2017 Events, Talks & Guided Visits

Annual Gardner-Medwin Lecture 2017 – Peter Hayes

Thursday 2 November 2017, 2.30pm – 3.30pm

We are delighted to welcome the celebrated British sculptor, Peter Hayes, who will deliver the annual Gardner-Medwin Lecture on Thursday 2 November 2017.

Peter will be exhibiting in our ‘Past, Present, Future’ exhibition curated by the renowned local ceramic artist Emma Rodgers and following the talk Peter will be available to talk more informally about his work back in the exhibition at the Display Centre over refreshments.

“I have always been interested in the history of ceramics – why and how ‘things’ are made of clay. This interest was extended after I spent several years travelling through Africa working with various tribes and village potters and being intrigued how, with limited technology and basic tools, they were able to get such exquisite, beautiful surfaces. I found the same inherent skills in India, Nepal Japan and New Mexico. I tried to adopt the ideas picked up from my travels in my own work. By building up layers of textured clay combined with burnishing and polishing of surfaces, I try to achieve opposites of rough and smooth.

I have been working on large scale ceramic forms which I have placed in the landscape. My main aim is that the work should not compete with the landscape, but evolve within the environment. With this in mind I have introduced other minerals into the Raku ceramic surface such as iron and copper. With the elements of time and erosion, the individual piece takes on its own developing surface.

Recently, one of these large commissions has taken me again to India. My client suggested I make it on site. Now I have discovered Udaipur in Rajasthan where I come for inspiration, when my studio in Bath in England gets cold in the winter months. This has introduced me to other artists and craftsmen enabling me to work with a range of different materials, such as glass, marble, stone and Damascus steel.” – Peter Hayes

Guided Visit – British Ceramics Biennial 2017

Thursday 26 October 2017

A day trip to the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke on Trent. Meeting outside the Bluecoat Display Centre on College Lane at 8.45am and the minibus will leave Liverpool promptly at 9am.

The British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) launched in 2009 with a festival celebrating and showcasing contemporary ceramics from across the world. Set in Stoke-on-Trent – the heart of the UK ceramics industry, the festival took place in established venues and non-traditional spaces across the city. It returned in 2011, 2013, 2015 and is back in 2017 for the fifth time.

The morning will be spent at the Spode China Hall where we will be given a welcoming coffee followed by a 45-minute talk and tour of this large site and then some time to explore the exhibitions on your own.

Lunch may be had in the cafe here and then we will travel by minibus to central Hanley to visit the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, where a collaborative project with ceramicists from India and the UK worked on a project called Heartbeat based in Northern India.

There are a number of exhibitions based in and around the museum that are possible to visit during the afternoon. It is certainly worth looking at the Biennial’s website to see the exciting projects that will be possible to view on that day.

The Award exhibition will again command centre-stage for BCB 2017 set in the vast China Hall on the original Spode factory site. The AWARD panel have selected ten artists to present new work which spans the spectrum from material to object to idea, with large scale installation and intimate displays audiences can anticipate that they will be impressed, intrigued and delighted by the work on show. The collective work of this year’s group of artists stands testament to the abiding interest in clay as a medium for making and exploring ideas and contributes to the continuing rise of public interest in ceramics.

We will leave at 3.30pm and return to Liverpool by approx. 5pm.

Artist Talk – Jessica Briggs

Tuesday 26 September 2017, 1.30pm

The Athenaeum, Church Alley, Liverpool

As part of Bluecoat Display Centre’s ongoing programme of exciting artist’s talks, the next event will feature jewellery Jessica Briggs. Jessica will speak about her artistic career.

Jessica creates a stunning range of wearable jewellery including cuffs, rings, earrings, men’s jewellery, neckpieces & brooches.  She works primarily in silver, while also using gold leaf to bring colour, contrast and life to her collection. All designs, whatever the inspiration are translated into pieces with subtle textures or more complex and layered finishes. There is always an inherent simplicity of both form and function.

A traditional afternoon tea in the grand setting of The Athenaeum will follow the talk.

This event is open to current and new subscribing Friends of Bluecoat Display Centre and Members of The Athenaeum. Attendees must be over the age of 14.

Guided Visit – ‘Edo Pop: Japanese Prints’

Wednesday 20 September 2017, 10.30am

at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

Meet at the Lady Lever Art Gallery at 10.30am for a drink followed by a specially arranged talk by Frank Milner.

The energy and spirit of 19th century Edo (now Tokyo) is brought to life in this exhibition of 50 woodblock prints, on loan from local collector Frank Milner.

The vibrant and colourful prints were ‘mass produced’ by hand and eagerly sought after by fans of Edo’s popular culture. A single print cost the price of a haircut or two bowls of noodles. These were affordable images bought by a wide variety of people.

Visitors to the exhibition can explore an intriguing world of urban celebrities, actors, sports champions, fashion icons and villains, as depicted by leading printmakers such as Kuniyoshi, Kunisada and Kunichika, the last great master of the Kabuki actor print. The prints depict a time of great change and modernisation, when Western influence was starting to be felt alongside traditional Japanese culture.

Today these prints are considered to be outstanding examples of creativity and technical skill, but when they were first made the Japanese government referred to them as ‘trivial Edo things’.

Meet the Maker – Thomas Hill for LightNight 2017

Friday 19 May 2017, 6pm – 7pm

at the Bluecoat Display Centre

Bluecoat Display Centre are hosting a Meet the Maker with wire artist Thomas Hill, whose work will be In the Window.

San Francisco based wire artist Tom Hill will be flying in especially for LightNight 2017 to talk about his work. The three-dimensional wire sculptures are based on drawn studies of birds and animals in motion. The talk complements a solo window show at Bluecoat Display Centre during May 2017 that commemorates and celebrates his 20-year relationship with BDC.

Tom Hill is celebrating 20 years exhibiting at Bluecoat Display Centre and will mark the occasion by making 20 pieces in his trademark steel wire. Over this time we have seen Tom develop from an emerging young maker, to a mature and widely exhibited international artist. This is a very appropriate with the Bluecoat building celebrating its 300-year anniversary.

Garden Party Fundraiser & Online Auction

Saturday 13 May – Saturday 15 July 2017

in the Bluecoat Garden

All money raised will go towards the Bluecoat Display Centre’s Garden Party fundraiser on Sunday 16 July, 1pm – 5pm in the Bluecoat garden, which is in aid of our charitable outreach projects. To take part, simply send your bid via email stating clearly which piece you would like including the number, together with your name and contact details before 4.30pm on Saturday 15 July. You can also drop by to leave a sealed bid anytime before or during the event.

Please see below for more information about the auction pieces. If you would like more information about the event or any of the items listed here please contact the Bluecoat Display Centre.

We would like to express our gratitude to all of the artists who have so kindly donated work for this auction and also for the raffle – for which tickets are now on sale at the centre.

1. Ruth Ball, Brooch, silver and enamel with fine gold foils. Valuation: £285

Techniques: champleve and cloisonne enamelling, 6 x 1 cm

This brooch comes from the ‘In Season 1998/9’ collection, a body of work inspired primarily by found natural forms and seasonal colours. The theme of this collection is reflected wonderfully in this piece, which demonstrates a painterly style of rich autumnal hues flecked with gold accents.

Each of Ruth Ball’s pieces is unique due to the nature of her technique, she currently works only to commission and jewellery is sold out on her website, so we are very grateful that she has kindly donated such a beautiful example of her work. An opportunity not to be missed!

2. Rebecca Gouldson, Wall Piece, mixed metals. Valuation: £400

Techniques: Etching, stamping, rolling, scribing, plating, chemical patination, 24.8 cm diameter

Since undertaking a residency at Liverpool Hope University, Rebecca Gouldson has remained in Liverpool and regularly shows her work internationally. Her work has an architectural quality and is often inspired by old buildings and urban and natural landscapes, though her narrative style is subtle and is left open to interpretation. This piece beautifully fuses a sleek contemporary feel with an evoked sense of history, the depth and richness of colour is created by the use of varied metal colouring and finishing techniques. Made for Collect at Saatchi Gallery, London, this piece was created in response to historic seafaring journeys using maritime archives, nautical charts and maps. We are delighted to have been given this beautiful piece for our fundraiser.

3. Hugh Miller, Coffee Caddie, British elm with walnut and brass detail. Valuation: £195

Techniques: A combination of Western and Japanese woodworking/cabinetry techniques, 9.5 x 9.5 x 9.5 cm

Having trained as an architect, Hugh Miller is now an applied artist focussing on furniture and woodwork, though his architectural training along with influential time spent in Japan is evident in his work and underpins his design ethos, which is manifested in a commitment to quality, intricate detail, and locally sourced materials. This beautifully crafted coffee caddie is part of a range of smaller pieces, a collection entitled The Coffee Ceremony. With a cleverly secured lid and contrasting elm and walnut wood, this piece perfectly represents the unfailing attention to detail Hugh gives to all of his work, and successfully marries together the utilitarian and decorative aspects of his craft. We are thrilled to be auctioning this generously donated piece.

4. Miranda Sharpe, Petri Nugget Earrings, silver nugget studs with enamelled circular drop – engraved silver, transparent vitreous enamel and 24ct gold foil. Valuation: £120

Techniques: Traditional hand enamelling, 2.7 x 1.6 cm

Miranda Sharpe uses abstraction and simple lines to create her beautiful designs, she takes inspiration from the natural world in widely varying themes, from feathers to microscopic images – these earrings are from the collection entitled Petri. The lustrous blue of the enamel is accented with 24ct gold foil, through a sensitive modulation of colour they catch the eye and are eminently wearable. The silver nugget stud is fixed with a standard post and scroll fastening. A generously donated addition to our auction, we are pleased to have such a stunning example of Miranda’s work on offer.

Artist Talk – Hugh Miller

Tuesday 25 April 2017, 1.30pm

The Athenaeum, Church Alley, Liverpool

As part of Bluecoat Display Centre’s ongoing programme of exciting artist’s talks, the next event will feature furniture maker Hugh Miller. Hugh will speak about his artistic career.

Hugh divides his time between producing his own wooden furniture designs for sale and exhibition and creating bespoke commissions for clients. His original training as an architect is intrinsic to both areas of his work. He combines his understanding of architecture with his love of wood in the design and manufacture of fine furniture. Each piece is designed and handmade in his studio, using beautiful hardwood timbers.

A traditional afternoon tea in the grand setting of The Athenaeum will follow the talk.

This event is open to current and new subscribing Friends of Bluecoat Display Centre and Members of The Athenaeum. Attendees must be over the age of 14.

Guided Visit – John Rylands Library & Whitworth Art Gallery

Thursday 20 April 2017

Meet at College Lane entrance to Bluecoat Display Centre at 9am, returning to Liverpool about 5pm.

We will travel by minibus to the splendid neo-Gothic John Rylands Library on Deansgate, have a hot drink before viewing the building, manuscripts and exhibition ‘Life of Objects’ which highlights objects from the collection linked to famous writers.

We will then go on to the Whitworth Art Gallery, which we last visited after its refurbishment in 2015.

Here we will have a talk on the current textile exhibitions: ‘Revolutionary Textiles 1910-1939’, Barbara Brown, the golden girl of Heal’s Fabrics in 1960s and 1970s: and Lucienne Day ‘A Sense of Growth’ exhibitions.

There will then be the opportunity to look at the permanent collection and special exhibition of prints by Raphael and Marcantonio Raimondi.

Liverbird Walking Tour

Monday 6 March 2017

Meeting at 10.45am at Bluecoat Display Centre.

Join us for a walking tour to explore the many intriguing depictions of liverbirds on buildings at Pier Head and the area around Castle, Water and Dale Streets. We will finish for a drink and light lunch for the thirsty and hungry at Ye Hole in the Wall, reputedly the oldest pub in Liverpool.

The walk will be led by Gill Curry and Linda Jones and we expect it to take approximately an hour and a half.

Artist Talk – Mari-Ruth Oda

Tuesday 28 February 2017, 1.30pm

The Athenaeum, Church Alley, Liverpool

As part of Bluecoat Display Centre’s ongoing programme of exciting artist’s talks, the next event will feature ceramicist Mari-Ruth Oda. Mari will speak about her artistic career.

Mari’s ceramic works are influenced by the traditional Japanese concept of worshiping nature. She tries to recreate her experiences of nature through her work.  Through observational drawings and photographs, she explores the anthropomorphic quality of natural forms. From her studio in Manchester, her ceramics are hand-built through building up layers of coils, manipulating and sculpting the forms.

A traditional afternoon tea in the grand setting of The Athenaeum will follow the talk.

This event is open to current and new subscribing Friends of Bluecoat Display Centre and Members of The Athenaeum. Attendees must be over the age of 14.

Studio Ceramics Valuation Day

Wednesday 25 January 2017, 11am – 4pm