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Craft Goes Pop!

Craft Goes Pop! / Saturday 24th January 2015 - Saturday 7th March 2015

Craft Goes Pop is a celebration of The Pop Art movement which emerged during the 1950s reflecting upon themes of popular culture, mass media, consumerism, means of production and bold colour statements. Contemporary artists of the time, such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Peter Blake and a host of others, created iconic works in a Fine Art context, from comic strips to depictions of Marilyn Monroe. Pop Art emphasized ‘kitsch’ and played with the notion of irony. This exhibition will revisit the Pop Art movement through contemporary craft, bringing together a neon mix of works made by hand by various designer/makers working in a range of craft media.

Private View: Friday 23rd January, 5.30 – 7.30pm.

Featuring works by Lucy FoakesKate GormanRachael Howard, Jeanne-Marie KennyHolly Levell, Sarah Packington, Anais Paulard, Iain PerryTaz PollardNatalka Melnyk and Christine Toh.

(Curated by Frances Gill, Gallery Officer at Bluecoat Display Centre.)

For further information and images please contact Frances Gill via email at crafts@bluecoatdisplaycentre.com or call 0151 709 4014.



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“I design and make innovative, bold, mixed media jewellery for people who want to stand out from the crowd. This ranges from smaller pieces suitable for everyday, to statement, wearable art pieces.

I take my inspiration from a wide range of sources from the natural world to high fashion and from contemporary art to heavy industry. Arching over all my work is an interest in tribal and folk art and decoration from across the globe.

Having followed dreams which took me away from my native County Durham (and as far afield as Tokyo) I have now returned to my roots, living and working on the street where I grew up and letting my imagination run wild designing my jewellery.”

– Kate Gorman

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Rachael has been a successful practising textile artist and designer since leaving the Royal College of Art in 1992 as one of the first post graduate students of Embroidery.  Since then, she has become one of its most respected practitioners and one of our foremost narrative textile artists.  Her graphic, lively sketches of everyday life typify her powers of observation and knack for catching the moment.  She has pioneered a lively mix of embroidery and screen-printing techniques, using image, text and object to tell – often autobiographical – stories of the everyday.

Rachael regularly exhibits her work nationally and internationally.  In 1998 she had her first monograph with Ruthin Craft Centre – a “phenomenally successful” show, which toured nationally for 2 years, with the final destination at the Geffrye Museum, Hackney, London where 32,500 people visited the show.  She recently had a solo show of new work titled, “Lost and Found” at the National Trusts’ Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, 2012.  Rachael is a committee member of the highly regarded 62 Group of Textile Artists; they have an active exhibiting program, with a forthcoming 2013 show in Tokyo, Japan.  Rachael has been involved in a variety of public art commissions from cushions for benches in Newbury Library to a wall-hanging for the Museum of Science and Industry in Berlin.  She also has worked as a freelance designer and illustrator for companies including Paul Smith, Habitat, Liberty and magazines such as Selvedge.  She has her own collections of ties and interior accessories which she sells at events such as the Crafts Councils’ Origin Fair.

Rachael has been visiting lecturer at many universities and colleges in the UK and abroad including MMU, Goldsmiths and Central St Martin’s.  She has received awards for her work and teaching, in 1997 she was shortlisted for the prestigious Jerwood Prize for Applied Arts and won the Artworks Award for Art in Education in 2003 and 2004, when she was artist in residence at Lauriston Primary School in her then home town of Hackney.  This lead on to a live appearance on children’s TV, she is also a featured artist in the BBC Education series The Art of Drawing.

Rachael recently relocated to Wirral, after living nearly 20 years in the creative hub of Hackney, East London.  Since arriving on the Wirral, Rachael has lead workshops for The Big Draw and outreach art workshops in the local community.

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Taz is a contemporary British designer-maker who creates quirky, vibrant ceramics by hand. Her striking pieces are a fantastic way of introducing colour into the home. With the trend towards neon brights for the interior home this year, accent pieces like Taz’s Lunar jars can achieve this look without having to change the entire interior of the home.

Taz’s ceramics may appear to be ultra-modern, however her work is heavily influenced by a fascination of traditional ceramics. She plays with iconic pottery forms (such as baluster jugs, pancheons and costrels) giving them a twenty first century twist, a bright glaze, a plastic handle or a plastic ceramic hybrid.

“From traditional beginnings my work re-defines the value we place on everyday objects making them extra-ordinary”. – Taz Pollard 2014


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“Lego has been in our lives for many years and my aim is to find a way to carry this connection through into our adulthood. As a result I have made Lego jewellery and bowls.

I have always loved melting thing, not knowing what the outcome will be.”

– Natalka Melnyk


Degree Show – June 2013
New Designers -July 2013
Royal Exchange Theatre, craft shop – Jan-Feb 2014
Royal Exchange Theatre, craft shop – May- June 2014

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“The aim of my work is to challenge people’s emotions and relations by creating interactive pieces which connect the wearer, the viewer and the object. My jewellery explores our emotional states and their effects on others. By spreading pigments, blowing polystyrene beads and leaking ink, my work comes alive, leaving the marks and traces of our feelings behind us.

I like to experiment with unusual and alternative materials mixed with traditional jewellery skills. In the present day, I feel it’s important to open our minds to a different way of creating wearable pieces in order to bring something new and exciting. Jewellery is a travelling art, a wonderful way to bring and share art with people.

My Moody Tubes collection is made of copper pipes; spray paint; varnish and filled up with (washable) bright pigments. They are for happy people who want to share their joy and make others smile.

The “Dream Drawings” collection is based on intuitive drawings. After putting my mood and my feelings onto paper, I started making 3D pieces playing with computer software and different materials. The jewellery is the final outcomes of my creative process.

Colours are often associated with emotions, but also with personalities. What is yours? Express your feelings, tell us your mood!”


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“My work is originally inspired by canopic jars, which held vital organs of the deceased Pharaohs in Ancient Egyptian tradition. The liver, lings, intestines and stomach were removed from the body and preserved separately. The lids of these jars were shaped like the head of a god guarding each organ.”

“Drawing ideas from modern day obsession with fame, I make ‘contemporary canopic jars’ which commemorate the lives of celebrities, specifically relating to the organs causing their death.”

“I combine traditional techniques and cutting edge processes. The contrast of ceramics and water jet cut steel complements the differences between themes of Ancient Egypt and modern fame explored in my work.”

“I have also created a group of canopic jars. ‘Can-opic’ is a metaphorical brand of fizzy drink for Pharaohs in the afterlife. Available in many flavours including liver, lungs, intestines and stomach.” – Lucy Foakes

Lucy’s display of ceramic vessels and cans were featured at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair 2013.”

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Jeanne-Marie creates three dimensional, decorative boxes:

Inspired by Fabergé  Eggs, I make each box from recycled offcuts of mounting board, paper and glue. I layer images from various sources, mainly magazines including fashion, art, home décor, and National Geographics. The inside is as important as the outside and no two boxes are the same.” – Jeanne Marie Kenny

Originally from South Carolina, Jeanne-Marie studied printmaking at the University of South Carolina where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1994. After living in the UK for several years, she returned to the US to study painting at the University of Memphis where she completed her Master of Fine Arts degree in 2004. She is now based at the Bluecoat in Liverpool.


November 2012 ING Discerning Eye – group show, London, UK

September – November 2012 This Wild Kingdom – solo show, 69A Intandane, Liverpool, UK

September – November 2012 Zoological Society – solo show, A La Mode at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, UK

September – November 2010 – Dolls in the Dream House, Independents Biennial solo installation, 69A Intandane, Liverpool.

May 2006 – We Stopped at Perfect Days – Solo show, Arena Gallery, Liverpool, UK

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“I am a textile artist who specialises in the everyday through my textile sculptures, softening the lines of a usually solid idea.

I’m inspired by our surroundings and the unnoticed aspects of life and how as an artist I can alter the status and meaning of objects with my unique textile craft technique.

My current work comes from exploring ideas for the objects which feature in our day to day lives. I began to focus on shopping and began stitching a flat bean can in my room, it made me think ‘I wonder if I can make this completely from stitched textiles?’. Supermarket stitch had begun!

In the past year ,since graduating, I have been continuing my work and expanding my range of soft sculptures from my mum’s kitchen table at home in Neston.

Initially I had no idea how to go about creating my sculptures, so it was a case of trial and error and still is to this day! All of the objects have been taken apart and re-sewn at least 10 times until I get the end result of a piece of flat fabric resembling it’s real life counterpart.”

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Print Garage is the dark and dusty underground lair of Iain Perry: self-styled, swashbuckling squeegee warrior.

“I create vibrant screen prints investigating the minutiae of my surroundings.

I draw inspiration from old technology, tools and toys, cinema, record sleeves and the world of science. Originally trained in painting I have since discovered that screen printing is a million, billion, trillion (all the ‘illions’) times more fun – I have found there can be a real joy in repetition.”

– Iain Perry

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“I am a multi-media French artist living in Liverpool. The development of my work is closely linked with the exploration of new processes and materials. Use of text and colours have always been a strong inspiration and key elements of my work. Last year I learned how to use a laser cutter at ‘DOES’, (a fantastic non-profit community organisation, supporting local entrepreneurs and makers.) It led me to develop this new series of pendants titled, ‘Fleurs d’Amour’ or ‘Flowers of Love’. The pendants have been designed from the word “amour“ (love) written in a circle as a message of eternity. They are made of acrylic, laser cut and presented with a background of digitally printed papers. They are presented in a special case, which could also be framed. Each piece is unique and individually made with attention to detail. A vibrant and dazzling colour palate has been chosen to inspire freshness, optimism, and fun. These pendants will hopefully provide pleasure to the wearer. When displayed together, the ‘Fleurs d’Amour’ will remind you of Andy Warhol’s iconic ‘Flower Series’ designed in the sixites. The reference to Andy Warhol emphasizes how Pop Art ideas are very much part of our world today.”

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