National Museum of Ireland / Design & Crafts Council Ireland Covid-19 Commission

Posted 17.07.20

In 2020, the National Museum of Ireland (NMI) and Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI), as a key part of their continued strong support for contemporary craft and design in Ireland, wish to jointly commission a piece of work, by way of competition, in response to the current Covid-19 crisis.  The finished work, envisaged as being created as a personal response to the pandemic, will sit alongside the Contemporary Collection of Design and Craft at the National Museum of Ireland.  The object will be a tangible remembrance of this unprecedented year, inviting future museum audiences to reflect on their own experiences.

Works in all craft disciplines are being invited, including collaborative work. Works which are already in progress or have recently been completed, and are in response to Covid-19, may also be considered.

The Contemporary Collection of Design and Craft (CCDC) was established in 2003 to collect contemporary high-quality works from Ireland’s leading designer-makers by  the National Museum of Ireland in order to preserve tomorrow’s antiques for future generations. The collection, jointly funded by the National Museum of Ireland and Design & Crafts Council Ireland, complements and enhances the NMI’s existing collection of Ireland’s portable heritage.

How to apply

The DCCI/NMI Covid-19 commission is open to makers who are registered with Design & Crafts Council Ireland. Full-time staff members of DCCI are not eligible to apply.

The online application is available here:

Applicants are required to submit:

  • A proposal outlining what they intend to make, including timeframe
  • A financial breakdown of costs associated in the making of the work
  • Digital images and/or videos of current work practice
  • CV

Judges will assess applications in terms of:

  • Quality of proposal
  • Evidence of maker’s artistic ambition, the artistic quality, challenge of the proposal
  • Judges’ confidence in ability of maker to realise their proposal based on maker's track record
  • Judges’ confidence in ability of maker to realise their proposal based on quality of the financial breakdown
  • Potential of how this proposal will be of benefit to the understanding of the Covid pandemic for future generations

Each of the above categories will be scored out of 10.

Applications will be judged by a panel comprised of representatives from the NMI and Jean Blanchaert, gallerist, curator, journalist and artist. Jean is the Director of Galleria Blanchaert in Milan and curated the ‘Best in Europe’ pavilion at Homo Faber 2018 in Venice.


Funding of up to €15,000 is available for this commission. 70% of the awarded funds will be paid following the awarding of the commission with the remaining 30% paid on completion and delivery of the finished piece. 


Deadline for submission of applications: Friday 25th September 2020
Announcement and allocation of 70% of funding: end October 2020
Final work to be completed before: Summer 2021

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