Skip to main content

Liverpool’s ‘answer to Edinburgh Fringe’ opens in June with first art exhibition

A NEW annual art festival showcasing work by emerging local artists from across the Liverpool region, is to launch in June.

Liverpool Radicals aims to boost the profile of exciting new talent by enabling artists to exhibit in high quality and iconic spaces free of charge. The shows are free for the public to attend.

The first exhibition – Look Up – explores the theme of ambition connecting three diverse local artists, all of whom came to art late in life and are self-taught but have now achieved critical acclaim.

The work ranges from fiery Francis-bacon-esque oils imbued with political provocations to miniature icons of famous artists and musicians including The Beetles to Frida Kahlo.

Steve Randall turned to painting in oils after his wife was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour. He has described it as his solace, having lost his brother in an unresolved accident in childhood when he fell from a tall building. The tragic death haunted Steve for years, during which he physically could not look up at the sky. One day he banished his demons for good by painting a non-judgemental image of his brother’s death, which in turn freed him to look up and interpret the vista in many of his works. Painting has been his focus since his wife’s diagnosis and he has since pursued an artistic career that has seen him exhibited at The Walker alongside Turner Prize-winning artists, whilst raising tens of thousands of pounds for charity.

Lost Hills is a street artist and contemporary painter, best known for his “Jake the Dog” murals, paste ups and stencil art that can be seen on walls around the Baltic Triangle area of the city if you ‘look up’. Having entered the art world via instagram, Lost Hills is somewhat of a social media star, although strives to retain his anonymity. He has recently expanded into contemporary oil miniatures of cultural and music icons he admires.

Alan Murray began life in joinery and youth work but schooled himself in art to the point of becoming the winner of the Liverpool Art Fair People’s Choice Award and the Cass Art Award in 2018, as well as being commissioned for public artworks such as the Titanic on Park Road and Shankly mural in the Shankly Hotel. Fiercely passionate about challenging his audiences to think and question the status quo, he aims to make his audiences look up from their screens and engage in difficult discussions about the issues that affect us today.

The show’s organisers are not charging any commission on works sold in order to support the artists.

Sophie Wilson, the show’s curator, said the festival aimed to encourage aspiration:

“It’s about giving emerging artists a chance. These people haven’t graduated from Goldsmiths. They don’t have mum and dad to fund them. They are working class folk from Liverpool with incredible talent and this show is about giving them the profile they deserve.”

Liverpool Radicals’ vision is to expand to an Edinburgh-fringe-like model, with an annual exhibition selected by the previous year’s artists and spin-off events which will allow further opportunities to engage the public and businesses, including workshops, conferences, performances and live painting/sculpting.

Look Up is free to attend and will open 28th / 29th / 30th June 2023 at Liverpool’s iconic West Tower over the ground, first and second floor.

To reserve your free tickets go to: