Floral Installation Verdant Vessels opens as part of VASE: Function Reviewed

Posted 19.08.16

Verdant Vessels, a floral installation by Master Florist Lamber de Bie, to open as part of VASE: Function Reviewed at the National Craft Gallery in September

                                                                                       Featured vase: Vase Attack by Carol McNicoll

Master Florist Lamber de Bie is to design a special floral installation, Verdant Vessels, which will run from 15 to 28 September as part of VASE: Function Reviewed at the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny. Curator Brian Kennedy invited Lamber to select a number of vases featured in this exhibition, allowing their forms to influence the choice of flowers used to create sculptural floral arrangements in dialogue with the exhibition. VASE: Function Reviewed features the work of 29 artists from Europe, Africa and Asia, and exhibits at the National Craft Gallery until 6 November having opened as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival on 6 August.

“Many years ago I saw an exhibition of work by a Japanese ceramicist. It was of tea bowls and vases. All of the vases held simple and elegant floral arrangements. In the catalogue he said that for him the vase was never complete until it held flowers. I have long forgotten the potter’s name but his thought has always remained with me, the question ‘does use enhance or diminish the ceramic object’ was one of the starting points of the exhibition, VASE: Function Reviewed.” Brian Kennedy, Curator

In Verdant Vessels, visitors can expect to see an abundance of blooms on display in the exhibition’s stunning ceramic vases. A range of floral techniques will be embraced, from the traditional to the modern, reimagining the vases and reinterpreting them through use. Lamber will explore two themes: Shape and Form from Thursday 15 to Tuesday 20 September, followed by Heritage and Materials from Thursday 22 to Wednesday 28 September. These two installations aim to explore the boundaries of art and craft; form and functionality; by addressing the debate: ‘only when flowers are in the vase does it become a complete object.’

Lamber will also take part in a talk with Brian Kennedy on Flowers and Form at 6pm in the National Craft Gallery on Culture Night (16 September) and will perform a live demonstration in creating sculptural floral arrangements at 6.30pm on 22 September (the latter event is free but ticketed, please visit bit.ly/VerdantVessels to book).

Verdant Vessels is presented in partnership with Kilkenny County Council, Fáilte Ireland and IPB Insurance.


Thursday 15 – Tuesday 20 September
Floral Installation: Shape and Form

Friday 16 September, 6pm
Talk: Flowers and Form Brian Kennedy in conversation with Lamber de Bie

Thursday 22 – Wednesday 28 September
Floral Installation: Heritage and Materials

Thursday 22 September, 6.30pm
Live Demonstration: Sculptural Arrangements with Lamber de Bie (free but ticketed, bookings http://bit.ly/2bi4hsU)

- Ends -

For further press information, please contact Elevate PR, 01 662 5652
Tara Walsh - tara@elevate.ie / Emer Igbokwe - emer@elevate.ie


About Lamber de Bie
Lamber de Bie grew up in Holland where flowers were considered staples of life. His work has always been influenced by art, design and travel, which leads him to create designs with flowers that are architectural and structural with a rich sense of colour
and pattern. He often deconstructs or reimagines traditional bouquets and his passion for Dutch orange tulips is paired
with an appreciation of an indigenous Irish hedgerow, rich with brambles, texture and plant forms that come together and work as a painting. Lamber is interested in pushing the boundaries of how flower sculpture can be reinvented, much like the vase itself, a traditional object that has been reimagined by each generation. lamberdebie.ie

About VASE: Function Reviewed
VASE: Function Reviewed, which exhibits at National Craft Gallery until 6 November, debates issues of functionality in ceramics through a series of works by 29 Irish and international artists. The exhibition showcases a range of objects, from the consciously matching to the gloriously mismatched, the proudly ‘functional’ to the emphatically ‘dysfunctional’, the ‘useful’ to the ‘useless’. Curated by Brian Kennedy, VASE: Function Reviewed opened on 6 August as part of the programme for Kilkenny Arts Festival 2016.

Featuring artists from Europe, Africa and Asia, VASE: Function Reviewed places work by Irish artists such as Sara Flynn, Alison Kay and Derek Wilson within a broader international context. The exhibition also includes work by Kate Malone, one of the judges from The Great British Throw Down TV series; Babs Haenen, one of the best regarded Dutch ceramists; and Hwang Kap Sun, an emerging Korean maker with recent shows in Paris and Geneva. Visitors can also enjoy the work of Carol McNicoll, Alison Britton and Janice Tchalenko – three of the five women that are credited with changing the direction of studio ceramics in the 1970s. Details of all featured artists can be viewed at www.nationalcraftgallery.ie/vase.  

In addition to Verdant Vessels, a comprehensive programme of events is running to coincide with VASE: Function Reviewed. Details of the remaining activities in the programme are below. Opening hours at the National Craft Gallery: Tuesday – Saturday: 10am - 5.30pm | Sundays and Bank Holidays: 11am - 5.30pm | Closed Mondays. Admission is free.

VASE: Function Reviewed Full Programme of Events

Thursday 25 August, 6.30pm
Meet the Maker event as part of Heritage Week: Traditional Skills Contemporary Approach with ceramicist Mike Byrne

Thursday 1 September, 6.30pm
Meet the Maker event as part of the Ceramics Ireland International Festival: Culture, Identity & Myth in Clay with Helen Doherty

Wednesday 7 + Thursday 8 September, 10am + 12noon
Primary School Workshops (b): Function & Form with Maeve Sookram

Tuesday 13 September– Friday 28 October
Primary & Secondary School Tours (b):
Guided Gallery Visits Exploring Design and Making

Thursday 15 – Tuesday 20 September
Verdant Vessels: Shape and Form

Thursday 22 – Wednesday 28 September
Verdant Vessels: Heritage and Materials

Friday 16 September, 5pm – 10pm
Culture Night Throwdown - Highlights include:
Talk: Flowers & Form Brian Kennedy in conversation with Lamber de Bie
Workshop: Throw a Pot with Babs Belshaw and Fiona Shannon [12+]
Music: Electric Ceramophone with Rory Grubb
Demo: Raku Barrel Firing with Jane Seymour
Workshop: Pinched Vessels with Maeve Sookram [5+]

Wednesday 21 September + Wednesday 5 October, 10.30am
Adult Workshops (b) €5: 
Drawing as Research with Inga Reed

Thursday 22 September 6.30pm
Floral Demonstration: Sculptural Arrangements with Lamber de Bie (free but ticketed, bookings bit.ly/VerdantVessels)

Saturday 8 October, 10.30am + 12noon
Family Day Workshops (b): Nature Shapes in Clay with ceramic artist Laura McNamara

Thursday 27 October, 6.30pm
Meet the Maker event as part of Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food:
 The Craft of Eating with Akiko Hirai

Friday 28 October, 10am – 4pm at Island Mill, Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny
Talk and Masterclass with Akiko Hirai (b)

(b) Book by emailing events@nationalcraftgallery.ie

Events are free unless (€) indicates otherwise

About the curator of VASE: Function Reviewed
Brian Kennedy is an independent curator working predominantly in the craft and applied art area. Between 2002 and 2010 he curated a series of major exhibitions for the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, including Forty Shades of Green at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork and Crafted Creatures in conjunction with The Ark – A Cultural Centre for Children, Dublin. Following this, he curated the highly acclaimed exhibitions, Material Poetry and Dubh – Dialogues in Black at the American Irish Historical Society, New York. More recently Brian worked closely with Contemporary Applied Arts, London on the move to their new gallery and developed a series of exhibitions for the first year of their programming. In 2014 he curated the critically acclaimed exhibition Vase Vessel Void for the Oliver Sears Gallery. Other notable projects are Walpole’s Crafted – Makers of Excellence exhibitions at Somerset House, London in 2013 and at the Royal Academy, London in 2014. In 2015 he curated Taste - Contemporary Craft Exhibition at Art Geneva and a major exhibition for the Oliver Sears Gallery in London. Brian works with state agencies, museums, galleries and private collectors to develop strategies, organise exhibitions and build collections within the craft and applied art areas. www.briankennedycuration.com

About the National Craft Gallery
Established by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in 2000, the National 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.nationalcraftgallery.ie

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the main champion of the design and craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has 64 member organisations and over 3,200 registered clients. In collaboration with partner organisations, DCCoI convened Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland. ID2015 was a year-long programme exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design through signature events on the island of Ireland as well as in prestigious partner venues in international capitals of design and commerce throughout 2015. www.dccoi.ie

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