An exhibition celebrating the skill and vitality of Ireland’s craft makers
The Made in Ireland exhibition has gathered together the largest visual and sensory feast of fresh ideas and craftsmanship that has been seen in Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny and offers an insight into current activity in skilled making on a national scale.
It is not only reflective of the skills of our community of makers, but it also celebrates work by different generations of the same family, and by collaborative groups and partnerships – it demonstrates the importance of passing on skills, of cross-pollination and innovation. It is a true and enriching representation of the fabric of the Irish craft and design sector, incorporating the work of over 100 makers from all regions of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Project team of Made in Ireland, Mary Gallagher, Hilary Morley and Stephen O’Connell said: “It is our hope that Made in Ireland will engage with diverse audiences and build understanding of craft, design and material culture. In a desert of digital and mass manufacture, we find this oasis of making – a tangible link to the materials and traditions of this island, to its colour, its landscape and its people.”
The exhibition which launched on 5th November, was borne out of a proposal made by the project team to the Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) biennial call for exhibitions. Their aim was to bring together a snapshot of what is happening in skilled making in Ireland, to create an exhibition that is ‘big and eclectic but also surprising, joyful, and inspirational’. The open callout attracted over 420 applicants to the juried process.
Exhibitors include makers of international renown as well as young, emerging artists and those who have practised quietly in areas of the country such as Clare Island, West Cork and the North Antrim Coast. Some are members of Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s Portfolio Critical Selection, while others are highly skilled makers who practise away from the spotlight and national competition.
Rosemary Steen, CEO of Design & Crafts Council Ireland
“The past twenty months of closures have been a difficult time for our makers, and opportunities to show craft have been reduced, which makes Made in Ireland all the more timely. During this time the public have engaged more with the sustainability and authenticity of craft. Guilds, Associations, Networks and Societies (GANS) are at the heart of Design & Crafts Council Ireland and we look forward to continuing to support the development of technical and business skills, creating opportunities and promoting craft in Ireland through the work of our dedicated team.”
A full list of exhibitors can be viewed on https://www.ndcg.ie/exhibitions/made-in-ireland. All pieces in the exhibition are for sale.
The exhibition will run in the National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny until 30 January 2022. From there it will tour to Farmleigh Gallery, Phoenix Park, Dublin: 1 July – 28 August 2022; and to FE McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge, Northern Ireland in Autumn 2022.