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ArtFund Curator-in-Residence

Each year our programme is shaped around a theme or enquiry and from March 2019 until February 2020, we explored issues of gender and representation.

In partnership with ArtFund, we invited curators, in particular, those from underrepresented backgrounds, to present proposals for our final seasonal exploration which took place between October 2019 until February 2020.

Following on from previous exhibitions in the year, Ericka Beckman and Marianna Simnett and REAL WORK, our Autumn/Winter season would look at themes of intersectionality through an exhibition as well as associated public and learning programmes.

We were delighted to award Helen Starr with the residency, who joined us 6 months prior to the season beginning to develop her ideas for you feel me_.

Helen Starr is an Afro-Carib Trinidadian Blixn* who lives between Trinidad and the UK. She has worked in the Arts sector for over 25 years. She founded The Mechatronic Library in 2010, to enable artists to engage with new media tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual reality (VR), Game engines, and 3D printing technologies. Starr’s focus is on the wellbeing of local communities. Working with museum curators and education teams, Starr’s hope is that cutting edge artworks can provide a glimpse of a future filled with hope.

Helen's exhibition, you feel me_, invited audiences to an alternative world, a place without division and a space where we can heal. Helen brought together a collection of immersive artworks about power, inviting visitors to experience, acknowledge, reflect - and most importantly feel - about the systems of power of which we experience every day, both online and offline. Whether we admit it or not, it is these systems that rule our actions, opinions and responses to the world around us, and to each other. But who holds this power and why do these systems exist?

Presented by Helen, you feel me_ explored these questions by transforming the galleries into alternative worlds. Interactive artworks suspend in air, float in hazy mist and explode onto the walls. Travelling through the exhibition, visitors encountered newly commissioned and existing works by seven artists made from ceramics, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, video and game design.

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WEB 1080 72dpi You Feel Me RE edits Credit Rob Battersby 1
WEB 1080px 72dpi FACT You Feel Me October 2019 Credit Rob Battersby 11

During this season our Learning team worked with artist Megan Broadmeadow and an intergenerational group of participants - including FACT’s over 60’s group, and young people from Liverpool youth projects Tiber Youth, Team Oasis, and Toxteth Fire Fit Hub - to create a VR artwork that answers the question: why can’t we do this in real life?

Alongside the exhibition, Helen curated a cult film season featuring classics Barbarella (1968), Belladonna of Sadness (1973) and Daughters of the Dust (1991) plus an artist-led tour with ROOT-ed Zine and a series of video game-based adventures through our galleries with performer and gamer Conway McDermott.

Discover more about the season by looking back at the events, artworks and activities that shaped it.