Liverpool Biennial 2023: A Global Tapestry of Art, Culture, and Heritage


Liverpool Biennial 2023 is the 12th edition of the it, titled uMoya: The sacred Return of Lost Things, took place from 10 June to 17 September 2023. The Biennial’s theme was ancestral and indigenous forms of knowledge, wisdom, and healing. The Biennial featured work by over 100 artists from over 30 countries.

The Biennial was curated by Khanyisile Mbongwa, who is an independent curator and writer based in South Africa. Mbongwa is the first African woman to curate the Liverpool Biennial. She is also the founder of the InTense art festival in Cape Town.

The Biennial was structured around a triangulation, mirroring the journeys undertaken during the Transatlantic trade of enslaved people. The three points of the triangulation were Liverpool, South Africa, and the Caribbean.

Some of the highlights of the Biennial included:

  • “Merseyside Totemy” by the Environmental Art Collective, a large-scale public artwork that visualizes the impact of climate change on the Liverpool City Region.
  • “The Sacred Return of Lost Things” by Ibrahim Mahama, an immersive installation that explores the Ghanaian concept of sankofa, which means “to go back and fetch it”.
  • “The Liverpool Project” by Forensic Architecture, an exhibition that investigates the 1989 Hillsborough disaster.

The Biennial also featured a program of events, including artist talks, workshops, and film screenings. The Biennial was a major success, attracting over 100,000 visitors.

Here are some interesting facts about the Liverpool Biennial 2023:

  • The Biennial was the first to be curated by an African woman.
  • The Biennial was the first to focus on the theme of ancestral and indigenous forms of knowledge, wisdom, and healing.
  • The Biennial was the first to be structured around a triangulation.
  • The first Liverpool Biennial was held in 1999.
  • The Biennial is funded by a variety of sources, including the Arts Council England, the European Union, and private donors.
  • The Biennial is a major economic driver for Liverpool, generating millions of pounds of revenue for the city.


The Liverpool Biennial is the largest festival of contemporary visual art in the UK. It takes place every two years across the city in public spaces, galleries, and museums.

What is Accreditation?

Accreditation is a process that arts professionals can go through to gain access to exclusive opportunities, such as:

  • Previews of the Biennial exhibitions
  • Private artist talks and workshops
  • Networking opportunities with other arts professionals

Who can apply for Accreditation?

Accreditation is open to a wide range of arts professionals, including:

  • Curators
  • Educators
  • Journalists
  • Artists

How to apply for Accreditation

To apply for accreditation, you must complete an online form. The deadline for applications is typically a few months before the Biennial opens.

What are the benefits of Accreditation?

Accreditation can provide a number of benefits to arts professionals, including:

  • Increased knowledge of contemporary art
  • Networking opportunities with other arts professionals
  • Opportunities to see new and innovative work
  • Enhanced professional development

If you are an arts professional, I encourage you to apply for Accreditation to the Liverpool Biennial. It is a great opportunity to gain access to exclusive opportunities and learn more about contemporary art.

Here are some additional details about the Liverpool Biennial Accreditation:

  • The Accreditation process is competitive, and not all applicants will be successful.
  • Accredited arts professionals will be required to pay a fee.
  • Accredited arts professionals will be expected to abide by a code of conduct.

Liverpool Biennial shops

The Liverpool Biennial has two shops:

  • The Liverpool Biennial Shop is located at 55 New Bird Street, Liverpool L1 0BW. The shop is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sundays from 11am to 4pm. The shop sells a wide range of merchandise, including books, posters, postcards, and souvenirs.
  • The Bluecoat Shop is located at The Bluecoat, 108 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3BX. The shop is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and on Sundays from 11am to 4pm. The shop sells a range of art and design products, including books, stationery, jewelry, and homeware.

Both shops are wheelchair accessible.

In addition to the two shops, the Liverpool Biennial also has an online shop. The online shop sells a wider range of merchandise than the physical shops, including limited edition prints and artworks. The shop is a great place to find a unique souvenir of your visit to the Biennial. You can find a selection of Biennial merchandise online at the Biennial’s website:

Here are some of the things you can find at the Liverpool Biennial shop:

  • Books: The shop sells a wide range of books on contemporary art, including monographs on individual artists, exhibition catalogues, and general overviews of contemporary art.
  • Posters: The shop sells a wide range of posters of Biennial artwork.
  • Postcards: The shop sells a wide range of postcards of Biennial artwork.
  • Tote bags: The shop sells a wide range of tote bags with Biennial branding.
  • Other merchandise: The shop also sells a variety of other merchandise, such as mugs, caps, and scarves.

You can also find interesting facts about Grand National Festival.

About the author

Adeline Darrow
By Adeline Darrow


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