Exhibition celebrating bespoke, extraordinary objects to open at the National Design & Craft Gallery

Posted 19.04.18


Images (l to r): Mourne Textiles, Classic; glass bowl by Neil Wilkin; Paul Wearing, Cylinder; Adi Toch, Melding Pourers 

27th April – 4 July 2018

Lasting Impressions, an exhibition of extraordinary objects, designed and crafted with integrity and ingenuity that will become the heirlooms of tomorrow, opens at the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny on Friday, 27th April. Curated by Gregory Parsons, the collection will cover a wide spectrum of practices, including ceramics, glassware, jewellery making and furniture, and take a closer look at how these craftspeople make and the processes they use to produce an object that will last. The exhibition will be officially launched by Liz Cooper, Applied Arts Curator and Programme Manager at Design-Nation, UK, on Thursday 26th April at 7pm. 

Eighteen leading craftspeople from Ireland and the UK will showcase objects, including: glassmakers Scott Benefield and Neil Wilkin; ceramicists Adam Buick, Ashraf Hanna, John McKeag, Paul Wearing, and Walter Keeler; furniture designers and makers Sebastian Cox and Cillian Ó Súilleabháin; jewellery maker Andrew Lamb; textile artists Nicola Henley, Ptolemy Mann, Eleri Mills and Liz Nilsson; weavers Mourne Textiles; stone sculpture artist Helen O'Connell; and metalsmiths Adi Toch and Yusuke Yamamoto. Several of these makers are showing their stunning works in Ireland for the first time, including Sebastian Cox, Andrew Lamb, Ptolemy Mann, Eleri Mills, Paul Wearing, Neil Wilkin and Yusuke Yamamoto.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: “It is a privilege to have the work of such a prestigious group of designers and makers from both Ireland and the UK on show in our gallery. This exhibition not only allows us to appreciate the integral beauty of the objects but examines the whole idea and value of creating something unique, a future heirloom. We also look forward to exploring the notion of commissioning, collecting and investing in such works in the accompanying events to the show, produced in partnership with Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales to where the exhibition will travel later in the summer.”

Craft can offer something unique, bespoke and personal. The selected designer-makers excel in their creative-making skills and include their signature, something of themselves, into every object they make. In examining the bespoke, the exhibition will also explore collecting; commissioning a wholly new piece of jewellery or furniture, discussing its attributes with its creator and having it made exactly to fit is a very special thing. It is also important to understand where the materials are sourced, how it is designed, put together and finished. The exhibition will consider the commissioning process and talk to collectors of contemporary craft about why they choose to invest in contemporary talent.

Gregory Parsons, Lasting Impressions curator, also commented: “The exhibitors here excel – their personal creative making skills becoming their signature, embedding something of themselves into every object they make, creating a lasting impression. They are makers who develop individual voices that sustain their practice; they may be innovative and cutting edge or using old techniques in new ways, however through this they are positioning their work in a more edgy and exciting place. They set themselves apart from the rest and their immense skill should be celebrated.”


Lasting Impressions will show at the National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny until 4 July 2018 and is curated by Gregory Parsons. The exhibition is produced by the National Design & Craft Gallery in partnership with Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales and will open there in July 2018.

- ENDS -

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Tara Walsh – tara@elevate.ie / Emer Igbokwe – emer@elevate.ie


Notes for editors



ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION: Thursday 26 April, 4pm-5.30pm, Pembroke Kilkenny
Collecting the Contemporary Object with Dr. Jennifer Goff (National Museum of Ireland), Ciara Garvey (DCCoI) and Liz Cooper (Applied Art Curator), and exhibiting makers. (B) (free)

EXHIBITION CURATOR’S TOUR: Thursday 26 April, 6pm                                          
With Gregory Parsons followed by the official exhibition launch at 7pm when visitors can enjoy a complimentary ‘design cocktail’ inspired by Lasting Impressions courtesy of Statham’s Bar, Pembroke Kilkenny.

CRAFTERNOON TEA: Thursday 3 and Friday 4 May, 10.30am + 12noon                           
Craft, cakes and screen printing celebrating creativity as we age as part of Bealtaine Festival 2018. (B) (free)                

CRAFTS CLUB: Saturday 12 May and 9 June, 11am + 12.30pm                                 
Join resident DCCoI Education Panel Member and maker Sandra McAlister for craft and design workshops to explore our current exhibition. Please visit www.ndcg.ie for details. (B) (free)                    

MASTERCLASS: Thursday 17 May, 11am-4pm, €35

Clay Forms: technical demonstrations on large-scale throwing, joining pots in sections, porcelain and additions of materials with Adam Buick. (B)

MASTERCLASS: Thursday 17 May, 12pm-4pm, €35                            
Repeat Printing Yoga: an experimental afternoon of mindfulness, yoga and repeat block printing combined, with Liz Nilsson. (B)             

LATE DATE: Thursday 17 May, 6.30pm                                                

Intersections: Art and Conceptual Craft: with Liz Nilsson and Adam Buick. (B) (free)  

NATIONAL DRAWING DAY: Saturday 19 May 11am-3pm                                           
Craft and drawing drop-in workshops for all ages. (B) (free)                 

MASTERCLASS: Thursday 28 June, 2pm-5pm, €35                                                                                    

Storytelling with Embroidery: Explore exhibits with Art Historian and Storyteller Jean Ryan and respond through embroidery with Alexis Bernstorff. (B)

LATE DATE: Thursday 28 June, 6.30pm                                                  
Threads of Myth & Culture: mythic and cultural associations explored through stitch and woven tapestry with Eleri Mills, Alexis Bernstorff and Dolores Gaffney. (B) (free)               

SCHOOLS PROGRAMME: May – June                                                    

Tailored tours for primary, secondary and third level.


(B) Booking required: please email events@ndgc.ie or call 056 7796 151 for details.

Please visit www.ndcg.ie for updates to the events schedule.



Scott Benefield
Born: 1956 Osaka, Japan
Education: MFA in Glass, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. 1990; BA, Interdisciplinary studies in East Asian history and culture, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA. 1978
Studio: Ballintoy, Northern Ireland
Adam Buick
Born: 1978 Newport, Wales
Education: Crafts Council of Ireland Ceramics Design and Skills Course, 2006; BA Ceramics, West Wales School of Art, Carmarthen (transferred to Ireland); BA (Hons) Archaeology and Anthropology, Lampeter University, 2001
Studio: Pembrokeshire, Wales
Sebastian Cox
Born: 1986, Kent
Education: BA Design, Lincoln School of Art and Design, University of Lincoln, 2009; MA Design, Lincoln School of Art and Design, University of Lincoln, 2010
Studio: London, England
Ashraf Hanna
Born: 1967 El Minia, Egypt
Education: MA Ceramics & Glass, Royal College of Art, 2011; BA Hons Theatre Design, Central Saint Martins College of Arts & Design, 1994
Studio: Pembrokeshire, Wales
Nicola Henley
Born: 1960 Bristol, England
Education: BA (Hons) Embroidery/Textiles, Goldsmiths College, London, 1984
Studio: County Clare, Ireland
Walter Keeler
Born: 1942 Middlesex, England
Education: NND Pottery, Harrow School of Art, 1963
Studio: Monmouth, Wales
Andrew Lamb
Born: 1978 Edinburgh, Scotland
Education: MA Goldsmithing Silversmithing Metalwork & Jewellery, Royal College of Art, 2004; BA (Hons) Design & Applied Arts, Edinburgh College of Art, 2000
Studio: Glasgow, Scotland
Ptolemy Mann
Born: 1972 New York City, USA
Education: MA Woven Textiles, Royal College of Art, 1997; BA (Hons) Woven Textiles, Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, 1995
Studio: Sussex, England
John McKeag
Born: 1960 Lurgan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland
Education: Diploma in Ceramics, Wandsworth College of Adult Education, London, 1995; BA (Hons) Fine Art, Manchester Polytechnic, 1988
Studio: Bryansford, Northern Ireland
Eleri Mills
Born: 1955 Powys, Wales
Education: BA (Hons) Art and Design, Manchester Polytechnic, 1977
Studio: Mid Wales
Liz Nilsson
Born: 1960 Sweden
Education: MA Social Practice & The Creative Environment, Limerick School of Art & Design, 2016; MA Textiles, Goldsmiths College, London, 1994
Studio: Dublin, Ireland
Helen O'Connell
Born: 1974 London, England
Education: Traditional Figurative Modelling, Florence Academy of Art, Italy, 2006; BA (Hons) Art History and English Literature, Trinity College Dublin, 1996
Studio: Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland
Cillian Ó Súilleabháin
Education: Apprenticeship: Stephen O’Briain Furniture, Co. Carlow, 2008-9; BAI Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, 2000
Studio: Blackrock, County Dublin
Mourne Textiles
Mario Sierra
Born: 1973 Northern Ireland
Education: BA (Hons) Textile Art, Winchester School of Art & home tuition
Studio: Rostrevor, County Down, Northern Ireland
Adi Toch
Born: 1979 Jerusalem, Israel
Education: MA Metalwork, The Cass, London Metropolitan University, 2009; BA (Hons) Metalwork, Bezalel Art Academy, Jerusalem, 2004
Studio: London, England
Paul Wearing
Born: 1967 Kent, England
Education: MA Ceramics, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, 2004; BA (Hons) Ceramics, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, 2000
Studio: Cardiff, Wales
Neil Wilkin
Born: 1959 Portsmouth, England
Education: BA (Hons) Glass,  North Staffordshire Polytechnic, 1981; Portsmouth College of Art, 1978
Studio: Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales
Yusuke Yamamoto
Born: 1979 Kanagawa, Japan
Education: BA Industrial, Interior & Craft Design, Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan, 2004
Studio: Penn Llyn, North Wales


About Gregory Parsons (exhibition curator)

Gregory Parsons is a freelance curator and has worked closely with Ruthin Craft Centre - The Centre for the Applied Arts curating and co-producing many exhibitions, including the highly successful All Tied Up, which visited IDÉE in Tokyo, Japan in 2013; the inspirational Reiko Sudo/Nuno exhibition as part of the Japanese Style: Sustaining Design season in 2012; and, together with Dr. Elizabeth Goring, Not Too Precious which also toured to the National Design & Craft Gallery in early 2016. He has a background in woven textile design and began his career as Artist in Residence at Ruthin Craft Centre, North Wales in the early 1990s. From there he went to the Royal College of Art completing an MA in Constructed Textiles. He worked for the Crafts Council’s trading division before taking a position as a fashion fabric designer in Switzerland. He has also worked in the interior fabrics industry, and in the fashion industry as Senior Product Developer/Design in soft accessories at Burberry Ltd. He has lectured widely, including at Glasgow School of Art, Central Saint Martins, Tokyo Zokei University and Joshibi University, Tokyo and mentors craftspeople through Crafts Council and Cockpit Arts initiatives.

About the National Design & Craft Gallery

Established by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in 2000, the National Design & Craft Gallery is Ireland’s leading centre for contemporary craft and design. It exhibits Irish and international designers, artists and makers who push boundaries in their engagement with the making process. Its mission is to inspire appreciation, creativity and innovation, and it plays a critical role in building understanding of craft and material culture in Ireland. www.ndcg.ie

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 2,500 registered clients. www.dccoi.ie

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