Steve Dixon

Stephen Dixon is Professor of Contemporary Crafts at Manchester School of Art, investigating contemporary narratives in ceramics. Specific research interests include the British satirical tradition (in both printmaking and ceramics), commemorative wares and ‘pop’ culture, and the development of socio-political narratives in contemporary ceramics.

His work features in numerous public and private collections, including the Museum of Arts & Design, New York, the British Council, the Crafts Council, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Royal Museum of Scotland, and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

Dixon studied Fine Art at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Ceramics at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1986. Early exhibitions in London with Contemporary Applied Arts and the Crafts Council established a reputation for ceramics with a biting political and social satire.

Dixon combines his studio ceramic practice with regular forays into public and community arts; In 2000 he received an Arts Council Year of the Artist award for ‘Asylum’, a collaborative project with Amnesty International U.K. and Kosovan refugees.
He curated the exhibition ‘200 Years: Slavery Now’ in 2007, exploring issues of contemporary slavery in the year of the Bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade.

Steve Dixon was a Trustee of the Crafts Council from 2009 to 2013, and was a member of the Art and Design sub-panel for HEFCE REF 2014.

Alison Welsh

Alison is Head of Fashion Research at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Alison’s research is practice-led, developing and testing collaborative models for sustainable craft practices through field research in India. Alison has collaborated with HEI’s, NGO’s and individual crafts workers in India, in a series of projects that have built incrementally and contributed to social and economic impacts on the crafts workers of Gujarat. These projects are primarily disseminated through public exhibition, both nationally and internationally.

Alison is also a trustee of Graduate Fashion Week which, is one of the world’s most important sources of new talent for the global design industry. Fashion supports 797,000 jobs domestically alone, contributing £26 billion to the economy. Graduate Fashion Week is a crucial part of the dynamic – fuelling innovation in all parts of the fashion business.