Conjuring Form Exhibition Opens At The National Design & Craft Gallery

Posted 29.07.22


On Friday, 5th August, Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) welcomes Minister Malcolm Noonan TD, Minister 

For Heritage and Electoral Reform to launch the Conjuring Form exhibition at its National Design & Craft Gallery. 

DCCI will unveil its new publication celebrating 50 years of Irish craft, Irish Craft Heroes, as well as 

announcing the 2022 RDS Irish Craft Bursary recipient at the exhibition opening.  

Speaking ahead of the event, CEO of DCCI Rosemary Steen, said: ‘This exhibition of beautiful work, together with the Irish Craft Heroes publication and the RDS Irish Craft Bursary, showcases the growing impact of Irish design and craft nationally but also internationally. It demonstrates the strong heritage of this sector and encourages future talent to grow their skills. I am delighted to be joined by the RDS to recognise the importance of the role of craft and design in shaping Ireland’s future economically, culturally, and socially. I hope all these activities further generate even greater public and government support for these important sectors.’ 


Conjuring Form  

Opening at 3pm on Friday, 5th August, Conjuring Form is an exhibition of work from 38 makers in Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s PORTFOLIO Critical Selection 2021/22. The exhibition is curated by Alice Stori Liechtenstein, founder of Schloss Hollenegg for Design.  

PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection is a biennial publication of leading Irish contemporary design and craft with makers selected by an international expert panel for achieving excellence by comparative world-wide standards.  These makers are an example of leading Irish contemporary design and craft, as they illustrate a deep understanding of their respective techniques, materials and mastery used to conjure form. Each has reached their highest standard of practice through years of refinement. 

Conjuring Form takes place at the National Design & Craft Gallery, Castle Yard, Kilkenny from Friday, 5th August to Saturday, 15th October. The exhibition is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5.30pm. 


Irish Craft Heroes Publication 

The Irish Craft Heroes initiative marks DCCI’s 50th anniversary supporting and celebrating makers since 1971. It includes an outdoor touring exhibition trail and a beautifully produced hardback publication, entitled Irish Craft Heroes, which also launches at the National Design & Craft Gallery on Friday, 5th August. Irish Craft Heroes celebrates 50 Heroes, 50 Champions and 10 Future Lights who have significantly contributed to the evolution of Irish craft over the last 50 years. The hardback publication includes stunning images of work, and a timeline of key developments, as well as essays written by five of Ireland’s leading craft writers and historians, who were commissioned to examine the history of the period through different lenses.  

As Design & Crafts Council Ireland looks forward to its second half century, the Irish Craft Heroes book is a rich and insightful compilation of Irish craft in all its forms, and of the many innovative people who have contributed to the ongoing evolution of Ireland’s cherished traditions of craft and enterprise.  

Published by Third Age Books, an imprint of Liberties Press, the Irish Craft Heroes publication was designed by We Make Visual and printed in Ireland by Colorman, Dublin. The Irish Craft Heroes book is available to purchase from Friday, 5th August priced at €35 from Design & Crafts Council Ireland and the National Design & Craft Gallery.  


RDS Irish Craft Bursary 

At the Conjuring Form exhibition opening, Niamh De Loughry, Deputy Chief Executive RDS Foundation, will present the €10,000 2022 RDS Irish Craft Bursary. DCCI partners with the RDS to select the annual RDS Irish Craft Bursary, which is open to all makers in the PORTFOLIO programme.  

The RDS Irish Craft Bursary may be used for a wide range of career and professional development activities such as further education and training; research; development of new work; mentoring; purchase of equipment; studio improvements; technology; websites and residencies. Each year the judges look for proposals demonstrating how the award could help develop a maker’s practice and career, as well as being of benefit to Irish craft.  

Previous winners have created projects that explore and experiment with forms and require investment in tools, materials, and time to complete, including silversmith Cara Murphy (2021), jewellery designer Seliena Coyle (2019) and contemporary glass artist Edmond Byrne (2018). 



For more information contact Claire Feely, Rachel Farrell or Shona Hutchinson at Elevate PR, / / .  



Notes to Editor:  


About Design & Crafts Council Ireland 

Design & Crafts Council Ireland is the national agency for craft and design in Ireland, we support designers and makers to develop their businesses in a sustainable way, and advocate for the societal benefits of craft and design. DCCI's activities are funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has 64 member organisations and over 3,500 registered clients. / @dccireland 


The National Design & Craft Gallery is part of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, based in Castle Yard, Kilkenny. /  



PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection is a biennial selection and publication of the leading edge of Irish contemporary design and craft in a world-class context. Makers are selected by an international jury. Every two years, Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) commissions an exhibition of this work to increase awareness and understanding of Irish craft among Irish and international collectors, galleries, commissioning bodies and museums.  


DCCI’s PORTFOLIO programme has been instrumental in building the international reputations and commercial potential of Ireland's best designer‐makers of contemporary craft. The benchmark for this elite group is achievement of excellence in contemporary craftsmanship and design by comparative international standards, assessed by an impressive international jury.  


About Conjuring Form  

39 makers have been selected for the Conjuring Form 21/22 exhibition, as part of PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection. They are:  

Zelouf + Bell 

Scott Benefield 

Roger Bennett 

Paul Bokslag 

Emma Bourke 

Max Brosi 

Cathy Burke 

Úna Burke 

Anne Butler 

Hugo Byrne 

Mike Byrne 

Edmond Byrne 

Stuart Cairns 

Mary Conroy 

Jack Doherty 

Sara Flynn 

Jennifer Hickey 

Joe Hogan 

Alison Kay 

John Lee 

Antonio Julio Lopez Castro 

Alan Meredith 

Cecilia Moore 

Sadhbh Mowlds 

Cara Murphy 

Mary Nagle 

Nuala O'Donovan 

Nigel O'Reilly 

Helen O'Shea 

Annemarie O'Sullivan 

Annemarie Reinhold 

Michael Rice 

Emer Roberts 

Peter Sheehan 

Matt Smith 

Sasha Sykes 

Joseph Walsh 

Kathleen Walsh 

Gráinne Watts 


About RDS 

The RDS mission is to see Ireland thrive culturally and economically. The Arts are an important way in which it realises this mission. Craft is one of three areas in the Arts in which the Society’s mission finds voice. For generations the RDS has supported Irish craft sector. Fifty years ago, the RDS helped establish the DCCoI. Today’s award is a continuation of this support for the sector. / @RDSDublin  

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