Sharon Bainbridge

Sharon is the Short Courses Manager and module leader for Practice 1 & 2 on the MA in Creative Practice. She is also a module leader on the new MA Curatorial Practices. A graduate in Law, Sharon retrained within the fields of textiles and millinery in the 1990s. Her Masters at Manchester School of Art examined the curatorial in fashion, textiles and interdisciplinary practice. Sharon’s teaching experience has been wide ranging from primary to Further Education, undergraduate and postgraduate. As Course Leader of Millinery at Leeds Arts University she developed the programme to support innovative future milliners looking to create new businesses. This was achieved through extensive live projects, collaborative enterprises and sustainable design development. Sharon has exhibited nationally and internationally, a Hat Designer of the Year finalist several times, she was awarded a Medal of Excellence and Practitioner of the Year from City & Guilds.

Her research interests explore the collaborative possibilities and pathways between industry, museums, archives and academic institutions. Sharon enquires into ways to create strong links that are transparent and beneficial to all parties. She recently completed an intensive European research project supported by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship, investigating niche textiles and millinery museums and archives. This work is ongoing and will generate further research data that will be the basis of a future doctorate.

Sharon is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Winston Churchill Fellow and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Practitioner Journal Publications

Bainbridge, S. and Sykes, J ‘The re-emergence of the staff exhibition at LCA’. AD article 11.2015 Bainbridge, S. Critical Review of ‘What is Craft’ at The Hub .Craft Magazine 2004

Bainbridge, S Exhibition Review The Hat Magazine 2008

Conference Presentations

The Museum and the Maker, Exploring Sustainable models of education within Craft. Sustainability Symposium Leeds Arts University 15 October 2016

The Art School as a place for lifelong learning, at Art School Educated, NAEA , Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 14 May 2016

From Fibre to Fabric: a new point of reference – Rethinking Textiles Conference, University of Leeds, Leeds 17 May 2016

Creating innovative new learning perspectives on Yorkshire’s Wool heritage through collaborative practice: ESREA Access, Learning Careers and Identities Network, University of Seville. Continuity and Discontinuity in Learning Careers: Potentials for a Learning Space in a Changing World 25-17 November 2015

The milliner’s apprentice: Twenty first century craft education mirroring the past and offering entrepreneurial and innovative education: ESREA Access, Learning Careers and Identities Network, University of Seville. Continuity and Discontinuity in Learning Careers: Potentials for a Learning Space in a Changing World 25-17 November 2015

The Process Continues: Staff Exhibitions and the Art Education Archive: Teacher’s University Columbia University, New York, Brushes with History conference 19-22 November 2015

The Process Continues – Staff Exhibitions as Collaborative Practice: Art Research as Practice, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas as part of Texas Art School Association (TASA). 30 September – 3 October 2015

Research in Practice: Cleveland University of Art Research Day October 2015

The Continuing Process Continues: Collaborative working within a small specialist art & design institution: Co-presented paper with S. Broadhead, J. Sykes, “Organization & Collaborative Practices in the Arts” stream for the 9th Critical Management Studies Conference at the University of Leicester, Leicester 8-10 July 2015

From Fibre to Fabric: can the industrial entrepreneurs of the past inspire new enterprising designers? : The Enterprise of Culture’s fourth project event Entrepreneurship in Fashion: student, academic and industry perspectives. 4-6 March 2015. Online here

Fibre to Fabric :Transition – Rethinking Textiles and Surfaces, Entrepreneurial strand Huddersfield University, Huddersfield 26 – 27 November 2014. Online here

Millinery in the Museum: Fashion Thinking Conference, University of South Denmark, Kolding, Denmark 29 October – 2 November 2014. Online here

The role of the research champion in a new HEI: Cleveland University of Art & Design. October 2014 Collaboration in Practice – Wool Yorkshire: Leeds Arts University Research Dissemination event June 2014

A ‘Novel’ in 15 words: Milliner seeks identity and authenticity with aspirations of craft and art practice within a niche. (After Felix Feneon 1861-1944): Fashion in Fiction Conference City University Hong Kong 16-19 June 2014

Fibre to Fabric – Interdisciplinary inclusion: Inclusivity in Art and Design Education, Leeds Arts University, May 2014

Creating Navigable maps for Sustainable Collaboration:Creative Arts and Creative Industries - Collaboration in Practice Conference at Manchester Metropolitan University June 2013

Invited Speaker Presentations

Felt and Millinery Key note speaker: International Feltmakers Association AGM, Stockport, 9 April 2016

How archives can be brought into the studio: The Textile Society’s Manchester Textile Fair, Manchester 6 March 2016

Exhibitions Curated

Co-Curated The Process Continues’ exhibition and symposium, featuring work from 23 members of staff from across the University in response to the question ‘How do you use archives in your practice and teaching?’ The exhibition featured loaned pieces from the National Art Education Archive at Yorkshire Sculpture Park and heralded their 30 year anniversary December 2014. Online here

Making Headway – Hat Works, Stockport. Volunteer Curator on an Arts Council funded project looking at entrepreneurship in craft today May – December 2014

Fashion in Context – Leeds Art Gallery February 2014

Fibre to Fabric, Knitting & Stitching Show International Exhibition Centre, Harrogate November 2013

Fibre to Fabric: SIL Holdings/ Wool Week exhibition, an interdisciplinary project working with a local woollen and worsted manufacturer. Victoria Quarter and Harvey Nichols, Leeds. October 2013

Lock Hatters - Unpicking a hatting dynasty : Hat Works Stockport, the first private company exhibition that the museum had delivered. The project led to Lock Hatters sourcing an archivist to manage their collections more effectively and to develop a millinery competition for current makers. August 2013-March 2014

Spectacular Hats : Charity Alumni selling exhibition at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire. May 2013.

Redesigning Fashion : Hat Works, Stockport Curated a collaborative, interdisciplinary exhibition January 2013 – June 2013

Hot Heads - Inspirational British Millinery: Hat Works, Stockport., Including P Treacy and S Jones creating the branding, look and design and the Private view. July 2012 – January 2013

Trends of Trimmings – Hat Works, Stockport: an exhibition linking current milliners, manufacturers with museum collection pieces January 2012 - June 2012

Not any old Hat - Bankfield Museum, Halifax– Devised with curatorial team, exhibition based on museum collection and Northern designers interpretation of the collection March – August 2010

Design4Life V&A project exhibition at LCA and Leeds City Museum, featuring participants from local schools. February 2010

Millinery Miscellany – Bankfield Museum, Halifax– Devised exhibition of Northern milliners, accessioned and curated all work. September – December 2009


The Radical Decade: Leeds Arts University, Leeds 9 December 2016

The Process Continues Symposium: Leeds Arts University, key note from Chris Owen, Head of Art & Design at Anglia Ruskin University. Nine speakers looked at topics ranging from working with archives, art education now and the work of Tom Hudson. Showed LCA commissioned film, When Tom went to Brazil 13 March 2015

Exhibited Work

2015 20:20 Print Exchange exhibition - etched prints

2014 Musee du Chapeau, Chazelles sur Lyon – ‘Architecture’ Exhibition

2013 20:20 Print Exchange - Etched prints in touring exhibition

2012 20:20 Print Exchange - Collographic prints in touring exhibition

2012 Felt Piece from The Clearings of Scotland exhibition in Trends of Trimmings and purchased by museum Hat Works, Stockport

2011 20:20 Print Exchange - Collographic prints in touring exhibition

2011 Fast Fashion – Holden Gallery, Manchester. MA work featured in the Fine Art show and the Week 2 Design Show

2011 Musee du Chapeau, Chazelles sur Lyon – ‘Nomadic’ Exhibition

2010 Museum Opening – Platt Hall, Manchester – Commissioned piece on suffragettes now in museum collection

2010 Ruffled Feathers – Lotherton Hall, Leeds – commissioned piece by Leeds City Museum, now in museum collection

2009 Musee du Chapeau, Chazelles sur Lyon – ‘Freetime’ exhibition, winner of Public Vote

2008 The Clearings of Scotland – Hat Works, Stockport – Solo Exhibition

2007 Musee du Chapeau, Chazelles sur Lyon – ‘Contrast’ Exhibition

11.2006 ‘What is Craft’ Inaugural exhibition at The Hub, Lincolnshire

2003 Olympia London - Hat Designer of the Year