Liam has worked as a teacher, potter, artist and curator since 1973. In 1984, along with painter Wendy Jones, he set up Majolica Works. Together they employed the techniques of tin glazed earthenware to produce a range of decorative ceramics which has been exhibited widely in Europe and the USA.
Since 1994 Liam has been involved in a range of public art commissions. Between 1994 and 1998 he led the Northern Quarter Public Art Scheme, commissioning 30 artworks from 16 artists.
In 1999, along with Wendy Jones and Michael Trainor he founded The Art Department, a public art consultancy which has recently developed and managed public art schemes in Oldham and on Blackpool’s New South Shore Promenade. The Great Promenade Show in Blackpool is a two kilometre outdoor gallery including artworks which interact with light, wind and waves. The Art Department has also commissioned Pop Art icon, Sir Peter Blake to make his first public artwork Life as a Circus for Blackpool. Liam’s own contribution to the scheme is a 50 foot tall sculpture known as The Blackpool High Tide Organ, this uses the swell of sea water at high tide to compress air in pipes which in turn sounds a series of musical chords, serenading the high tide. The project connected an unlikely team including, civil and structural engineers, a composer and musical adviser, an astronomer and artists.
In 1999 he helped set up The Department Store, a building which houses artists and arts organisations and provides a range of activities and exhibitions through its newly developed gallery, meeting room and roof garden.
Liam is also an inventor, having created a number of unique items, some of which are currently being developed, he has also made a short film, commissioned and composed music, is a keen amateur pianist and occasional story writer.
A selection of commissions, 1994 -2007
1994: A series of fountains made from found objects, Manchester
1995: Large fountain made from galvanized steel buckets, Manchester City Art Gallery
1996: A Musical Fountain – temporary installation, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester made with the help of plumbing apprentices
1998: A series of floating sculptures for the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
2000: “Made in Oldham” – The scheme comprised 5 artworks by 5 artists from around the country working with local fabricators on artworks. These included a contemporary drinking fountain and a large clock made from LED lights set in stone paving.
2001: Contemporary Chandelier, Oldham Art Gallery
2001: Nautilus Water feature, Oldham Art Gallery
2002: The world’s largest Mirror Ball, Blackpool’s Promenade
2001/2: A series of pyramid CD sculptures entitled “Sound Geometry” made and installed at Whitworth Art Gallery (2001), East Oxford (2002) and Waterford Regional Hospital, Ireland
2002: Whichwood Park – 6 outdoor sculptures, by 6 artists for 6 villages
2002: “East Oxford Transactions”, a short film made with the help of young people about the Cowley Road, shown at the Pegasus Theatre, Oxford.
2003: The Blackpool High Tide Organ installed in May 2003
2004: Time wash – a musical water fountain, Oldham Town centre
2004: A large mural for a new building, Salford
2005: A series of floating sculptures for Liverpool Culture Company
2005: Pavement jewellery, a series of bronze insets, Cowley Road, Oxford
2006: Time Lock, a large sculpture for Salford, collaboration with Michael Trainor
2006: Light weave, a hanging sculpture for the atrium of the St. Peter’s centre, Burnley
2008: Decorative plaques for new flood wall, Carlisle
In addition to the above, The Art Department are developing public art works in collaboration with a number of artists including Bruce McLean, Peter Blake, Allen Jones, Peter Freeman and Ron Hasleden.
Residencies, Awards and Educational projects
1994: Appointed “Artist in Residence” with MCC’s Planning Department, to research ways of helping to develop popular culture in the Northern Quarter, to form links and networks.
1995: Co-founded the Northern Quarter Association.
1996: Set up the Studio in the City project in which young people worked with professional artists through a series of work shops.
1997: Adviser to North West Arts Board
1998: Appointed Lead Concept Artist for the Northern Quarter, a £300,000 public art scheme which produced over 30 works for the area, including Peter Freeman’s Light Tower and David Kemp’s Big Horn
1999: Organised a conference for 45 artists which was the main briefing session for the above scheme.
1999: Awarded the Civic Societies Renaissance Award for the above scheme
1999: Organised “I never promised you a roof garden” – a conference which engaged new developers in a debate about regeneration in the Northern Quarter.
2000: Co-founded The Department Store, an arts based building in the Northern Quarter
Talks, Lectures, Articles and TV appearances
Since 1994, Liam has given various talks for The Arts Council, The Crafts Council, The RIBA and various further educational establishments. He has also appeared in a BBC programme about the musical fountain he built with John Gooding for the Bridgewater Hall, and has delivered a lecture for the Open University. Liam has also produced a number of articles for publications in the UK and abroad.
Majolica Works Work in Public & Private Collections
- Leeds City Art Gallery
- Kelvinside Art Gallery, Glasgow
- Royal Festival Hall, London
- Oldham Art Gallery
- Museum of Folk Art, Los Angeles
- Manchester Royal Exchange Education Collection
- The Harris Museum, Preston
- Manchester City Art Gallery
Majolica Works also features in numerous private collections including that of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Peter Blake, Dame Kiri de Kanwa and David Hockney.
Majolica Works Selected Exhibitions
- 1986: Leeds Design Centre and Craft Gallery -solo show
- 1987: Victoria and Albert Museum, London “New Faces”
- 1988: Renwig Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland.
- 1988: Manchester City Gallery, “Art in Production”
- 1988: Dayton Art Museum, Dayton, Ohio, USA
- 1989: Royal Festival Hall, London “As you like it”
- 1989: CPA gallery, London “Come into the garden”
- 1989: “Majolica Works in Transition” touring exhibition
- 1990: Oldham Art Gallery “Respecting all ornament”
- 1990: J.K.Hill Gallery, London solo show
- 1992: “Chelsea goes to California” Los Angeles
- 1993: South Bank Centre, London “Arts and Crafts to the Avant Garde” (aspects of British Craft 1880 to the present day)
- 1993: Southern Arts touring exhibition
- 1994: “High Table” touring exhibition
- 1997: A New Look at Decorative Art – Manchester City Art Gallery
- 1998: Design For Living – Manchester City Art Gallery
- 1994-2002: Majolica Works have taken part in a number of group shows in Britain and abroad but have since 1994 concentrated on commissioned work.