Celebrating Craft

From February 2021


2021 is the Crafts Council’s 50th anniversary year. Museums, galleries and festivals across the North West, including the Bluecoat Display Centre, will celebrate the Year of Craft with events and displays throughout this year.

‘Celebrating Craft’ is a series of curated displays highlighting the diverse, emerging and established makers working in studios across the North West.

The Bluecoat Display Centre will present new displays including ceramics by Attila Olah, Emma Rodgers and Jacob Chan, glass by Verity Pulford, mixed media by Michael Brennand-Wood, metalwork by Ruth Ball and wood by Hugh Miller. Many of these maker’s work will also be shown in new displays in the Craft and Design Gallery at the Walker Art Gallery and the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum throughout 2021.

Images (Above): Leather bags by Sally-Ann Thompson, wooden trays by Hugh Miller and map scarf by Helen Chatterton (Left) & ceramics by Emma Rodgers (Left)


‘Celebrating Craft’ Exhibition, February – April 2021


The Bdc reopens in April 2021 with a curated display featuring talented craft makers who work from studios across the region. This supports a new series of displays planned for later this year with our partners the Walker Art Gallery and the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum which has developed from an Art Fund Professional Network Grant that has supported a collaborative research survey of makers working across the region.

In support of the planned displays work by local makers will be available for sale at the Display Centre: including Michael Brennand-WoodHalima Cassell, Jacob Chan, David & Margaret Frith, Hugh Miller, Attila Olah, Verity Pulford and Emma Rodgers.

The displays are ongoing throughout the Display Centre from Spring 2021.

A selection of work by the featured makers is available through our online shop.

Samantha Rhodes in Conversation with Emma Rodgers


In March 2021, Bdc Gallery Director Samantha Rhodes was joined by sculptor Emma Rodgers over Zoom to discuss her work during lockdown, including pieces currently on display at the Bdc for the Year of Craft and a public sculpture commission for Bexley Square in Salford.

Watch the interview

Images (Below): Emma’s public sculpture commission for Salford under construction in 2020. Horse’s head sculpted in clay (Left) & Emma Rodgers with the horse framework at Castle Fine Arts Foundry (Right).
Images © Emma Rodgers.

LightNight: ‘Play’, 21 May 2021


For LightNight 2021, Samantha Rhodes will continue her series of recorded conversations with three of our featured local makers from their studios which will go live on the Bdc and LightNight websites on Friday 21st May at 5pm.

Watch the interviews

A curated selection of works by Attila, Jacob and Emma will be on display at the Bdc, which will be open until 8pm.

Images: Ceramic bowl, ‘The Seventh’, by Attila Olah (Left) & ‘Foo Dog’ by Jacob Chan (Right).

‘Halima Cassell & Emma Rodgers’ Exhibition, 1 October – 13 November 2021


This exhibition brings together for the first time two of most accomplished women sculptors from the North West; Halima Cassell and Emma Rodgers. Both artists have achieved national and international recognition through their work, which although completely different, both capture a dynamic sense of movement through their work.

Read more

Images: Part of the ‘Helen of Troy’ series by Emma Rodgers on display at the Bdc (Left – photography by Pam Seale) & detail of a ceramic sculpture by Halima Cassell (Right).