Four artists have been commissioned to work with manufacturers for this year’s National Festival of Making in Blackburn.

The free festival returns to Blackburn on Saturday, July 6, and Sunday 7, and features performances, workshops, talks, exhibitions and markets across Blackburn town centre.

The new commissions pair artists with industrial sector factories, as part of Art in Manufacturing residencies.

Emerging artist/designer Nehal Aamir, who specialises in the storytelling of rituals and realities of contemporary life through creating intricate, hand-painted tiles, is in residence with architectural ceramic experts Darwen Terracotta and Faience.

Lancashire Telegraph: Nehal Aamir is taking part in the festivalNehal Aamir is taking part in the festival (Image: FOM)

Horace Lindezey, a studio ceramicist and textile artist with visual arts charity Venture Arts who support learning disabled artists, will design and develop new work with Blackburn’s The Making Rooms.

He has been making art for more than 30 years.

Margo Selby, awarded the 2021 Turner Medal for Britain’s Greatest Colourist, whose eponymous product ranges are available through national retailers including John Lewis, as well as her woven artworks which are collected and exhibited worldwide, is going into residence with textile printing company, Standfast & Barracks in Lancaster.

Lancashire Telegraph: Horace LindezeyHorace Lindezey (Image: FOM)

Artist, public art curator and producer Sam Williams, known for her playable installations, is working with state-of-the-art packaging plant The Cardboard Box Company, Accrington.

Since Art in Manufacturing began in 2016, 31 artists have been commissioned to work with 24 artisan makers and manufacturers, often with groundbreaking and diverse results. 

The residencies take place between November and July, culminating in a celebration of new collaborative installations at the National Festival of Making and are an opportunity for the manufacturers to reveal the expertise that has led to them being at the forefront of their industries.

Lancashire Telegraph: Sam WilliamsSam Williams (Image: FOM)

Curator of the Art in Manufacturing programme and Co-Director of the National Festival of Making, Elena Jackson said: “I am always blown away by the standard of proposals that we get from artists to take part in Art in Manufacturing.

"We know that being able to work in and with the expert teams in each factory is a unique and valuable opportunity for artists, offering them more than just a chance to create new work. 

“By being able to collaborate with a highly skilled manufacturing workforce, there is a mutual sharing of talents, of experience, and of knowledge that results in exciting installations only possible because of these inspirational partnerships that span art and industry.

Lancashire Telegraph: Margo SelbyMargo Selby (Image: Carmel king)

"This year’s artists and manufacturers bring their own contrasting specialisms and backgrounds to the programme and we can’t wait to see the results.”

Nehal Aamir
Born in Pakistan and now living in Manchester, Nehal Aamir's work represents her multicultural background and experiences as a Muslim woman.

With a fascination with craft and its traditional techniques, her work is a fusion of her roots with an attraction for rich British culture through colour and hand-painted surfaces.

Horace Lindezey 
Horace has been a practising artist for over 30 years. He is a skilled illustrator, textile artist, sculptor and ceramicist.

Much of Horace’s work depicts the world around him, his family and memories of his childhood growing up in Hulme and Moss Side, Manchester.

In October 2022, Horace exhibited work in YESS LAD, a group exhibition of eight Venture Arts artists showing together for the first time in London at TJ Boulting, during Frieze.

Margo Selby
Margo is a British textile artist and designer of woven textiles working with colour and geometric form.

She studied at Chelsea College and the RCA, graduating in 2001. Margo has established an expansive approach to working in textiles – across art, design and industry.

Sam Williams
Sam imagines a world where physical limitations and perceived wisdom operate in flux. 

Her work draws from her childhood experience growing up in a local theme park, Drayton Manor, where her family (and later she) worked.