Barcelona welcomes 24 Irish designers and makers in prestigious exhibition

Posted 29.05.19

BARCELONA WELCOMES 24 IRISH DESIGNERS & MAKERS IN PRESTIGIOUS EXHIBITION

An exhibition of exceptional new work from the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection 2019-2020 to open at Centre d’Artesania Catalunya - CCAM Barcelona on Thursday, 30th May 2019

Irish design and craftsmanship will be celebrated at a stand-alone exhibition in Barcelona with 24 Irish makers and designers showcasing their work to coincide with Barcelona Design Week (12-20th June). The FREE exhibition will run until 21st July 2019 and is a must-see for anyone travelling to the Spanish city this summer.

Entitled Surface Matters, the exhibition is presented by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland and features new work from the 24 makers selected by an independent jury for PORTFOLIO Critical Selection, the Council’s flagship biennial publication showcasing Irish contemporary craft. Surface Matters takes place at the Centre D’Artesania Catalunya following a successful run at the OPW’s Coach House Gallery, Dublin Castle earlier this year. Showcasing exquisite works ranging from wood and glass to metals and ceramics, the exhibition includes names such as renowned leather designer Úna Burke, furniture designers Sasha Sykes and Stephen O’Briain and jewellery designer David McCaul (full list below).

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: “Presenting Surface Matters in Barcelona is a wonderful opportunity to showcase contemporary Irish design and craft on an international stage. The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland continually strives to support Irish designers and makers in achieving excellence and to enhance the reputation of these highly skilled craftspeople both in Ireland and abroad. This exhibition of work from our PORTFOLIO programme features an extraordinary collection of pieces and the accompanying publication provides a contemporary source for national and international curators, collectors and commissioning bodies.”

Curated by Liz Cooper, the exhibition considers the extraordinary skill and attention to detail involved in the creation of these contemporary craft objects. “Surface in craft and design is not simply a lick of paint or a gloss of varnish. Instead it speaks to us of the skill and knowledge of the maker, in their understanding, handling and processing of the materials that make up the completed forms, be they raw matter like raw metal, wood, yarn or clay, or those mediated by manufacture, including molten glass, alloys, glazes and varnishes,” Cooper said.

The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s PORTFOLIO programme, initially launched in 2005, was developed to actively grow the reputations and potential of designer-makers across all major disciplines of contemporary craft. The programme currently features over 140 of Ireland’s most renowned makers. PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection, which is part of the broader PORTFOLIO programme, is a biennial publication with a coinciding touring exhibition showcasing a select group of the best of Irish contemporary design and craft in a world-class context. The publication is used to increase awareness and understanding of leading Irish makers and their current work, acting as a valuable reference for collectors and galleries worldwide. The 2019-2020 edition features new additions: jewellers David McCaul and Annemarie Reinhold, glass artist Emma Bourke, woodturner Alan Meredith and furniture maker Ciaran McGill.

Surface Matters runs at Centre d’Artesania Catalunya – CCAM, C/ Banys Nous 11, 08002 Barcelona from 30th May to 21st July 2019.  It will then return to Ireland and show at the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny from November 2019 to February 2020.

The designer-makers included in PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection 2019-2020 are:

Roger Bennett (wood)
Emma Bourke (glass) – new to the Critical Selection
Úna Burke (leatherworking)
Mike Byrne (ceramics)
Eimear Conyard (metals)
Jack Doherty (ceramics)
Sara Flynn (ceramics)
Stevan Hartung (furniture)
Jennifer Hickey (ceramics)
Joe Hogan (basketry)
John Lee (furniture)
Ciaran McGill (furniture) – new to the Critical Selection
David McCaul (jewellery) – new to the Critical Selection
Alan Meredith (wood) – new to the Critical Selection
Cecilia Moore (metals)
Cara Murphy (metals)
Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill (metals)
Stephen O’Briain (furniture)
Nuala O’Donovan (ceramics)
Annemarie Reinhold (metals) – new to the Critical Selection
Sasha Sykes (furniture)
Joseph Walsh (furniture)
Grainne Watts (ceramics)
Zelouf & Bell (furniture)

About Liz Cooper
Liz Cooper is a curator who specialises in contemporary craft, especially art textiles. She works with many artists and organisations, building audiences and contexts for craft and design practice. Since 2014 Liz has been part-time development manager for Design-Nation, a portfolio of leading designers and craftspeople in the UK. Previously she worked for The National Centre for Craft & Design, Smiths Row and Contemporary Art Society. Liz has a busy independent practice as a curator, consultant and writer. In 2018 she curated ‘The 62 Group of Textile Artists’ exhibition ‘Ctrl/Shift’ for MAC Birmingham, which is now touring until early 2020. Other exhibition projects include ‘What Do I Need to Do to Make It OK’, ‘Beauty is the First Test’ and for West Dean ‘Artists Meet Their Makers’. Liz studied textiles at Goldsmiths College, London, and has been a core member of CraftNet since 2014. www.lizcooper.org

About PORTFOLIO
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s PORTFOLIO programme actively works to grow the reputations and potential of designer-makers across all major disciplines of contemporary craft. Featured makers are those producing innovative objects, either one-off pieces or limited editions, and working to the highest standards of design quality and technical skill. Selected by an international expert panel, the programme currently features over 140 of Ireland's most renowned makers in disciplines including ceramics, glass, jewellery, metals, paper, textiles, fashion, calligraphy, furniture, woodturning, stone and basketry. PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection, which is part of the broader PORTFOLIO programme, is a biennial publication of the best of Irish contemporary design and craft in a world-class context. The publication aims to increase awareness and understanding of leading Irish makers and their current work.  www.portfolio.dccoi.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 over 60 member organisations and more than 3,000 registered clients. www.dccoi.ie

Image (l to r): Lilias by John Lee, Carrot Spoons by Annemarie Reinhold, Dearcán Diptych by Alan Meredith

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