‘A Place To Gather’ Ireland’s Creativity Goes on Show at London Design Festival 2012

Posted 23.08.12

‘A Place To Gather’ Ireland’s Creativity Goes on Show at London Design Festival 2012

A Place To Gather: Tuesday 18 September - Sunday 23 September, 2012.

The Crafts Council of Ireland will create a truly unique Irish space in the middle of London's East End for the London Design Festival 2012, one of the world's most important annual design events.

Opening Event: 6.30pm, Tuesday 18 September, 2012
Venue: 12 Chance St (Corner of Redchurch St), London E2 7JB
Part of Shoreditch Design Triangle

A Place to Gather is about a respect for the power of Irish material culture. It is an exploration of how design, craft, literature, film - all these different parts of our culture - can connect people, ideas and places. It is about taking a holistic approach to Ireland’s material culture.” – Jonathan Legge, Curator

The Crafts Council of Ireland will create a truly unique Irish space in the middle of London’s East End for the London Design Festival 2012, one of the world's most important annual design events.

A Place to Gather will transform a recently discovered old garage/warehouse in Shoreditch, into a creative and exciting glimpse of contemporary Ireland, by taking a modern, human and relevant approach to Ireland’s cultural output. Though the work may be Irish and rooted in its place of origin, walking through the space, visitors will be able to experience the work’s relevance to their everyday lives. There will be an engaging, visual poetry to the experience.

Double doors will lead curious visitors into a hidden room filled with the best of Irish craft and design, curated by Jonathan Legge. This welcoming space will feature tall shelving filled with Irish literature and craft, and a specially commissioned short film about the makers. The designer furniture will be arranged for use, showing craft’s functional place in contemporary life, with everything from floor coverings, to table and chairs, sofas and lighting, all created by Irish designers and craftspeople.

A Place to Gather will showcase the work of over 30 craft enterprises.

Key features will include:
• Pink stained stacking chairs in Oak by Fergal O’Leary of Horizon Furniture
• Oak-framed sofa by Simon O’Driscoll of O’Driscoll Furniture, upholstered in Donegal Irish Tweed woven by Kieran Molloy of Molloy & Sons
• Bespoke tall book shelves in white Ash and powder coated steel by Cian Corcoran and Ahmad Fakhry of Designgoat
• Library-inspired greenwood ladder in Irish Ash by James Carroll of Stickman
• Woven lighting and basket in Irish willow by Kathleen McCormick of Basketbarn
• Knitted pouffes in lambswool by Claire-Anne O’Brien
• Handwoven rug by Muriel Beckett inspired by the rugged landscape of Connemara
• Contemporary rocking chair made from reclaimed Maple floorboards by Sean Fogarty of Rocker Lane Workshop

In addition to the Irish craft and design, the space will be enhanced with a specially curated collection of Irish literature from the Library of Trinity College Dublin, which celebrates its tercentenary this year.

Many of the pieces from A Place to Gather will subsequently form a showcase of Irish craft and design in the Justus Lipsius building, headquarters of the Council of the European Union in Brussels, as part of Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union from January to June 2013.

Commenting on the exhibition, Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Crafts Council of Ireland said: “The London Design Festival holds exciting potential for Irish craft and design so we are delighted to be able to support and promote more than 30 Irish craftspeople through this exhibition. Being part of A Place to Gather during this world-renowned festival will be a fantastic opportunity for these makers to present their work to design professionals and enthusiasts from all over the world and to create valuable links for the future”.

Ireland’s craft and design community is a vibrant and creative force in our culture and our economy,” says Brian McGee, Head of Market Development at the Crafts Council of Ireland. “Craft connects us to our heritage but it also provides a path to our future. It is imperative that we show the international audience visiting London Design Festival the depth and breadth of creative talent in Ireland today.”


A specially commissioned short film, also entitled 'A Place to Gather', by emerging filmmakers Jamie and Keith will provide a visual backdrop, setting the origins and landscape of the craftspeople against the work on display.

Jonathan Legge – Curator & Creative Director

Jonathan Legge is a Creative Consultant working from London. He is a Founder and Creative Director of the Irish e-commerce company, Makers&Brothers, founded in 2011. He previously worked as a project designer with Ilse Crawford at Studioilse. During his five years at Studioilse he lead projects in London, Cambridge, Stockholm and Newfoundland. During 2012 he was a guest tutor at the Royal College of Art. In recent years he has exhibited his work in New York, London, Milan and Berlin. He studied in the Dublin Institute of Technology and then moved to London where he did a Masters in Design Products at the Royal College of Art.

Opening event:
Tuesday 18th September: Open 10am - 10pm as part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle. Irish artisan food products such as Knockdrinna cheese and Goatsbridge trout will feature along with Magners Irish cider for invited guests to sample on the night.


Download Press Release here.

UK Media Information on A Place to Gather:
Katherine Sandford-Anderson at Sandford Public Relations
+44 (0)7802 481 996 or katherine@sandfordpr.com

Irish Media Information on A Place to Gather:
Christine Monk on +353 (0)87 675 5329 or christinemonk@eircom.net

Crafts Council of Ireland Media Information:
Susan Brindley on +353 (0)56 779 6152 or susan@dccoi.ie

Notes for Editors

1. Participating makers:
Fergal O'Leary (Horizon Furniture) - Oak chairs; Simon O'Driscoll (O’Driscoll Furniture) - Sofa; Kieran Molloy (Molloy & Sons) - Irish Tweed; Cian Corcoran and Ahmad Fakhry (Designgoat) -Book shelves; Kathleen McCormick (Basketbarn) - Woven willow lighting; Claire-Anne O’Brien - Knitted pouffes; James Carroll (Stickman) - Greenwood ladder; Muriel Beckett - Rug; Sean Fogarty (Rockerlane Workshop) - Rocking chair; Anthony Cleary - Lighting; Carmel Lyons - Crochet lace accessories; Andrew Clancy (Clancy Moore Architects) - Lighting; Derek Wilson Ceramics - Decorative ceramics; Etain Hickey - Decorative ceramics; Hennessy & Byrne - Marble Table; Hugh Cummins - Lighting; Jennifer Chan - Candle Holders; Jerpoint Glass Studio - Water jugs, tumblers, vase; Karen Ebbs - Decorative ceramics; Liam Flynn – Wooden vessels; Annabel and Neil McCarthy (Nest Design) - White lacquered table; Róisín de Buitléar - Decorative glass; Sarah Wiegersma - Decorative ceramics; Studio Donegal - Woven cushions; Gearoid Muldowney (Superfolk) - Wooden bench; Denis Kenny (Ceadogán Rugs) - Rug/wall hanging; Finn Magee - Giclée print light; Jennifer Slattery Textiles - Irish linen cushions; Helen Faulkner Ceramics - Earthenware tableware; Andrew Ludick - White earthenware vessels; Larry Kinsella (Moth to a Flame) - Candles; Glenn Lucas - Wooden bowls.

2. Crafts Council of Ireland:
The Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI) is the main champion of the craft industry in Ireland,
fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating
quality design, innovation and competitiveness.

3. London Design Festival
First staged in 2003, the London Design Festival is one of the world's most important annual
design events. The Festival programme is made up of over 300 events and exhibitions staged by
hundreds of partner organisations across the design spectrum and from around the world.
Festival audiences are significant, with an estimated 350,000 visitors in 2011.

View a gallery of images from 'A Place to Gather' here.

View the short film 'A Place to Gather' here.

Download Press Release here.

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