canvas, exploring through makeup packaging how women of different classes distinguish themselves depending on the makeup they buy and wear.

Ling Min, Head of International Development at the Fine Arts Academy of Shanghai University said:

“We are very pleased to be in Liverpool again with the finest talent from China’s fine arts community.

“This year’s John Moores Painting Prize China has been a phenomenal success and we received many more entries than the previous year, from all over China. We hope people from around Liverpool are able to come and see our exhibition, to meet the artists and see how exciting contemporary Chinese art can be.”

The collaboration extends further in September when, alongside the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker Art Gallery, the first John Moores Critics Award is launched, inviting the public to submit critical writing around the exhibition.

The Critics Award will run in parallel to the painting prizes in Liverpool and Shanghai and will offer two winners, one from China and one from the UK, the opportunity to travel to the UK and China respectively for residencies hosted by Shanghai University and LJMU as part of the cultural exchange programme. There will also be cash prizes for runners-up.

Professor Juan Cruz, Director of the Liverpool School of Art and Design said:”This collaboration marks an exciting time for LJMU and the city of Liverpool. Our new artists in residence have an exceptional talent and have done very well to get here. We are pleased to welcome them and we hope that their stay in Liverpool is as culturally enriching as it is inspiring for their art.”

The John Moores Painting Prize China show is on in the public gallery on the ground floor of the Art and Design Academy, Duckinfield Street, L3 5RD (beside the Metropolitan Cathedral).The exhibition is open until 7 September from 12noon to 5pm.

This activity was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

LJMU fashion students

On Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th September, LJMU Fashion and Communications Undergraduates commenced the start of term with a WOW LIVE project for SEEN magazine.

This involved producing an outfit for The Death by Glitter Vogue Ball.

The selected outfit was then revealed on the cat walk at the Saturday night ball ,1st October 2011 and worn by local model Amy Faith.

The students designed and crafted 3 outfits altogether –working in groups (8-10 students per group) – producing the costume and accessories entirely out of back-copies of the magazine.

SEEN Magazine and LJMU Brokerage co-ordinated the project over the Summer with LJMU Fashion.

The students created three stunning pieces of bespoke couture and transformed the ADA Fashion Workshop into a Catwalk complete with mock audience and booming bass.

Representatives from SEEN Magazine, Director Tony Burns, and Editor Rebecca Keegan were on hand with LJMU staff, Lesley Peacock, Anne Liddell, Elaine Mcneill (ADA) and John Maguire ( Brokerage) to view the outfits.

A comprehensive explanation of the choices made and the evolution of the idea for each dress was given by one of the team members.

Rebecca Keegan from SEEN magazine stated,

We were totally overwhelmed by the sheer talent that we have come across at LJMU. The students have surpassed our very high expectation with the work creating the dresses. We can’t wait for the Vogue Ball and also the Seen Awards where all three dresses will be presented on stage for a packed audience to see.

Thank you so much to all the tutors and LJMU Brokerage who have been so supportive in this project.

The LJMU fashion students have shown us just how gifted they are – we at Seen Magazine look forward to working with them again in the near future.

The Art Lids Live Art Studio Outdoor event

The Art Lids Live Art Studio Outdoor event

Saturday 24th September 2011-Part of THE BOLD STREET FESTIVAL

Ropewalks Square, off Bold Street, Liverpool 12pm-4pm

Contact: Antonia Jones, Tel: 077155 96819, Email:

‘The Art Lids’ are a group of emerging artists from the Liverpool Universities. Our mission is to develop our art practices through actively engaging with our City, its vibrant arts community and beyond!

Join us for a spectacular Art overload where you will get to see the cities emerging Artists practicing their everyday Art studies – bringing their work right to you! ‘The Art Lids’ Live Art Studio is run in partnership with the Bold Street Festival on Saturday 24th September.

Why not have a go yourself at some of the techniques they can show you! Check out how real art is produced! See artists show off their mad skills in the heart of Liverpool. Find out what this rather peculiar gaggle of students are doing with the community in Liverpool and how they are getting involved with your city.

Come along on Saturday to see a real wild artist trapped in a playpen while piecing together a strange sort of Jigsaw! Get involved in some fantastic printing methods and make your own! See how beautiful Origami flowers are made. Watch artists working on real commissions for local bands. Join three artists who are painting a mural based on the event, and maybe get your self painted onto it! But watch out for the sneaky artist who will be leaving surprises all over the place!

We are lifting the lids of Art. We are opening your lids to Art. We are ‘The Art Lids’!

As Artists, our own working styles are enhanced by the involvement we have with Liverpool’s’ Community, and through generating exciting ideas, events and partnerships. We are student friends with a lot of artistic talent, sharing common goals.

This is one event you should not miss…check out our event on Facebook –!/event.php?eid=245982802110392

Welcome to the ADA

A warm welcome to all new and returning students at the Art & Design Academy. We hope you enjoy your next year here. This is the ADA Blog where we’ll post news about the ADA, LJMU, Liverpool and the Art and Design world in general. Please visit to see what’s happening and feel free to comment or request your own post.



Gemma Warner * David Graham * Kate Roberts * Marie Sinnott
Ruth Thompson * Peter Ward * Emma Hodgson * Paul White


As The World Tipped

On 30th and 31st July an ambitious and extraordinary performance about Climate Change, is coming to Liverpool.

Combining dramatic film and visuals with breathtaking aerial performance from Liverpool’s own Wired Aerial Theatre, ‘As The World Tipped’ confronts one of the most pressing issues for people and the planet with spectacle, humour and emotion. Suspended above the audience in the night sky, the performers struggle to control their increasingly precarious world as they do battle with the effects of environmental catastrophe.

Commissioned by Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Primary Care Trust as part of the Decade of Health and Wellbeing ‘As The World Tipped’ is written and directed by international director Nigel Jamieson, best known in Liverpool for creating the opening of Liverpool European Capital of Culture in 2008.

The free show takes place at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st July. The Cathedral will be open to explore all day with activity from 7pm leading up to the main performance at 10pm. This event will form part of discussions around Liverpool’s low carbon aspirations in which the group hopes to work together for a Liverpool which is more Equal, Well and Green in 2020.

Jelly Liverpool at Leaf Cafe

Next month’s JellyLiverpool is Thursday 4th August, 9am-5pm

Upstairs in Leaf Bar & Café on Bold St, Liverpool

Calling all Liverpool freelancers & home-workers. Following on from our First Anniversary celebrations, JellyLiverpool is back to doing what it does best …. providing a Free monthly work-together with Free coffee and an opportunity to mingle with like-minded creative individuals, in a city centre location.

Check out the pics from the First Anniversary Event……

Newcomers are made very welcome, and if you’re thinking of coming for the first time, here’s some background… Read the rest of this entry »

Be a Designer

In the POD we are really looking forward to our forthcoming ‘Be a Designer’ workshops for 11 years +. This week,we have been busy preparing for the sessions, which are led by the cream of local design talent such as local agency, Mercy, who are running the branding and illustration workshops that start on the 25th July. The group have worked with some really big brands such as local indie band, ‘The Wombats, ‘The Arctic Monkeys’ and clothing giant. ‘Diesel’.

The ‘Be a Fashion designer’ workshops kick of the week after with successful label, Nook & Willow and shrewd handmade jewellery and accessories business pioneer, Landbaby

I wish I was 11 so I could take part (seriously!). For now, it’s been fun laser cutting badges for the workshop participants (above)

What the classes offer is some real first hand experience of the business of design, and how you can make a living from it. Each session teaches unique techniques and skills as well as imparting some well earned advice about choosing a career in design.

There are still places available so if you know any budding designers who are interested:

For more info, click here

MRes in Art and Design Bursaries available

M.Res. Art and Design is a year-long research programme in which researchers explore and critically appraise individually negotiated research projects in Art and Design. MRes Art and Design can be conducted in thesis only or thesis/practice mode.

Free bursaries are available within the following themed areas:

  • Histories, Curatorial Practice and Popular Culture
  • Autonomous Practices and Collaboration
  • Urbanism, Class and Gender

Bursaries are for the amount of £4170 to cover fees over 1 year full time study

Click here for information on how to apply or contact Admissions or on 0151 2315175

Prizewinning Chinese artists residence at ADA

The Liverpool School of Art and Design is currently hosting four artists from China, who are prizewinners from the last John Moores Painting Prize which, for the first time, was also run in China. The artists’ work was exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery in 2010 but this is the first time they have visited the UK.

The residency is co-hosted between the Liverpool School of Art and Design, The University of Shanghai and the John Moores Exhibition Trust, with participation by all Liverpool’s most significant arts organisations. The School of Art and Design has been developing a programme of staff exchange with the Faculty of Art and Design at the University of Shanghai that was initiated following an introduction from the Liverpool Biennial. So far Peter Appleton, Reader in Creative Technology and Patricia Mackinnon Day, Reader in Environmental Art have been to Shanghai and there have been return visits from the Shanghai Faculty. We are also developing research projects with the university and devising further exchange possibilities. This is a really good example of the work the school is doing to engage with local creative industries such as the Biennial and the John Moores Exhibition Trust in order to develop projects of International quality and global reach. Read the rest of this entry »

Aim Higher

The Art and Design Pod and Carole Potter from Graphic Arts have just finished a 2 day workshop a group of teenagers working with The Aim Higher programme. The organisation aims to

make more people aware of what higher education is all about by providing workshops that schoolchildren can access, making them aware of career pathways they might never have known existed.

The ADA held two different  workshops for aspiring participants over the two days, giving them the chance to have a taste of techniques they would not usually use. Graphic Arts lecturer Carole Potter and a team of students and graduates led an animation session, while the POD led a practical session that aimed to show the benefits of laser cutting and sample a

The animation group had the chance to sample a whole array of different stop motion techniques,  developing their own ideas with the help of Graphic Arts graduates.

The second group had the task of creating their own model airplane which would be fabricated using the ADA’s laser cutting facilities. Each team were asked to brand their plane in the style of a famous celebrity The choices ranged from a  Mr.T branded plane for terrorists to a ‘plane of rock’ branded using the figurehead of comedian Jack Black.

Great fun was had by both groups, who came together to show their work on the final day. We hope to work with Aim Higher again during the coming year on a variety of projects.

The Art and Design Academy makes waves in Paraguay!

The ADA has been featured this week  in a magazine supplement in a national newspaper in Paraguay!

BA Popular Music Studies lecturer and author, Simone Kruger, who specialises in ethnomusicology and  popular world music has been based in Paraguay for the last few weeks, continuing her research on the music of the country. This is Simones first fieldwork trip to Paraguay to explore the role of the guitar in the construction of identity in Paraguay’s new democracy. It is the first study of its kind, making it a significant scholarly contribution to knowledge about musical activity in a country that, until 2008, remained closed and unknown to the wider world. This work will provide the basis for new scholarly interest in this topic, and contribute new, unexplored insights into the uses, meanings and significance of the guitar in contemporary Paraguayan music.

The  national paper featured Simone as part of an article about the subject of her study; one most important rock guitarists in Paraguay, Rolando Chaparro.  who is about to release his rock/jazz version of Mangore Barrios’ music

Simone has thoroughly enjoyed the experience so far:

It’s going amazingly well, with a lot of research both with people and library-based already accomplished.

It’s great to see the ADA get a mention so far afield, and that Simone is getting on so well with her research. We look forward to seeing the results on her return!

Jelly! First Anniversary

Free monthly get together, JellyLiverpool is celebrating its First Anniversary on Thursday 7th July in Leaf Tea Shop on Bold St, Liverpool (2nd Floor) from 9am to 5pm. You are welcome to come & join the celebrations and have the chance to win prizes.

So what is JellyLiverpool?

If you haven’t yet experienced Jelly, perhaps it’s time to check it out. Fed up with the isolation and clutter of the spare room? Fed up with being distracted by the TV or the washing up, or even the kids?… then JellyLiverpool is for you.

Jelly is a FREE monthly work-together held in a city centre location and if you work alone, at home or elsewhere and crave some company and want to connect with like-minded individuals, pop along!

No matter what you do or what you create, you’re welcome to come to Jelly. Mingle with like-minded creative people. It’s a great way to put faces to those you follow on Twitter and more importantly it’s Free …… Free wifi, Free deskspace, Free coffee.

Bring your own laptop and a friendly disposition. Pop in for an hour or 2 or come work for the full day. New faces made very welcome.

Still unsure? Well, let’s see, do you ..…

• work from home & get “cabin fever”?
• wish that “working for yourself” didn’t mean “working by yourself”?
• search out coffee shops with wifi & power?
• are desperate for a change of scene?
• want to expand your network & contacts?
• want to seek out some inspiration & motivation?

If the answer to any of these questions is YES; then JellyLiverpool is what you need!

Who attends JellyLiverpool?

Typically we have some developers and internet types, but we also have entrepreneurs and freelancers as well as writers, some tinkerers, artists and designers. Generally a mixed bunch.

Want to know the history of ‘Jelly’ ?

Well Amit Gupta was the guy who spearheaded Jelly events. To see the movement he started which is now all over the world … check out this video which should give you an idea of what it’s all about….