As we start April 2020 at home together we hope you were inspired by our 'Green Spaces' feature last week which was informed by Frances Disley's new solo exhibition at Bluecoat Pattern Buffer.

This week we continue to explore the green themes of her show while also expanding on her interest in wellbeing, comfort and relaxing ways of spending time. Our carefully curated e-shot includes an exclusive new interview with Disley, a glimpse into the history of Bluecoat's hidden garden, the chance to make your own portal into another world with a fun family activity and poetry from award winning North West poet Callan Waldron-Hall with his nominated selection by London-based poet Amy Key.

We hope you enjoy reading!

Artist Interview
Frances Disley: Pattern Buffer 

Before our venue closed, Frances Disley opened her new exhibition Pattern Buffer on Thursday 12 March. Disley is interested in the things we do to feel better about ourselves, and how galleries can become more welcoming spaces.

In our exclusive interview Disley expands on her conversations with psychologists from the University of Salford who have researched how different kinds of architectural spaces make us feel. She also reflects on the positive effect certain colours and plants have on our mood as well as her interest in the Holodeck, a device from Star Trek: The Next Generation which allows crew members to step into other worlds without ever leaving their spaceship. 

Watch the film now to hear directly from Disley, and read our blog from our Head of Programme Marie-Anne McQuay's perspective. 

It's the Garden at Bluecoat: A Film by Andrew Small

Do you have fond memories of our garden?

Take a look back at this film by artist Andrew Small, which we commissioned just before the building closed in readiness for a major capital development in 2005. Ahead of the development Bluecoat asked Small to interview people who used the garden about the space, and their hopes for its future. 

See the film here

Read a transcript for the film here


Welcome to our new poetry series!

We're inviting a poet to present two poems - one of their own and another they admire by someone else - responding to our selected themes. 

This week's poems reflect the ideas of Liverpool-based artist Frances Disley's current exhibition at Bluecoat, Pattern Buffer, including: wellbeing, self-care, care for others, taking time and green spaces.

Click here to read award winning North West poet Callan Waldron-Hall's 'Perfect Handstands' together with 'How Rare a Really Beautiful Hand Is Now, Since the Harp Has Gone Out of Fashion!' by nominated poet Amy Key. 


Family Activity 

Frances Disley has completely transformed Bluecoat's gallery with her exhibition Pattern Buffer. The grid that covers the walls in her exhibition is inspired by the Holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation, which could transform a room into any place in the Universe.

Where would you like to be right now? Create your own Holodeck with our 'How to' video.

Share your creations with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
As a charity, we rely on the income generated by our cafe, bistro and events programme. While our building remains closed in line with guidance from Public Health England, we're losing a huge portion of our income. 
Do you regularly visit Bluecoat for a coffee or lunch? We would be so grateful if you could consider donating what you might have spent. Your support will help us to reopen as soon as possible after the restrictions are lifted. 
We need your help now more than ever. 
Thank you for your support
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Image credits: Frances Disley, Pattern Buffer, film still, Bluecoat exhibition view, 2020; Holo Programme 114 - Restful Relaxation, Frances Disley (in collaboration with hairstylist Sheetal Maru, model Ithalia Forel), from Pattern Buffer 2020.
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