University's historic ceramics offer inspiration to local artists


A new exhibition at the University of Leeds will see ceramic artworks made by customers from a local centre for people with disabilities sit alongside some of Yorkshire's most historic ceramic art.

The exhibiting local artists, all of whom have an acquired brain injury, participated in a ceramics class run by tutor and artist Sally Bradley at Leeds City Council's Osmondthorpe Resource Centre.

Members of the class visited the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery at the University of Leeds to gain inspiration for their creations, which will now also be on display in the same gallery until 24th June 2011.

The gallery is open Monday to Saturday, between 10-5pm and admission is free.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council's executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said: "This project has been a fantastic experience for our customers, building on their confidence and helping them to express themselves creatively.

"Having their work exhibited in the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery is something that they should be extremely proud of, and I hope that it will encourage them to continue to use their new skills in the future."

 The exhibition was borne out of a unique collaboration between medical research, art practice and community work. The ceramic art project was initiated by a BSc Primary Care student, Elinor Harris, from the University of Leeds. Her research explores the experiences that these artists have of planning, creating and exhibiting their artwork. To enable this, she collaborated with both the Osmondthorpe Resource Centre and the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery for this project.

One participant, Peter Vasey, created his 'Blue and White Plate' of white earthenware with blue decoration, inspired by plates he saw on the group's visit to the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery. After designing and creating the plate itself, Peter painted it with his own design in shades of blue.

Two of the artists were inspired by the Gallery's 'Yorkshire mug' to create their own versions. Michael Dawson created 'Bully Mug,' of white earthenware with decoration showing English Bull Terriers, which are a large part of Michael's life. He studied pictures of them and drew his design freehand onto the biscuit fired mug. Winston Whiteley made a 'Triceratops Mug' inspired by his interest in dinosaurs.

Osmondthorpe Resource Centre provides a range of services for people with a physical and/or sensory impairment, specialising in acquired brain injuries. These services include, amongst other things, life coaching, access to qualifications, confidence building, relaxation techniques, art workshops, counselling, social inclusion and emotional and peer support. The centre is dedicated to offering such an invaluable support network for its customers.

Notes to Editors:

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email


Layla Bloom
t: 0113 343 2778 e:


10.00 - 17.00, Mon-Saturday
Admission: Free


The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Parkinson Building, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT
Tel: +44 (0)113 3432778
Fax: +44 (0)113 3435561

The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery is an accredited art museum at the heart of the University of Leeds campus, refurbished in 2008 with funds from the Audrey & Stanley Burton Charitable Trust. The Gallery offers both a programme of temporary exhibitions and a display of selected treasures from the University Art Collection. Accumulated over more than a hundred years, the Collection consists mainly of European, principally British paintings, drawings and prints, dating from the 17th century up to the present day, with small collections of sculpture, ceramics, and photographs. Outstanding elements are the Sadler Gift of early 20th-century British art, the collections of drawings and paintings by artists of the Camden Town and Bloomsbury groups and their contemporaries, and works by former Gregory Fellows in Painting and Sculpture, and the gift of works from the late Stanley & Audrey Burton's personal collection of 20th century British art.