Ó exhibition opens at the National Craft Gallery

Posted 08.10.15

Ó exhibition opens at the National Craft Gallery

Design & Crafts Council of Ireland presents ‘Ó’ at the National Craft Gallery following its success at London Design Festival 2015
9 October 2015 – 10 January 2016

“I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought”

The Winding Stair, WB Yeats

Fresh from a hugely successful inaugural run at London Design Festival 2015, the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland will present Ó, an exhibition of new work from Ireland’s leading designers and makers, at the National Craft Gallery. Ó will be officially opened in Kilkenny by Colette Byrne, Chief Executive, Kilkenny County Council on Friday 9th October at 6.30pm

 Ó was first unveiled at Tent London in September by Minister for Business and Employment Ged Nash, TD, where the exhibition wowed discerning international audiences and was lauded by prestigious publications such as the New York Times Style Magazine, the Financial Times and CNN.com as a highlight of London Design Festival.

‘Ó', meaning ‘from’ in the Irish language, conveys the story of Ireland as a source of creative ideas and making, and explains how its craft heritage inspires new and contemporary design. Curated by Steven McNamara, the exhibition features beautifully designed products in stone, glass, ceramics, wood and textiles from almost 30 designers who are passionate about materials and production and who possess a strong sense of place.

The new work being showcased in ‘Ó’ includes furniture from Snug, Aodh Furniture and Klimmek & Henderson; ceramics from Jack Doherty and Andrew Ludick; contemporary lighting from Mullan Lighting; stoneware products in Connemara Marble from Hennessy & Byrne; colourful glass from Catherine Keenan and textiles from Foxford Woollen Mills and 31 Chapel Lane.

"In Ireland, design and craft have long since been interfused, driven by necessity and enabled by the landscape and her natural resources. Our traditions of craftsmanship, respect for materials and a strong sense of place inspire a new and emerging design philosophy and attitude as fresh talent enters the sector,” says Brian McGee, Acting CEO, Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI).

"Over the past several years DCCoI has been working to grow awareness and appreciation of Ireland’s makers through participation in key fairs in the UK, France and USA. The launch of “Ó” in London last month received an incredibly positive response from influential international media, retailers and collectors who marvelled at the design, quality and contemporary heritage on display. It is wonderful to see our talented designer-makers getting the international recognition they so richly deserve."

Curator and exhibition designer Steven McNamara says “Ó recognises our heritage and showcases the work of those that have merged it with contemporary design thinking.” Speaking about the exhibition design he added: “Two Irish Beech tree trunks, kiln-dried and precision-cut, form the central element of the exhibition display. Each tree was over 150 years old when storms unearthed it, and it was transformed - providing us with the opportunity to shine a light on the quality of raw materials available in Ireland. This awareness works twofold. It encourages the designer and maker to respect our resources in determining what is the most appropriate course of action; and it helps the end user of Irish craft to recognise that what they have is a unique piece of Ireland.”

‘Ó’ marked the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s fourth annual exhibition at London Design Festival and was one of a number of Irish events in London this year as part of Irish Design 2015 (ID2015). ‘Ó’ is also the final exhibition in the 2015 programme for the National Craft Gallery, running from 9th October 2015 to 10th January 2016. An accompanying series of events and activities will take place throughout the exhibition’s run. For further information, please visit www.nationalcraftgallery.ie

- Ends -

Download this Press Release here.

For further press information, please contact Elevate PR: 01 662 5652
Aoife Smith aoife@elevate.ie / Tara Walsh tara@elevate.ie / Sorcha Furlong sorcha@elevate.ie / Emma Kelly emma@elevate.ie

Programme of Events:

Friday, 9 October at 6pm
Curator’s talk by Steven McNamara at 6pm followed by official opening at 6.30pm with Colette Byrne, Chief Executive, Kilkenny County Council.

One Saturday each month, free but booking is essential.

Look, Draw, Design
Sat 10 Oct, 10.30am + 12 noon
Teen workshop 2.30pm

Craftpack Workshop with Whackpack
Sat 7 Nov, 10.30am + 12 noon
Teen workshop 2.30pm

Festive Willow Decorations with Eamon Tobin
Sat 12 Dec, 10.30am + 12 noon
Teen workshop 2.30pm

Pattern Weave
Sat 9 Jan, 10.30am + 12 noon
Teen workshop 2.30pm


Exploring & Researching Creative Design Ideas for Junk Kouture
Thurs: 15 Oct, 22 Oct and 5 Nov, 1.30pm –  3.30pm


Pattern Drafting with Joan Brennan
Thurs 15 Oct, 6pm – 8pm, €12 per person

Ceramic Skills with Ciara O’Sullivan
Mon 15 Oct, 6pm – 8pm, €12 per person

Wed 21 Oct and Wed 25 Nov, 10am
Connecting local creative communities through craft-based cultural engagements

26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 Oct, 12 noon – 4pm daily
Drop in craft and design activities for families

One evening each month at 6.30pm

Ceadogán Rugs
Design Talk, Thur 22 Oct

MADE in Kilkenny
Design Talk, Thur 26 Nov

Festive Event
Thur 17 Dec

Crafternoon Tours at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny
Saturdays at 3pm – booking required

Notes to Editors:

Designers and makers featured in ‘Ó’

1.    Mourne Textiles

2.    31 Chapel Lane

3.    Foxford Woollen Mills

4.    Andrew Ludick

5.    Aodh Furniture

6.    Snug

7.    Klimmek & Henderson

8.    Ceadogán

9.    Hennessy & Byrne

10.  Saturday Workshop

11.  Chaïm Factor

12.  Simon Doyle

13.  Mullan Lighting

14.  Eamon Tobin

15.  Helen O'Connell

16.  Jack Doherty

17.  Superfolk

18.  Adam Frew

19.  Tony Farrell

20.  Catherine Keenan

21.  Liz Nilsson

22.  Makers & Brothers

23.  Whackpack

24. Arran Street East

25. Cillian Ó Súilleabháin

26. BTU Studio

27. Shane Holland Design Workshops

28. J.Hill's Standard

29. Stephen Pearce

About the Curator
Steven McNamara is the founder of award-winning studio, ROJI. He is passionate about promoting good design and has spoken on panel discussions at international design events such as TENT London, Habitare AHEAD and OFFSET, and has collaborated with many organisations, amongst them the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2012. He led a multi-disciplinary collective to represent and promote Irish design on behalf of PIVOT Dublin at World Design Capital Helsinki 2012. He was the exhibition designer and co-curator in 2013 for 'Vernacular', the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s (DCCoI) debut at Tent London as part of London Design Festival. In 2014 Steven curated and designed ‘Weathering’, DCCoI's second show at Tent London. Steven was awarded Graduate Designer of the Year 2014 by the Institute of Designers of Ireland. He is also the current Exhibitions Officer for the Architectural Association of Ireland. www.roji.ie

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), which is headquartered in Kilkenny, is the main champion of the craft and design 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 over 70 member organisations and over 3,000 registered clients. www.dccoi.ie

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 Irish Design 2015
Through a year-long programme of events and activities exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design both in Ireland and internationally, Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) aims to showcase the very best of Irish design in order to drive job creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness.  ID2015 is an island of Ireland initiative engaging the public, the design community and businesses, promoting Irish design in just about every form at home through events and exhibitions while also targeting the export market through trade missions and events in international capitals of design and commerce.   ID2015 is being convened by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI), in collaboration with partner organisations, on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland.  Irish Design 2015 partners include Founding Partners - MCO Projects; Accommodation Partners - The Doyle Collection; Venue Partners - OPW; Exhibition Partners – DAA; Technology Partners – IBM; Transport Partners – Bus Éireann Expressway and Broadcast Partners - RTÉ. www.irishdesign2015.ie 

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