Maisie Cousins' work at LOOK Photo Biennial 2019

LOOK Photo Biennial 2019 continues

LOOK Photo Biennial 2019 is continuing with two exciting collaborative exhibitions.

Britain, in all its beauty, humour and starkness, comes under the spotlight in Distinctly.

The group exhibition was first shown at Pingyao Photography Festival, China, and is now on display in the Wirral.

It acts as a bridge between chapter one and chapter two of LOOK Photo Biennial 2019.

Peer to Peer is a snapshot of the state of art in the UK and China today.

Forming the centre of LOOK Photo Biennial 2019, it is a group show of 14 artists, selected by 14 curators from across the UK and China.

In Liverpool, the exhibition will take place across Open Eye Gallery and the vaulted basement of St. George’s Hall.

The Shanghai Centre of Photography will display Peer to Peer in February 2020.

Visitors view Distinctly at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum
Distinctly, Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, photo by Declan Connolly


This show takes a unique approach to the depiction of Britain.

It shows its distinct landscapes, industries, social and economic changes, cultural traditions, traits and events.

All this is depicted through the eyes of ten of the most significant established and emerging photographers working in Britain over the last six decades.

Distinctly looks at the gentle, the humorous, the starkness, the beauty and the realities experienced and captured by the photographers.

Contributing artists are:

  • Martin Parr
  • Chris Killip
  • Marketa Luskacova
  • John Myers
  • Tish Murtha
  • Niall McDiarmid
  • Daniel Meadows
  • Ken Grant
  • Robert Darch, and
  • Kirsty Mackay.
Fan Xi's work, Trees, at LOOK Photo Biennial 2019
Fan Xi, Peer to Peer at St George’s Hall, photo by Tabitha Jussa

Peer to Peer

Peer to Peer platforms artists on the verge of major international recognition.

Anna Ridler presents her AI-generated projects Mosaic Virus and Tulips, based on handmade image datasets.

Excerpts from Forest, Yan Wang Preston’s recent Sony World Photo Award-winning work, chart the construction of ‘natural’ landscapes in China.

Maisie Cousins’ sickly-sweet style uses close-ups of everyday objects to make lucid images in which attraction and repulsion collide.

Orlando by Alix Marie sits somewhere between photography and sculpture as body parts are crumpled and piled up into a large mound.

Othello De’Souza-Hartley’s work unpicks contemporary masculinity, looking at how and why men feel compelled to perform a gender role.

Jonny Briggs’ Unpalatable Truths is an unnerving, surreal examination of the cover-up of child abuse on the island of Jersey.

Mandy Barker’s Soup tackles the accumulation of plastics in earth’s oceans.

Siân Davey’s years working as a psychotherapist shine through her photography, which charts the delicate balances of family life.

Fan Xi’s Tree consists of images made from photographing hundreds of trees from many angles, and stitching the photos together into a single organism.

Jiang Pengyi’s In Some Time images are made without a camera. Instead, darkroom techniques are manipulated to paint with faint, chemically-created light.

Chen Zhe’s Towards Evening seeks to chart people’s slippery relationship with the twilight time between day and night.

Wu Yue looks at the second life of previously popular places, capturing a former nightclub that has now become a nursing home.

Sun Yanchu’s black-and-white photographs are loaded with surrealism, showing the strange scenarios that arise in a landscape of urban decay.

Playing with the chemical origins of photography, Qin Yifeng captures objects through a process of long exposure, presenting them in negative.

Yan Wang Preston's work at LOOK Photo Biennial 2019
Yan Wang Preston, Peer to Peer at St George’s Hall, photo by Tabitha Jussa

LOOK Photo Biennial

Unfolding throughout the year, LOOK Photo Biennial 2019 builds upon Open Eye Gallery’s international exchange with China.

The programme uses photography to bring different cultures into conversation.

It reflects on shifting national identities, worldwide environmental issues and how we can communicate effectively.

Split across two chapters, LOOK Photo Biennial 2019 began on June 6 with chapter one.

The second chapter will run from October 17 to December 21.

Exhibition information

Distinctly, Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Wirral, until November 24.

Spectrum Photographic is the print sponsor.

We produced glass-less aluminium frames containing Giclee Ilford Prestige Smooth Pearl prints.

Peer to Peer, Open Eye Gallery/St George’s Hall Basement, Liverpool, until December 22.

Spectrum Photographic is the print partner.

We produced: Fuji Crystal Archive C-type Matt prints,  Hahnemuhle Fine Art Pearl Giclee prints and Landor Phototex for the show (available on request).

Main image: Maisie Cousins, Peer to Peer, at St George’s Hall, photo by Tabitha Jussa

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