The Biennial isn’t just about discovering art in the city centre; and some of its most admirable and thought-provoking works are often commissioned to create and inspire social change in more deprived, out of town areas.
This year that includes 2Up2Down and its regeneration of the old Mitchell’s bakery in Anfield, a long-term community project examining the devastating effects of the attempts at regeneration in the area. The project, by Dutch artist Jeanne van Heeswijk, has been highly acclaimed. Still, its location means it merits a special visit, and is hardly one of those pieces you’ll just stumble across by accident.
In art speak, the work “creates a situation where the community can take matters into their own hands, with a people-centred, intimate approach to re-imagining the area, claiming the right to live well”. In practice, over the last two-and-a-half years this has included designing an affordable housing scheme, shop, and meeting spaces, as well as setting up the Homebaked Community Land Trust co-operative, which is running the bakery as a social enterprise.
A free, weekly guided bus tour has been set up to give people the excuse to get out there.
Liverpool actor Graham Hicks plays your guide Carl Ainsworth, who takes the group through Everton Brow and into Anfield, before a stop at the bakery for a coffee and chat with members of the community and all those involved in the tour.
The Anfield Home Tour has been scripted by Debbie Morgan and directed by Britt Jurgensen of Fool’s Proof Theatre; and Graham (also known as one half of comedy act Random Acts of Wildness) has been so convincing as Carl that people have already tried to book him to guide other tours.
Furthermore, the poignancy of the project has been so powerful that one Dutch businessman who took the tour has arranged a further private guided trip for 40 colleagues.
The Anfield Home Tour runs every Saturday of the Biennial, meeting at the Cunard Building at 11.30am. There is no charge, but places must be booked at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0845 220 2800.