Liverpool Biennial 2014: Sharon Lockhart

  • 5 July 2014 - 26 October 2014

Sharon Lockhart’s exhibition at FACT brings together ideas about childhood, philosophical inquiry, and the politics of the voice, anchored by works referring to a Polish teenager named Milena. 

In Gallery 1, Podwórka (2009) takes the ubiquitous courtyards (podwórka) in the Polish city of Łódź as a structural motif. Lockhart filmed groups of children as they effortlessly invent their own spaces of play within the existing architecture. During this process, she befriended Milena, who would become a key figure in her life and who would inspire a series of other recent works. Lockhart has visited her on several occasions since 2009, taking her on holidays to Jarosław, Kraków and the beaches of Dębki. 


The artist’s time in Poland has also led to extensive research on the history of children’s rights and on the influential pedagogue Janusz Korczak. For her new film, commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and FACT, Lockhart returned to Poland to work with Milena and a group of twelve adolescent girls from the Youth Center for Sociotherapy, an orphanage in the town of Rudzienko. On a nearby farm, through a series of workshops led by educator and philosopher Bartosz Przybył-Orłowski, the group developed exercises and activities designed to empower the authority of their own voice and perspective on the world.

In Gallery 2, Lockhart presents a new installation based on The Little Review, a newspaper founded in 1926 by Janusz Korczak that was entirely written and edited by children.  


Finally, the artist has also curated a series of nine films to be screened over the course of the Biennial. Each of these films address topics of children’s agency and selfhood, as well as notions of freedom, place, and choice. Full details of the exhibition film programme will be announced here soon.

'Visually compelling and socially engaged' - Museums Journal


'Utterly captivating' - a-n


'A highlight' - BLOUIN Art News

'Beautifully composed' - The Telegraph


'Vividly capturing the discomfort, moroseness and insolence of early adolescense' - Times Higher Education


'The piece is superbly shot and pure of heart' - TUSK Journal