Sunday, February 6, 2011

You'll want to touch it! Fabulous crafted art with a surprise or 2, at the National Craft Gallery

'Untitled 10'   Rowan Mersh
(I took this photo, & the ones following at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny)

Art, Craft
Kilkenny is known as the craft capital of Ireland, a title I think it deserves. (Disclosure- I live here!) But I also think of it as the arts capital of rural Ireland; especially with exhibitions like this one- Jerwood Contemporary Makers, at the (free!) National Craft Gallery until 8 March. It blurs the line between art & craft. Now, I'll confess right here that I am not an art scholar, nor an artist or craftsperson- I'm just someone who enjoys- so I'm not going into intellectual (or even informed!) discussion about ''is there a/what is the difference between art & craft.'' (If you are interested in that discussion, like me, you can head to this free event over at the Butler Gallery on 3 March, which should be quite good.)

 Don't Touch!
Many of the pieces on display were incredibly tempting to touch- so many textures & materials inviting a stroke,

'Willow Pattern with Uncertainty'   Robert Dawson

 a follow with a finger along a bumpy surface,

'Surface Form'   Laura Ellen Bacon

or even the slipping in of a foot into a modern Cinderella shoe.

'Rotationalmouldedshoe'    Marloes ten Bhomer

I've a lovely camera phone, but there were things it couldn't quite capture, like the fabulous birds in Karon Nicol's 'Scribble' lace piece. (Click her link & click then on 'lace' to see it.)
This necklace piece by Nora Fok, ' Disc-florets, ' fared a bit better on my phone. It was mesmerizing in person.

I took a few photos of a piece where there was a rather amusing surprise. I've decided not to post them, because I don't want to ruin it for you! Maybe I shouldn't even mention it...
I'll just say it was by Tony Hayward, & the way the piece was placed  meant that I had already formed a mental image of what it would be as I approached, & didn't see the surprise straight away. If you won't be going to the show and you'd like to see what the piece was, click here and then click here. This second click will also tell you more about the piece/series.

Year of Craft 2011
I recommend the show- there is a nice variety, so I believe most anyone will find things they enjoy. You can then also go just across the street to Kilkenny Castle, where you'll also find The Butler Gallery- where you can see Elemental, an exhibition by Alan Counihan. (On til 6 March.)  Coming on show next in the National Craft Gallery will be Irish Craft Portfolio craftwork, also part of the nationwide events, craft trails, & shows all part of Ireland's exciting Year of Craft 2011. So, although I've bragged that Kilkenny is the Irish capital of craft, there's plenty elsewhere in the country- click the Year of Craft link to see! And enjoy!! 

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