2019 Events, Talks & Guided Visits

Image (Above): ‘Jane Adam: Never the Same River’ exhibition, on display at the Bdc between 21 September 2019 – 26 October 2019. Photography by Pam Seale.


Meet the Maker – Matthew Harris

Saturday 9 November 2019, 2pm – 4pm

at Bluecoat Display Centre

Our exhibition features Matthew Harris Textiles and Gordon Baldwin ceramics alongside each other. Maker Matthew Harris will be here in the gallery for this special event. This is a unique opportunity to chat with Matt about the works which will be on show. His textile works employ dyeing, cutting and hand stitching.

Annual Gardner-Medwin Lecture 2019 – Jane Adam

Thursday 17 October 2019, 2pm – 4pm

We are delighted this year’s Gardner-Medwin Lecture will be delivered by the internationally recognised jeweller Jane Adam, alongside her solo exhibition at the Bdc, as a highlight of our 60 year anniversary programme.

Jane’s distinctive anodised aluminium jewellery has been available to buy at the bdc for decades and over that time her reputation has grown and her work included in many museums and public collections including the V&A, Crafts Council, Goldsmiths’ Company, National Museums of Scotland, MIMA in Middlesborough and the Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York.

Guided Visit – British Ceramics Biennial 2019

Thursday 10 October 2019

Meet outside Bluecoat Display Centre on College Lane at 8.50am, the minibus will leave Liverpool promptly at 9am.

Following the success of our previous visit two years ago, we are planning a day trip to British Ceramics Biennial (BCB) 2019. This launched in 2009 and showcases contemporary ceramics from around the world. It takes place in Stoke-on-Trent, the heart of the UK ceramics industry, in established venues and non-traditional spaces across the city.

The morning will be spent at the Spode China Hall where we will enjoy coffee followed by a 45 minute talk and tour of this large site. There will be time to explore the work and have a light lunch, (not included in the price).

We will then travel by mini bus to World of Wedgwood Museum to visit the BCB installation 22 Hands, browse and as much of the museum as time allows.

We will leave Stoke at 3pm return to Liverpool by 5pm, so do bring warm coat with you as we found the Spode Hall very chilly, last visit!

Artist Talk – Ruth Ball

Tuesday 24 September 2019, 1.30pm

The Athenaeum, Church Alley, Liverpool

Enamel artist Ruth Ball will speak about her artistic career.

Ruth first spoke at the Athenaeum in 2014 about her practice, she now returns as her career has developed and she has explored new avenues. This includes Ruth’s time as artist in residence at Royal Liverpool University Hospital. This was as part of Bluecoat Display Centre’s outreach programme, Ruth taught printmaking to those living with dementia. This was also a valuable experience for Ruth, as this was her first time working directly with patients and in the hospital environment.

Ruth uses the fusion of glass on metal to produce a diverse collection. These range in scale from fine jewellery pieces and bespoke objects to larger wall based artworks. Items are made as “one-offs” or in small batches as limited editions. Her work can be found in selected gallery outlets and various national and international exhibitions.

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.

Collectors Event

Thursday 5 September 2019, 6pm – 8pm

at the Bluecoat Display Centre

Join us with ‘Re:Collected’ exhibition curator Roger Morris and long-serving Trustee of Display Centre, Peter Woods. Roger & Peter will be in conversation with ceramicists Emma Rodgers and Halima Cassell around the subject of collecting and commissioning contemporary craft. They will explore themes including why and how to begin the journey of collecting, the rewards of collecting and pitfalls to avoid.

Curated with collector Roger Morris, ‘Re:Collected’ explores themes around collecting including the pleasures of collecting, relationships between the special and the everyday, friendships of the journey and the galleries role in facilitating collecting. Exhibitors include Halima Cassell, Carina Ciscato, Chris Keenan, Jim Partridge, Petrel Furniture, Peter Howcroft, Lisa Kronenberg, Clement McAleer, Emma Rodgers, Kaori Tatebayashi, Ed Teasdale and James & Tilla Waters.

“The work being exhibited will reflect my own taste and interests of ceramics, sculpture and furniture but not be chosen too narrowly! There will be a section of work “borrowed back” in the form of pieces purchased from the Bluecoat Display Centre over the last 30 or so years; some will be from my own collection but we are also asking four or five of Display Centre’s other major customers to lend items in order to show a wider range. The rest of the exhibition will, as usual, be available for purchase. All the items for sale will be from makers who are still active, but some will be very established names, some will be young makers who are still developing their practice, and some will be makers whose work I like but which has not been seen at Display Centre before.” – Roger Morris

Meet the Maker – Caroline Gregson

Monday 22 July 2019, 3pm

at the Bluecoat Display Centre

Meet willow artist Caroline Gregson and see her works featured in the ‘Go Eco’ exhibition. She will be here to chat about her influences and how she creates her works using willow which she has grown and harvested herself.

Caroline has been commissioned to make willow sculptures for The Marie Curie Garden at Gardeners’ World Live and RHS Tatton Park Flower Show. Caroline has also made a life size beekeeper and child for the Radiology Courtyard at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital as part of our outreach project. This piece is the legacy arising from her residency working with children, families and staff on one of the surgical wards there over several weeks during the autumn of 2017. There is also a sculpture of a slinking fox made in conjunction with the children and staff on one of the wards installed on the play deck.

The ‘Go Eco’ exhibition features works by makers working with a focus on the environment and sustainability or using recycled materials. It continues until 27 July 2019.

Guided Visit – Artist Studios & Ruthin Craft Centre

Wednesday 19 June 2019

A full and varied day visiting two artists in their studios in North Wales as well as Ruthin Craft Centre to see the current exhibitions.

Meet outside Display Centre, College Lane entrance at 9am. Depart by minibus by 9.10am. Return to Liverpool between 4.30pm – 5pm

We will begin with studio a visit to contemporary printmaker Ruth Thomas (near Ruthin). Ruth will talk about her works and show us the range of her print making techniques.

After refreshments we will continue on our way to Ruthin Craft Centre. There, we will be given a talk by Gallery Director, Phillip Hughes, about the two current textile exhibitions ‘Under your feet, the contemporary rug’ and ‘Primmy Chorley, Another World’, followed by the chance to explore these and the craft shop.

Afterward we will travel a short distance to Verity Pulford’s glass studio. Verity exhibits her work at the Bdc and was also artist in residence at The Walton Centre as part of our Outreach programme.

Thanks to BDC friends Gill Curry and Linda Jones who will lead the trip.

LightNight 2019 – The Ritual of Sharing Food

Friday 17 May 2019, 6.30pm – 7.30pm

at the Bluecoat Display Centre

The city wide festival LightNight is back this year with the theme of ‘Ritual’.

The Bluecoat Display Centre will be exploring this theme by looking at the ritual of sharing food.

Breaking bread with friends and family is very important, as it not only nourishes us both physically and emotionally but it draws people together. Sharing plates of food gives everyone the chance to taste something new, bringing people together in a new shared experience.

How food is presented is also very important in how we experience it, the rituals surrounding the meal and the company at the table with us.

During LightNight 2019 our exhibition ‘New Makers’ will be running and is on until 8 June 2019, featuring work by recent graduates and newly emerging designer makers.

Recent graduate Natalie Moon, an exhibitor in ‘New Makers’ will be here to talk about her contemporary ceramics that challenge our perception of ‘the plate’ and how it is used. Natalie uses her beautiful ceramics to enhance and reinterpret the ritual sharing of food, by creating separate components that can be used in various different ways, making it an interactive experience where the user decides the function and the set.

We will also be joined by Peter Kinsella chef and owner of Lunya and Lunyalita, the fabulous Catalonian deli, restaurant and bar in Manchester and Liverpool. Peter will share his passion for Catalonian and Spanish food with us, and show us how he makes his delicious pinchos – small snacks that are typically served in Spanish bars – perfect for sharing.

Artist Talk – Rachael Howard

Tuesday 30 April 2019, 1.30pm

The Athenaeum, Church Alley, Liverpool

Textile artist and illustrator Rachael Howard will speak about her artistic career.

Rachael first spoke at the Athenaeum in 2014 about her practice, she now returns to show how her career has developed. In particular, Rachael has worked as artist in residence at Royal Liverpool University Hospital as part of Bluecoat Display Centre’s outreach programme, teaching drawing to those living with dementia. This had a significant effect on the patients as they learned a new skill, grew in confidence and became more relaxed. This was also a valuable experience for Rachael, as this was her first time working in the hospital environment.

Rachael is one of the most respected practitioners of narrative textiles. She has pioneered a lively mix of embroidery and screen-printing techniques, using image, text and object to tell stories of the everyday.

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 – Craft & Design at the Walker Art Gallery

Tuesday 26 March 2019, 10am – 12.30pm

Pauline Rushton will give a talk about the Craft & Design Gallery and its fine collection.

After a tea break Ruth Ball, enameller, will give an illustrated talk about her collaborations with the Walker.

Ruth has represented Bluecoat Display Centre at London exhibition COLLECT and worked as Artist in Residence at Royal Liverpool University Hospital organised by Bdc.

Artist Talk – Attila Olah

Tuesday 5 March 2019, 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 Attila Olah. Attila will speak about his artistic career in ceramics and making but also his involvement in creating ice sculptures. He has recently established his own workshop and runs pottery classes at Altar Pottery.

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 – Celebrating Craftsmanship in our City

Thursday 21 February 2019

Join us to explore creative spaces in Liverpool. Meet at the Display Centre at 10.30am for a drink and a talk from the gallery staff about the 6’0@TheBDC’ exhibition, which celebrates the start of Display Centre’s 60th Anniversary year. It features 60 of our makers, with each piece on display being sold at £60.

From here we will take the mini bus to Altar Pottery in Toxteth to meet Attila Olah, who will demonstrate his own ceramic work and talk about his pottery workshop venture.

We will then cross Windsor Street to have a light lunch at Squash Nutrition and hear about their excellent work in the area with creative projects and growing produce.

We expect to finish at about 1.30pm and will make our way back to town or home.