I am so going to this!! Hanggai
I’ll be blogging on the Craft Strand, and an exciting theme in the strand this year is literature & books.
Modified Expression will be on at The National Craft Gallery, with a range of makers responding to the theme.
Here’s one of them with a rather otherworldly video done in the Dublin suburbs last winter- calligraphy in the snow by Denis Brown, The Real Quill Skill
There will be bookbinding workshops, papercraft workshops and birdsong related workshops for the kids all at the National Craft Gallery.
For the adults, ‘How Happy For The Little Birds’ is a musical programme connected to the crafts works from Lorna Donlon on display in the Castle Yard- a response to the musical repertoire.
There will also be an artists’ talk in the National Craft Gallery, and an early evening Celebration of the Year Of Craft .
Clive Nunn is one of the makers who’ll be showing in Grennan Mill. Check out the others by clicking here & scrolling down to where the listings are for ‘Other Selections.’ There are plenty to see!
So there’s a small taste of the Festival. It is well worth going to; nothing is expensive, much is free, and Kilkenny is a lovely, small city- easy to get around on foot. Take some time out, check all the listings, & plan to enjoy some fun, unusual, thought provoking & beautiful exhibits and events. See you there!
If you love seeing beautiful things, wonderfully made & with interesting stories behind them, I highly recommend visiting The National Craft Gallery. We’ve been several times this year and have loved each show. ( For other posts on the visits, click here.) Also call over to the Butler Gallery across the road in Kilkenny castle. We just went to the opening of their new youth curated show ‘From Us, Through Them, To You’ and really enjoyed it! A post on that coming soon, with video!
Have YOU seen any great Irish based craft or art lately? Tell us about it in the comments section, go on, go on, go on! 🙂
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Cushendale Woolen Mill soft throws
One of the hidden treasures on the Kilkenny Craft Trail is the Cushendale Woolen Mill, tucked away on a hill by the little gurgling river Duiske in Graignamanagh. Here the Cushen family continue the 800+ yr old tradition of woolen mills in Graig: their website tells us:
After the Craft Gallery, we headed across the street to Kilkenny Castle, where a brand new exhibit, Vera Klute‘s ‘Blindganger’ was having its opening in the Butler Gallery. We loved it, and I’m going to re-visit when it is not so busy. I have to miss the discussion on the show this Friday 13 May, but do go if you can- is free and at 1pm at the gallery. I think the exhibit is quite interesting- with some lovely drawing as well as video & sculpture, its playfulness and slight ‘icky’ factor to some pieces should appeal to school children as well; a great way to introduce them to gallerys/art.
Hungry, we made our way over to Stonehouse bookshop for Edward Hayden’s Food To Love
cookery book demo. Foolishly, we 1st stopped off at Homemade & ate tasty spelt baugettes, drank fab coffee and ate fantastic buns. I say foolishly, because the very entertaining Edward made lemon cheesecake, multiseed scones, and chocolate biscuit cake & then shared them with the audience! We were too full of sweet overload to try them all- though we did manage a yummy nibble of scone!
Once again Kilkenny satiated our appetites, cultural and stomach-al 😉
Disclamer: buns photos not at the bottom of blog- Blogger will only put the photos of them on the top! So I’ve added them to the Foodspotting bar at the top right side of the blog.
‘Untitled 10’ Rowan Mersh
(I took this photo, & the ones following at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny)
Kilkenny is known as the craft capital of Ireland, a title I think it deserves. (Disclosure- I live here!) But I also think of it as the arts capital of rural Ireland; especially with exhibitions like this one- Jerwood Contemporary Makers, at the (free!) National Craft Gallery until 8 March. It blurs the line between art & craft. Now, I’ll confess right here that I am not an art scholar, nor an artist or craftsperson- I’m just someone who enjoys– so I’m not going into intellectual (or even informed!) discussion about ”is there a/what is the difference between art & craft.” (If you are interested in that discussion, like me, you can head to this free event over at the Butler Gallery on 3 March, which should be quite good.)
Many of the pieces on display were incredibly tempting to touch- so many textures & materials inviting a stroke,
‘Willow Pattern with Uncertainty’ Robert Dawson
a follow with a finger along a bumpy surface,
‘Surface Form’ Laura Ellen Bacon
or even the slipping in of a foot into a modern Cinderella shoe.
‘Rotationalmouldedshoe’ Marloes ten Bhomer
I’ve a lovely camera phone, but there were things it couldn’t quite capture, like the fabulous birds in Karon Nicol’s‘Scribble’ lace piece. (Click her link & click then on ‘lace’ to see it.)
This necklace piece by Nora Fok, ‘ Disc-florets, ‘ fared a bit better on my phone. It was mesmerizing in person.
I took a few photos of a piece where there was a rather amusing surprise. I’ve decided not to post them, because I don’t want to ruin it for you! Maybe I shouldn’t even mention it…
I’ll just say it was by Tony Hayward, & the way the piece was placed meant that I had already formed a mental image of what it would be as I approached, & didn’t see the surprise straight away. If you won’t be going to the show and you’d like to see what the piece was, click here and then click here. This second click will also tell you more about the piece/series.
Year of Craft 2011
I recommend the show- there is a nice variety, so I believe most anyone will find things they enjoy. You can then also go just across the street to Kilkenny Castle, where you’ll also find The Butler Gallery- where you can see Elemental, an exhibition by Alan Counihan. (On til 6 March.) Coming on show next in the National Craft Gallery will be Irish Craft Portfolio craftwork, also part of the nationwide events, craft trails, & shows all part of Ireland’s exciting Year of Craft 2011. So, although I’ve bragged that Kilkenny is the Irish capital of craft, there’s plenty elsewhere in the country- click the Year of Craft link to see! And enjoy!!