Royal Standard Decennial
As 42 high profile international artists descend on Liverpool for Biennial 2016, we decided to take a look at some of the amazing artists who reside, closer to home.
The Royal Standard is an artist-led gallery, studio and social workspace in Liverpool and it’s far from your ordinary arts space, acting as a challenging testing ground for artists, promoting experimentation in a supportive and critically engaged environment.
It’s the kind of place where great creative ideas bounce off each other and this year it observes its 10th birthday. To celebrate, we look back at The Royal Standard and their best exhibitions and projects of the last decade.
Service Provider, 2012. The art world can be strange and the more you get into it, it gets stranger. For Liverpool Biennial 2012, The Royal Standard held a mirror up to the weirdness with Service Provider. Five guest organisations set up a TV production studio, team building and morale boosting workshops, relaxation booths and it even spread onto the Royal Standard website. Younger artists poking fun at the arts establishment in the city; exactly what art is for.
Some people deserve everything they get, 2009. Getting started as an artist is hard work. You need that big break, to shine out amongst your peers. This exhibition gave that platform – as the Royal Standard has done to so many artists. Artists graduating from the length and breadth of the country, artists doing the most interesting work, outshining their peers got exactly what they deserved; an art show. They included Charlotte Betteley Dan Cervi, Joe Evans and Di Lu.
Blind Alchemy, 2010. The second in a series of collaborative projects between Rachel Adams and Ian Giles, this exhibition was inspired by the alchemist’s ongoing search for a way to turn lead into gold. How do you turn nothing into something. It began with a blog of the simple everyday accompanied by a visual dialogue which then swelled into a series of sculpture and film works.
Alien Sex Club, Frances Disley, 2015. One of the co-founders of The Royal Standard, this performance piece by Frances Disley set to demystify the largon about HIV, in collaboration with Dr Valerie Delpech. A multimedia performance, blending the work of one of the UK’s leading figures on HIV infection, it explored how we talk about HIV and how that contributes to transmission.
Bad Igloo Lust, 2010. What does it mean to be an international artist? Or a local artist? Conceived as a response to the exhibition at Bluecoat, Global Studio (which the Royal Standard took part in) the show was about starting a conversation between two Liverpool venues and their audiences and what being an international artist means and what the implications might be.
Mikey Georgeson, Trope, 2012. The artist’s first solo Liverpool show, Trope was about an artist reflecting on his practice. Childhood, football fandom, how the mind filters and explores its own thoughts through art. Reflective, honest and a the path of a creative exploring how and why they do what they do.
My Five New Friends, 2012. How do you make new friends? An online residency by Oliver Baird, which then expanded into an exhibition of new work at the Royal Standard, the site hosted secret diaries Oliver made while making his five new friends. The secret diary pages were, initially, only accessible to five invited artists who made works responding to them. The complete archive is now online, showing how works can have an extended life after the exhibition has ushered its last viewer from the gallery. Explore at myfivenewfriends.com
Deadpan, Liverpool Biennial 2010. The Royal Standard is often at its best when, with a straight face, it pokes and prods the art world. Let’s never forget, as wonderful as it is, the art world can be bonkers. Over saturation is a massive problem and sometimes what starts as satire just whistles like a deflating balloon. With tongue firmly in cheek, Deadpan filled the exhibition space with large scale sculptural works, drawing, installation and animations alongside a british premiere installation by Jamie Shovlin. It joked about how artists create new works, how the line between mimicry and homage is sometimes blurred and sometimes ignored entirely.
Mr Democracy, Oliver Walker, 2008. 2008 feels like a long time ago. In a decade obsessed with trade, democracy and globalization, Oliver Walker travelled to China to write a constitution for the UK. Both the content and the production were outsourced to China. First shown at the Royal Standard, the work has also toured to Gdansk.
Clam Jam, 2015. Amidst a fevered debate renewing a fresh wave of feminism, The Royal Standard examined the place of women in art. With limited exhibition opportunities, presenting work by emerging female artists it wasn’t about showcasing art dealing overtly with the female body but explored work that’s gendered by construction, material and mass. Artist featured included Claudia Dance Wells, Chloe McClellan and Beth Shapeero.
Tags: Art in Liverpool