Gym-inspired project raises Liverpool’s art rate

Jonathan Knott, 15.03.2016
Young people worked with Turner Prize winners Assemble to design space
Gallery space in Tate Liverpool has been redesigned as an "Art Gym", home to a programme of free activities and events encouraging people to engage with and create art.

The project is led by Tate Collective Liverpool, a group of young people who arrange activities and events at the gallery. The organisation worked with Turner Prize-winning collective Assemble to reimagine part of the fourth floor riverside gallery as a gym, complete with a boxing ring, equipment and benches.

The project started on 7 March and will run until 31 March. During this time, visitors can go to art stations and carry out activities such as printing, badgemaking and bookmaking. Running alongside these is a programme of classes, lectures, and workshops on a number of subjects including mobile phone film and photography, making a pinhole camera, and creating a magazine.

Members of the group and the gallery’s visitor assistant team are acting as Art Gym “instructors”, helping people plan their creative workouts.

Tate Collective member Holly Bowers said: “Tate Liverpool is throwing open its doors to people of all ages and abilities. We don’t want the public to think of the arts as an elitist community, anyone can enjoy it.”

Francesco Manacorda, the artistic director of Tate Liverpool, said: “In a place where traditionally we would display work by famous artists including Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock, the special exhibition gallery has been transformed into something completely different by Tate Collective Liverpool.

“Art Gym is an experiment that sees us handing over responsibility to Tate Collective to conceive and co-design their idea of what a museum of the future could be.”

Art Gym is part of Circuit, a project led by Tate and funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation that aims to connect young people aged between 15 and 25 with art galleries.

It is co-funded by the EU’s Creative Europe Programme, with support from Liverpool City Council.