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On the Other Side FACT2024. Photography by Rob Battersby

On the other side

Featuring new artworks by Melanie Crean and Katrina Palmer, alongside Pilvi Takala, On the other side considers the impact of systems of control on those who design them, those who administer them, and those who are subject to their enforcement.

FACT Liverpool
88 Wood Street
L1 4DQ
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As citizens, we live with systems that are put in place to monitor, control and change our behaviours. In On the other side, three artists consider the impact of these systems: on those who design them, those who administer them, and those who are subject to their enforcement.

Melanie Crean and Katrina Palmer present two new artworks made with participants across Liverpool, York and Rochdale who have experiences with the justice system: imprisoned people and their communities, staff, and those who influence decision makers. Public perception and understanding of the UK justice system varies wildly across media outlets, political positioning, and cultural representation. Developed between the artists and the participants as experts in their own experiences of the system, these artworks make visible the complex formation of individual and collective identities formed by the landscapes of prison and incarceration.

Alongside, Pilvi Takala presents a multi-channel video installation made in collaboration with former colleagues who worked as private security guards in one of Finland's largest shopping malls. In it she considers how power is exercised in spaces for the public that are privately owned, and reflects on the roles and responsibilities of security personnel who exert power to maintain social order.

These works encourage us to reconsider the everyday behaviours we learn and conform to, often without question. How might looking at them differently allow us to disrupt or reimagine what we accept as normal?

Melanie Crean and Katrina Palmer present new works commissioned as part of Resolution, a multi-year art and research programme that invited artists to collaborate with participants from the justice system. Following this exhibition, the programme concludes with the presentation of new works by Ain Bailey (18 Apr - 7 July 2024) and Amartey Goulding (8 Aug - 27 Oct 2024).

Some works in this exhibition contain depictions of conflict and war, racism, addiction and alcoholism that visitors may find triggering. These works include a cautionary warning to help guide you through the exhibition. Please speak to a member of our team if you have questions or would like more information.

Access Information

The exhibition includes:

  • A wall of one-way mirrors that appears as a mirrored surface from one side, and clear glass from the other side
  • A room with blue carpet on the floor and walls, and a blue ceiling
  • A suspended rectangular structure with walls made from transparent material. Films are projected onto the material, so that the films can be viewed from both the outside and the inside of the structure
  • The gallery is wheelchair accessible.
  • There is seating in all gallery spaces
  • The galleries have dark walls but are lit with ambient light from the projections and screens, plus spotlights on any sculptures and structure
  • Most works have open soundtracks, which can be heard on speakers suspended throughout the galleries. One work will be available to listen to on headphones only
  • All works with speech are either subtitles, or have a transcript available

If you have any questions or feedback about the accessibility of the exhibition, please ask at the Information Desk on the ground floor and we will be happy to help.

Header image: Melanie Crean, A Machine to Unmake You (M2UY) (2019-2024). Installation view at FACT Liverpool. Photography by Rob Battersby

Sentences (2023)

As part of On the other side, Katrina presents Sentences (2023), a book of texts produced in collaboration with individuals working in the justice system and people who are currently imprisoned.

Close Watch (2022)

Pilvi Takala’s multi-channel video installation, Close Watch (2022), takes a critical look at how power is exercised in public spaces through the private security industry.

Collective Encounters TWT Performance Photo by Jazamin Sinclair 5556


Collective Encounters Performance


Using theatre to inspire social change, Liverpool-based Collective Encounters present a performance in response to Pilvi Takala’s artwork 'Close Watch' (2022).

Close Watch 6

Studio/Lab, Workshop

Studio/Lab Masterclass: Pilvi Takala


Pilvi Takala joins us to discuss her participation in new exhibition 'On the other side' and guide us through her artistic practice.

O the other side Drew Forsyth


Curator Tour


Senior Exhibitions Producer, Charlotte Horn, and Learning Manager, Lucía Arias, lead a tour of our new exhibition.

Takala Crean 2


Online Artist Panel


Join us for an online in-conversation between exhibiting artists Melanie Crean and Pilvi Takala.

Summer Social: Aurora & Arrival City at Toxteth Town Hall, July 2018. Photo by Brian Roberts.

Special Event

Educators' Event


(SOLD OUT) Aimed at educators and those interested in participatory arts practices, this event includes a tour of exhibition 'On the other side' and a short presentation on the participatory work we do.

Melanie Crean, A Machine to Unmake You (M2UY) (2023). Film still. Courtesy of the artist.


Publication Launch: A Machine to Unmake You


Join us for the launch of Melanie Crean's publication, and a panel discussion exploring how art has the potential to foster dialogue and inspire social action.

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