Football is a global passion that connects people from all walks of life. It is a common thread that can be an important ritual spanning across cultures, religion, gender and race.
As part of the city’s Art of Football programme, coinciding with the FIFA World Cup, Common Ground is a new exhibition curated by Foto Octo that seeks to explore the ritualistic behaviour of football fan culture and its development from the game of the working class in the 1980s, to the riches of the Premier League today.
Combining the work of acclaimed photographers Tom Wood, Ken Grant and Tabitha Jussa across four different decades, the images will offer a unique insight into how the locale has evolved alongside the might of the now multi-million pound football industry and serve as a springboard to discussions about a wider fan culture that encompasses music, fashion and politics.
Taking up residence at Albert Dock Liverpool on The Colonnades from 14th June to 15th July, Common Ground forms part of Art of Football, celebrating the global game with four weeks of exhibitions, events and creative happenings throughout the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Chris Wright, portfolio manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments, who own and manage the majority of the commercial interests on the Dock, said:
“Common Ground will be a fantastic addition to Albert Dock this summer, and another great reason to drop us a visit and see what changes are coming to the Dock as we continue to add exciting and diverse new operators to our units.
The history of Albert Dock and the impact its regeneration had on Liverpool in the 1980s and beyond makes us the perfect home to host this retrospective look at the beautiful game and its place in the fabric of the city. Knowing just how passionate people are about football in Liverpool, Common Ground will be a huge success, especially as World Cup fever takes hold!”
Art of Football incorporates three major exhibitions, a symposium, pop-up cinema, a music festival and a ‘Terrace Tapestries’ parade representing the city’s diverse communities, all in celebration of the creative culture and the social fabric which surrounds and underpins football. Art of Football forms part of Liverpool 2018 – a programme of events marking a decade since the city’s game-changing year as European Capital Culture. #Liverpool2018
‘Common Ground’ – about the photographers:
Tom Wood (born in Ireland, 1951)
Photographing at Liverpool/Everton from the late 80’s to early 2000.
Tom is a street photographer, portraitist and landscape photographer based in Britain. Wood is best known for his photographs in Liverpool and Merseyside from 1978–2001, “on the streets, in pubs and clubs, markets, workplaces, parks and football grounds” of “strangers, mixed with neighbours, family and friends.” His work has been published in multiple books, been widely shown in solo exhibitions and has received many awards.
Wood has exhibited internationally including at the ICP, New York; the Shanghai Arts Biennale; FOAM, Amsterdam; and the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, and his work is held in major national and international collections. He lives and works in Wales.
Ken Grant (born in Liverpool, 1967)
Photographing at Liverpool/Everton from the late 80’s to the 00’s
Ken is a photographer who since the 1980s has concentrated on working class life in the Liverpool area. He studied at the West Surrey College of Art and Design studying under Martin Parr and Paul Graham. Grant tends to work slowly, returning again and again to the same places and becoming a familiar sight to the people who gather there. Grant was the course leader of the BA (Hons) Documentary Photography course at the University of Wales, Newport between 1998 and 2013, when he became a lecturer in the MFA Photography course at the University of Ulster.
Grant has exhibited nationally and internationally including Kunstbezirk Galerie as part of Stuttgart Fotosommer 2013; Gwinzegal, France. His work is held in leading international collections and is represented by James Hyman Gallery, London. He now lives on the Wirral.
Tabitha Jussa (born in Wales, 1974)
Photographing at Liverpool/Everton from the mid 00’s to present.
Tabitha is an artist working within photography, with a keen focus on socio-political issues. Her photographic career began in Liverpool where Jussa now lives. After studying Documentary Photography under Ken Grant at University of South Wales, Newport, Tabitha has developed an alternative approach to the tradition of photographic documentation through the construction of large-scale pictures – the metaimage.
Jussa has exhibited nationally including the Openeye and Bluecoat, Liverpool; The Grundy, Blackpool; Ffotogallery, Penarth; Royal College of Art, London; and internationally at ShangART Gallery, Shanghai. Jussa was the recipient of the Liverpool Art Prize 2014 Judges and People’s Choice award.
The Art of Football takes place at venues across Liverpool from Thursday 15 June to Sunday 15 July, details of the programme include:
14 June – 15 July
Albert Dock Liverpool, The Colonnades, Free exhibition
Opening times: Wednesday to Monday (Closed Tuesday), 10am – 5pm
This exhibition seeks to explore the ritualistic behaviour of football fan culture and its development from the game of the working class in the 1980s to the riches of the Premier League today. Curated by Foto Octo, it captures the work of three photographers across different decades and offers a unique insight into how the community has evolved alongside the might of the now multimillion pound football industry. The photographers are Tom Wood’s whose retrospective spans 40 years, Ken Grant who has been capturing football inspired images since he was a teenager and Tabitha Jussa who examines what it means to be a football supporter in Liverpool.
The Art of the Football Shirt
15 June – 28 June
Camp & Furnace, Free exhibition
Opening times: One hour before kick off on all World Cup match days
Curated by fashion historian Neal Heard, The Art of the Football Shirt explores the relationship between football and popular culture. Showcasing a curated selection of over 100 sartorially sound, obscure and vintage football shirts, it will show how team kits of previous generations have gained iconic status and how they have crossed paths with the worlds of music, fashion and politics. In the exhibition, Heard shares his vast knowledge, passion and enthusiasm to tell a story that goes beyond the realms of the beautiful game.
I Don’t Love Soccer Because Soccer Has Never Loved Me
29 June to 15 July
Camp & Furnace, Free exhibition
Opening times: One hour before kick off on all World Cup match days
This work takes a critical look at “the beautiful game” through the lens of graphic design and illustration. The exhibition presents artwork from an international selection of graphic artists made in response to an essay titled The World Cup and Its Pomps written in 1978 by the famous Italian semiotician, intellectual and writer, Umberto Eco. Produced by Liverpool John Moore University’s Liverpool School of Art & Design, confirmed artists include world renowned designer and typographer Jonathan Barnbrook (David Bowie’s Blackstar and Damien Hirst publication I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life…), Brendan Dawes (digital artist and designer who has work in the permanent collection at MoMA, NY) and Kat Gibb (long time Chemical Brothers collaborator).
Workshop dates: 12 and 19 May, from 10am at The Florrie
Parade date: 14th June, 6pm start at Williamson Square
All banners will be exhibited in the Martin Luther King Building throughout the World Cup
The launch event for The Art of Football Season, this project will draw on the longstanding, international tradition of banners at football matches as a vehicle for collective expression. Long established and revered Liverpool banner artist Peter Carney will lead this large-scale project, working with residents, community organisations and schools across the city to design and produce a series of new banner artworks. Each of the 32 participating World Cup nations drawn will be represented, and a series of workshops will take place to produce the banner artworks, showcasing the world in one city.
Working with a team of illustrators and designers, the artworks will be presented as part of a large parade through the city, to mark the start of the Art of Football project and the 2018 World Cup. The banners will then go on display at National Museum Liverpool’s Martin Luther King building in Liverpool’s Albert Dock, for the duration of the World Cup.
Any community groups interested in taking part in the workshops should email: email@example.com.
12 and 13 July, 7pm
Liverpool Central Library, Register for Free Tickets @ ArtOfFootball.co.uk
Featuring guests from across the world of football, media and academia and hosted across two evenings at Liverpool’s Central Library, Soccerama is a symposium to explore football through a new lens. Via a series of conversations and debates, it will unpick football’s interwoven relationship with the key global debates of our times; women’s rights, nationalist populism, LGBTQ, consumer culture, class politics and race. Thursday 12 July will be dedicated to the topic ‘Football: The not-so beautiful game’ and Friday 13 will be ‘From outside the box’. Panelists and contributors will be announced soon.
Constellations, £10 ticket @ ArtOfFootball.co.uk
In honour of the ultimate anti-footballer, socio-political activist and godfather of football cool, Disco Socrates is an exploration of music culture and its social and political impact around the globe. Anchored around a one-day festival, it will see live performances from artists drawn from the participating World Cup nations, reflecting the power of musical movements to affect change around the globe.
The international line-up includes Nigerian born, Berlin based soulful jazz vocalist Wayne Snow, Oko Ebombo who fuses beats, Parisian jazz and performance art, Cairo’s Rozzma will bring his own blend of beats, psychedelia and traditional Arabic music and Iranian MC Gomnam.
Green Screen Community Cinema
Prenton Park – 1 July
Isla Gladstone (Stanley Park) – 9 July
This project will see a series of pop-up cinema screenings take place at the heart of the communities who live in the modern game’s backdrop. Featuring radical and challenging football cinema and documentaries, the project is designed to explore and showcase alternative interpretations, debates and ideas around football. The cinema will be set within the grounds of the Isla Gladstone in Stanley Park – flanked by Goodison and Anfield – and Tranmere’s Prenton Park, the events will see the screening of two deeply moving films; Forbidden Games: The Justin Fashanu Story and Football Rebels.
For more information on the whole programme, or to buy tickets, visit www.ArtOfFootball.co.uk.
The Art of Football season forms part of the Liverpool 2018 programme which celebrated ten years since Liverpool’s transformational tenure as European Capital of Culture. The football-inspired project has been curated by Bido Lito! in collaboration with Foto Octo and Laces Out.
The Art of Football is produced in partnership with Scotts Menswear, Albert Dock, Liverpool BID Company, LJMU School of Art & Design, National Museums Liverpool and Liverpool Central Library.