Lasting Impressions to open at National Design & Craft Gallery on Friday, 27th April

Posted 29.03.18


Images (l to r): Scott Benefield, Tapestry 1; John McKeag, Double Walled Vessels; Yusuke Yamamoto, Oak Tale; Cillian Ó Súilleabháin, Tetrahedra Oak & Sycamore; Nicola Henley, Gulls Soaring, Rovingno

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, will open 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 will take a closer look at how these craftspeople make and the processes they use to produce an object that will last.

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 and Ptolemy Mann; weavers Mourne Textiles; artist Eleri Mills; multi-disciplinary artist Liz Nilsson; stone sculpture artist Helen O'Connell; metalworker Adi Toch; and silversmith 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.

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.

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

- ENDS - 

For further press information, please contact Elevate PR on 01 662 5652
Tara Walsh – / Emer Igbokwe –

Notes for editors


ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION: Thursday 26 April, 4pm-5.30pm
Collecting the Contemporary Object with Louise Allen and Ciara Garvey of DCCoI and designer-makers from Lasting Impressions. (B) (free)

EXHIBITION CURATORS TOUR: Thursday 26 April, 6pm                                          
With Gregory Parsons followed by the official exhibition launch.

CRAFTERNOON TEA: Thursday 3 and Friday 4 May, 10.30am + 12noon                            
Tea, treats and screen printing onto fabric. Celebrating creativity as we age, Bealtaine Festival 2018. (B) (free)                 

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

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

LATE DATE TALK: Thursday 17 May, 6.30pm                                                
Intersections: Art and Conceptual Craft with designer-makers. (B) (free)  

MASTERCLASS WORKSHOP: Friday 18 May, 2pm-5pm, €35                                       
Contemporary Fine Metalwork and Design: focus on environmentally friendly colouring and patination techniques.

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

Join Art Historian and Storyteller Jean Ryan TBC to explore selected work in our current exhibition then respond through embroidery with Alexis Bernstorff. (B)

LATE DATE TALK: Thursday 28 June, 6.30pm                                                  
With Alexis Bernstorff and guests on connections with mythic and cultural associations explored through embroidery and woven tapestry. (B) (free)               

SCHOOLS PROGRAMME: 1 May-4 July                                                   
Tailored tours for primary, secondary and third level. Booking required: please email or call 056 7796 151 for details.

Please visit 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 St. 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 subsequently 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.

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.

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