Neil Morris
Senior Lecturer/Head of Printmaking
Liverpool John Moores University

Pete Clarke
Senior Academic
Fine Art, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE
Telephone +44 1772 893956

Paper: “Eight Days A Week: Liverpool/Cologne Cultural Exchange”

This paper will be delivered in the context of a diverse range of work produced during the past seven years as part of the international festival “Eight Days A Week: Liverpool/Cologne Cultural Exchange”. We will emphasize the collaborative nature of these projects and the unique relationship established between Liverpool School of Art, Printmaking Area and Kolner Graphikwerkstatt, Cologne. “Eight Days A Week” seeks to develop creative dialogue between the cities of Liverpool and Cologne through an ongoing cultural exchange program that promotes greater awareness and understanding of each other.  Collaboration is at its heart of this, providing opportunities for artists and other individuals, venues and organizations in both cities to participate. Its focus is on the contemporary arts and in developing access to them through educational and other partnerships.

“Eight Days A Week” facilitates artists from Liverpool and Cologne taking part in unique cultural exchanges through an ongoing program of exhibitions, residencies, films, performances, debates and publications. What makes “Eight Days A Week” a significant project is our ability to sustain an extremely interesting and exciting series of cultural events since it beginnings in 1998. We are a very inclusive project and in many ways cement relationships and creative partnerships between differing cultural and educational organizations in both cities and create opportunities for a broader international perspective for both the individual and the city. Since 1998 there have been over 90 events creating opportunities for young and established artists to be seen and profiled for the first time in both Liverpool and Cologne.

NEIL MORRIS is a Senior Lecturer and Head of Printmaking at Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Art School. Morris is a founder of the international event ‘Eight Days a Week: Liverpool/Cologne a Cultural Exchange’, an extensive ongoing program of artistic activities between the two sister cities. His artwork explores the relationships between a personal imagery and a sophisticated iconography and strives to maintain this pluralistic approach while making visual sense of a personal history. He has been involved in many international collaborative projects and has curated several exhibitions including ‘Graphic Authorship – Artists in Print’ (ISBN: 0-9542326-4-X); “Interface Two” at Galerie ‘K’, Liverpool Art School’; and “Malerei aus Liverpool” and “Von Zufalligen Linien und Rotlichen Flecken” (ISBN: 0-9547306-1-5).  Morris has exhibited extensively throughout Germany and has had recent exhibitions at Shanghai University and Orebro Castle, Sweden. His work is included in several publications, most recently Visible Signs: an Introduction to Semiotics, authored by David Crow, (ISBN: 2884790357).

PETE CLARKE lives in Liverpool, United Kingdom and is the MA Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. He studied Fine Art Painting and Printmaking at West of England College of Art, Bristol and then received his MA degree at Chelsea School of Art. Clarke has exhibited extensively, with recent exhibitions in Cologne, Hagen, Rome and Wiesbaden. Old poems and half remembered quotations, industrial streets and suburban parks, architectural relics, follies and monuments, the city and the sea create a subject for Pete Clarke’s work. There is a sense of reconciling simultaneous and contradictory viewpoints, in many ways this is a cubist world, history painting and aesthetic process mediating the constructed image. He is co-organiser of “Eight Days a Week”, through which reciprocal exhibitions, projects and events have been held in Liverpool and Cologne.  Recently Clarke has made paintings, prints and installations with the artist Georg Gartz from Köln, exploring collaborative strategies within contemporary practice questioning individuality, authorship and authenticity. From ‘Collaboration’ catalogue essay by Bryan Biggs, Director of Arts, Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool 2000. He cites “Through this dialogic process a body of painting has emerged which offers us, not a series of composite impressions of the urban landscape, but a kind of visual meditation on the city, an amalgam of different perspectives. The paintings raise questions about how we picture the world, challenging the notion of a single fixed authorial point of view. They also interrogate the practice of painting itself through the methodology of the collaborative approach – the process of applying paint to canvas becoming a discursive act.”