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InForm, an exhibition of ceramic and jewellery works opens at the National Museum of Ireland

Posted 24.05.2021

Minister Catherine Martin launches InForm, an exhibition driven by a two-year collaboration between the National Museum of Ireland & Design & Crafts Council Ireland

22 emerging makers create new ceramic and jewellery works inspired by the Museum’s collection

DCCI marks its 50th anniversary with the InForm exhibition, which is the first to launch since the Museum reopened

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD is visiting the National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks today to conduct the official launch of InForm, the first exhibition to open at the Museum in 2021, and since the restrictions lifted.

InForm is the result of a two-year collaboration between the National Museum of Ireland and Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI), during which 22 emerging makers undertaking courses with DCCI have created exquisite new works inspired by artefacts from the Art and Industrial and Irish Folklife collections at the Museum.

The Museum has long been involved in collecting and showcasing contemporary craft and has worked closely with the DCCI for over two decades but InForm has taken this partnership to a new level.

In the final year of their respective course, students of the DCCI Ceramics and Jewellery & Goldsmithing Skills Courses explored the Museum’s collection in a series of tours and workshops facilitated by Museum staff and were provided with direct supervised access to the objects of their choice, most of which are not normally on display in the Museum. From a 2,000-year-old glass bottle to finely crafted Asian metal and lacquer work, and from Irish thatch to a small model screen designed by renowned Irish architect and designer Eileen Gray, the objects chosen by the makers during the InForm project reflect the diversity and breadth of the Museum’s collections.

In InForm the artefacts and contemporary works are presented together, along with sketches, notes and videos detailing the process of inspiration and making. In total,  42 ceramic objects and 52 pieces of jewellery are displayed alongside the 23 objects from the Museum’s collection.

Four of the makers’ works have been acquired by the National Museum of Ireland for the national collection; Annemarie Reinhold’s silver ‘fin’ brooch, inspired by a 19th century Japanese box in the shape of a fish; Siobhán O’Sullivan’s Ouroboros necklace, inspired by a dragon on a 19th century Japanese vase; a porcelain piece by Jennifer Alford inspired by an early 20th century rushlight and candleholder from Kerry; and a stoneware pinhole camera with porcelain discs by Antonio Julio Lopéz, inspired by a late 19th century camera from England.


Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said; “Our cultural institutions were greatly missed by the public and this new exhibition InForm is a wonderful way for visitors to both explore the Museum’s diverse collection in a new way and to learn about creative processes that were used in the past, and how they are interpreted and adapted by makers today.”

Chair of the National Museum of Ireland, Catherine Heaney said; “InForm is a visually arresting exhibition of works by some of the most technically gifted emerging makers in Ireland. Not only are the contemporary works stunning, but they also allow visitors to interpret and enjoy artefacts from the Museum’s wider collection through a new lens. We are delighted to have partnered with the DCCI on the project. Part of the Museum’s remit is to protect and preserve the national collection. By supporting age-old, creative techniques and artistry in this collaboration, we are giving ancient artifacts a new perspective and interpretation.”

Chief Executive of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Rosemary Steen said; “DCCI is delighted to be part of such a seminal exhibition as InForm, with the National Museum of Ireland. It is a timely representation of the vision of the founding members of DCCI 50 years ago. That vision was to build on a legacy of Irish design and craftsmanship to develop the sector and contribute value to the Irish economy. Our Centres of Excellence are a key part of this, and we are immensely proud of our graduates and the work we see here today. 87% of our graduates go into employment in their chosen field or set up their own businesses. Many achieve recognition through awards and bursaries at an international level. We are thrilled that this important exhibition can be opened as intended and go on to inspire many more people.”

InForm opens at the National Museum of Ireland -Decorative Arts & History at Collins Barracks today and will run until 26th September 2021. Admission is free.


Media note:

Images from the exhibition are available HERE

Photography will be issued from today’s launch by Julien Behal Photography 087 9782542  [email protected]

Requests for further information/ interviews: Q4 Public Relations

About the National Museum of Ireland
The National Museum of Ireland is the nation’s premier cultural institution and home to the greatest collections of Irish heritage, culture and history. Admission is free.

The National Museum of Ireland has 4 public sites, and a Collections Repository: 

  • National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology (Kildare Street, Dublin)
  • National Museum of Ireland – Natural History (Merrion Street, Dublin)
  • National Museum of Ireland – Decorative Arts & History (Collins Barracks, Dublin)
  • National Museum of Ireland – Country Life (Turlough Park, Castlebar, Co. Mayo)
  • Collections Resource Centre (Swords) (Not open to the public)

Instagram: @nationalmuseumofireland

About Design & Crafts Council Ireland
Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCI’s activities are funded by the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has 59-member organisations and over 3,000 registered clients.

Instagram: @dccireland


For further information, please contact [email protected]