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Posted 17.11.2023
Press Releases

Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) announces the opening of two exhibitions as part of Irish Design Week 2023 on Friday, 17th November at DCCI’s National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny.

Illuminations: Selected works of Holger Strøm and Cartoon Saloon will take place in Gallery one and Gallery two respectively from Friday 17th November 2023 until Saturday 2nd March, 2024.

Speaking ahead of the launch, CEO of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Rosemary Steen, said “Design & Crafts Council Ireland places huge importance on cultivating the design and craft sector. This is achieved through raising awareness of designers and creators past, present and future, and the connections between them. Having these two exhibitions displayed together in DCCI’s National Design & Craft Gallery celebrates Kilkenny as a long established cradle of creativity. It also provides inspiration to young designers and artists of our future. It is an honour to celebrate Holger Strøm’s exhibition and have it placed in the home where the artist brought this iconic light design to life 50 years ago. We are delighted to welcome Cartoon Saloon’s illuminations, a combination of work never exhibited before. Their Oscar nominated animations draw on the theme of this year’s DCCI Irish Design Week, Is Folklore the Future? and encourages conversation around the topic.”

The first exhibition, Illuminations: Holger Strøm, sees Strøm’s IQlight travel from ‘The Craft Island’ in Bornhold in Denmark to DCCI’s National Design & Craft Gallery (NDCG) in Kilkenny, which shares the designation as a ‘World Craft Centre’. This exhibition celebrates the invention of the IQlight by Strøm while he was working in Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW) in the 1970s. The exhibition is a self-assembly lighting system, made up of interlocking quadrilaterals. Lamp shades of various shapes and sizes can be constructed by linking together the identical modules, allowing the end user to build anything from the classical sphere to a completely new design. The exhibition opens at 2pm on Friday, 17th November and is running until Saturday, 2nd March 2024. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Commenting on the exhibition, designer Holger Strøm, said: “I designed the IQlight system in Kilkenny Design Workshops in the 1970’s and today, 50 years later, I am delighted to bring it back to Kilkenny. It is especially rewarding that it is part of DCCI’s Irish Design Week 2023. For me it has come full circle, and it is a continuation of the journey and investment in the importance of nurturing design that I am honoured to be part of. I look forward to sharing this exhibition with everyone and seeing the inspiration it draws from creative minds almost half a century later. I also want to express my gratitude to my colleagues, especially to graphic designer, Damien Harrington, who initially asked me to make lamps for the shop. Damien also created the wonderful graphics for the presentation and packaging of the IQlight. I would also have liked to thank to our chairman the Bill Walsh, who followed and supported my project far beyond my expectations.”

The second exhibition, Illuminations: Cartoon Saloon at DCCI’s National Design & Craft Gallery (NDCG) in Kilkenny is a celebration of the Kilkenny based studio’s most successful Oscar nominated animations. Created by Tomm Moore, the animations include ‘The Secret of Kells’, ‘Song of the Sea’ and ‘Wolfwalkers’, all drawing on Irish folklore. These animations have never been exhibited together until now, and the exhibition will look at the design process involved. ‘The Secret of Kells’ focuses on the ancient Irish art of illumination. ‘Song of the Sea’ celebrates “selkies”, the mythological creatures that can shapeshift between seal and human form by putting on or removing their seal skin. While the final instalment of the trilogy, ‘Wolfwalkers’, set in Kilkenny, tells the tale of the legendary werewolves of Ossory, a kingdom of early medieval Ireland, and the subject of several accounts in medieval Irish, English, and Norse works. The exhibition will include original drawings from the film, details on story arcs, and the design process involved. It opens at 2pm on Friday, 17th November and is running until Saturday, 2nd March 2024. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Speaking about the exhibition, Tomm Moore, Cartoon Saloon, creator of Irish Folklore Trilogy said, “Seeing a combination of Cartoon Saloon’s work celebrated and exhibited at the National Design & Craft Gallery is a fantastic experience. Especially in the company of one of our Kilkenny design predecessors, Holger Strøm. Stories are so important to how we remember each other and our environment. By using Irish folklore, we are telling universal stories that connect people from all over the world. I hope that sharing this animation art will help encourage the conversation around folklore and design.”

These exhibitions are part of DCCI’s Irish Design Week, which takes place across Ireland from Monday, 13th November to Sunday, 17th November 2023. Is Folklore the Future? is the theme of this year’s Irish Design Week. Throughout the week, DCCI is curating and hosting a series of events incorporating Ireland’s rich heritage of folklore and storytelling – currently hot topics in international design circles –making design in all its forms, more accessible.

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For further information please contact: 

Eimear Harding, Communications and Public Affairs Manager, DCCI, 083 023 8743 or email [email protected]

For press information please contact:

Claire Feely at Elevate PR, 01 662 5652, Emma Kelly at Elevate PR ([email protected]) , Sorcha Delaney at Elevate PR ([email protected]) or Miriam Alsalihi ([email protected]) or email [email protected]

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 3,600 registered clients.