As part of a new exhibition, Tony Phillips is presenting his etching series 12 Decades at the Bluecoat, which continues a survey of modern history that has occupied him over the last 40 years. It complements a new installation, 20th Century Chapel that he is currently working on for Liverpool’s ‘Bombed Out Church’, St. Luke’s, and a proposed pedestrian trail of public artworks between Bluecoat and the church, which were both badly damaged in the Second World War.
The sequence of 12 etchings at the Bluecoat narrates key events and man-made phenomena from 1900 to the present, from the pioneering inventions that heralded the modern age to the mass-production and consumerism that characterise life today. The focus is on the nature of technological progress evinced by our age-old aspiration to fly, starting with an image of the first powered flight (1903), and proceeding through the decades into the modern era of supersonic jet fighters and drones.
The project is presented as an independent project during the 2021 Liverpool Biennial. It is supported by Arts Council England.
Born in Liverpool and now living in Italy, Tony Phillips has a long association with Bluecoat, exhibiting in group exhibition Black Art: Plotting the Course (1989), curated by Eddie Chambers, which brought together the work of 27 artists of African or Asian origin working in the UK; the etching series, Jazz (1993); and a solo show, The City (1994) that focused on three cities the artist was familiar with, London, Paris and Liverpool.
To ensure visitors’ safety a timed ticketing system is in place, advance booking is to visit the cafe, gallery and garden. Tickets are available for 1 hour slots: www.thebluecoat.org.uk.