Making Moves Exhibition

Local glass designer Sheldon Cooney creating beakers for his installation and Denise O'Sullivan working on her ceramic sculpture.

Inspirational artworks are to be showcased at Staffordshire University, the premier venue of an exciting new touring exhibition.

Highlights from the innovative Making Moves project will be on display in the foyer of the Flaxman Building, College Road, Stoke, from the 18th February to the 28th March before moving on to the second of six planned exhibitions.

Works by top arts graduates and established craft makers were created during residencies in six different areas of Staffordshire as part of two-year programme of activities.

The programme, supported by Arts Council England, was developed in partnership with the national craft development organization Craftspace, Staffordshire University, Staffordshire Arts and Museum Service, and six local authorities within Staffordshire.

County Councillor Maureen Compton, Cabinet Support Member for Culture and Heritage, said: “Making Moves is a really exciting project. Staffordshire has a wealth of creative talent with some fine up and coming makers.  This exhibition is a fascinating insight into the project, capturing its development, through comments, photographs and the objects which were created”.

The touring exhibition, which is the second phase of the programme following the residencies, includes:

  • Ceramic pieces made by artist Denise O’Sullivan in response to archives of Gladstone Pottery Museum, Stoke-on-Trent.
  • Willow sculptures created by artist Spencer Jenkins for a temporary sculpture trail at Bratch Locks, South Staffordshire.
  • Textile samples from weaver Jan Bowman for the maternity unit at Queens Hospital, Burton upon Trent.
  • Glass beakers by Staffordshire Moorlands based artist Sheldon Cooney produced for the `Great Glass Giveaway’ at Tittesworth Reservoir, near Leek.
  • Paper swimwear by textile and mixed media artist Jennifer Collier in response to the archives and environment of Jubilee Baths, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
  • A steel and glass sample produced for a new window commission by artist Jacqueline Cooley for Lea Hall Miners Club in Rugeley.

A Staffordshire University Crafts graduate joined some of the artists at their residencies, providing them with support, mentoring and professional development training as well as the chance to display their work in the touring exhibition. The graduates involved in the Making Moves project are Jayne Copeland, Jonathon Hand, Sarah Bradshaw and Camilla Freeman.

John Grayson, Award Leader for BA Hons in 3D Design, said: “For the graduates this real life experience is the best thing for them and it gives them a great opportunity to work alongside professionals and learn from them.”

John added that the exhibition will also be an easy access venue for current arts students to view contemporary works from local makers.

He said: “These opportunities and the chances for this real experience while studying makes the course stand out from other institutions.”

Following the exhibition at Staffordshire University the tour will be moving between; Kidsgrove Sports Centre in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Nicholson Institute in Leek, Lea Hall Miners Welfare Centre in Rugeley, Queen's Hospital in Burton upon Trent, and Victoria Hall in Hanley, respectively.

To find out more about the project, and future tour dates, visit: or