Culture Diary w/c 09-12-2019

Our pick of this week’s arts, design, film and music events from around the North of England and the rest of the UK – and loads of it’s free!

Monday – Elf 8.30pm @ FACT Liverpool – £7.70

“Son of a nutcracker!” While there’s no doubt that Elf rarely treads into It’s a Wonderful Life Territory, it has certainly entered the revolving line-up of films to watch in the countdown to Christmas. And it’s earned that place. Confirming Will Ferrell as a star and showcasing the vocal talent of a pre-She & Him Zooey Deschanel, Buddy the Elf’s journey of self-realisation raises a smile and tugs on the odd heart string or two.

Tuesday – Harold Offeh: Siarad Cyhoeddus / Public Talk 5.30pm @ Tŷ Pawb, Wrexham – FREE

Working across performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice, earlier this year, artist Harold Offeh exhibited at Croydon’s at Turf Projects. Often employing a mashup of the historical and contemporary, there he selected and responded to the people, objects and artefacts represented in the Museum of Croydon’s collection. This evening, he is on hand to discuss how and why he chose such figures as Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, sexologist Havelock Ellis, and ephemera like the promotional materials accompanying the 1993 edition of Croydon’s Pride festival.

Stealing Sheep, Big Wows, released by Heavenly Recordings, April 2019. Image © Emily Garner (A.K.A Pastel Castle)

Wednesday – Stealing Sheep 7pm @ the Kazimier Stockroom, Liverpool – FREE

My first encounter with Stealing Sheep was almost a decade ago. They were playing mid-bill at the gone but not forgotten Kazimier. Covering the gig for the also sadly departed Seven Streets, I noted at the time that they beguiled the audience, and that they should harbour somewhat loftier ambitions than support act someday soon. I wasn’t wrong (it didn’t take a genius to spot they were the night’s standouts). More than eight years on, they have signed for Heavenly Records, with a succession of polished electro-pop/folk releases under their belts. This evening they begin a three night stint as Liverpool headliners for the first time – fittingly, at the Kazimier Stockroom.

Thursday – Exhibition Opening Party: Theaster Gates: Amalgam / Vivian Suter 6pm @ Tate Liverpool – FREE

A compelling winter season featuring a pair of contemporary artists awaits at Tate Liverpool. Theaster Gates’ Amalgam – combining sculpture, film (below) and installation – trains a lens on race, territory, and inequality via the history of a small island off the coast of Maine. Vivian Suter, meanwhile, exhibits an installation composed of her vivid paintings, completed by exposure to the tropical elements of her home in Guatemala. Catch them both for free this evening alongside music from the indie music platform, Melodic Distraction. Early birds get a free drink, too.

Still from the film Dance of Malaga 2.web

Friday – Aquarela + Introduction by Aimara Reques 6.30pm @ ICA, London – £13

In the opening seconds of a trailer (top) for Aquarela, the camera tracks a jeep speeding across a wintry expanse; then, shockingly, its progress is abruptly halted when the frozen surface gives way and the vehicle begins to disappear into the ice. Director Victor Kossavosky’s film captures the elemental power of water, taking in Russia’s Lake Baikal, Hurricane Irma and Venezuela’s Angel Falls along the way, reminding us of the true meaning of the word awesome. Screening includes an intro from the film’s producer, Aimara Reques.

Saturday – Natalie McCool 7pm @ Arts Club, Liverpool – £7

As with the aforementioned Stealing Sheep, Natalie McCool has safely negotiated the bright-eyed newcomer stage without crashing and burning, never to be seen again. Since recording her warmly received debut album The Great Unknown (2016) McCool has continued plugging away, earning herself ample airtime on BBC Radio. This July saw the emergence of her latest single, the slick, almost eerie, Someone Nue; tonight the Widnes-born singer-songwriter plays her final show of 2019 before hitting SXSW next year. From The Archive: Natalie McCool – in the ascendency.

Sunday – Tearing Up the Past 10am @ Tate Liverpool – FREE

Final day for this University of Liverpool organised reflection on the role of photomontage, with a focus on conflict and artistic resistance in Latin America. The technique, first used by Dadaists such as Raoul Hausmann to protest the First World War, involves constructing collages from photographs. From Wednesday, workshops and events have included screenings, a talk on Arts and Human Rights in Latin America and an In Conversation with Award-winning photographer Jillian Edelstein. Today’s programme involves a collage workshop with Argentine photographer Lucila Quieto.

Mike Pinnington

Images/media from top: Aquarela film trailer; Stealing Sheep, Big Wows, released by Heavenly Recordings (2019). Image © Emily Garner (A.K.A Pastel Castle); Still from the film Dance of Malaga (2019) © Theaster Gates and courtesy of the artist. Photo: Chris Strong; homepage: Vivian Suter, Nisyros (2016-17), © Fred Dott

Posted on 09/12/2019 by thedoublenegative