Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Power Of the Object; past & current Irish Craft

Torcs, c.1200 BC; found at Tara 

Have you been enjoying Fintan O'Toole's series in the Irish Times, 'A History of Ireland in 100 objects'? The entry on the ancient Irish torcs from Tara really caught my attention, particularily the lines:

''The ability to make these things comes with a period of development that may have been stimulated by the deterioration of the Irish climate from about 1200 BC. This may have led to conflict and insecurity (new types of weapons and enclosed settlements date from this period) with the emergence of more powerful kings.''

I wonder if there are some parallels here with the deterioration of the Irish economy, & some of the traditional structures of power (church, banks, Fianna Fail,) and the fresh outflowing of creativity that seems to be gaining momemtum now. Who/what will our modern 'powerful kings' be...will their modern torcs perhaps be like the ones at
the 21st Century Icons show at The National Craft Gallery, where Irish based makers re-interpret the torc for our times.. 

'Follow me on Twitter' by Laura Mcnamara

As part of the Irish Year Of Craft, Fintan will be giving a talk at the Kilkenny Arts Festival on 

''As part of the Year of Craft 2011, join Fintan O’Toole, author of the current Irish Times series ‘A History of Ireland in 100 Objects’, to explore what the Greeks called charis: the allure of objects. From a Stone Age mace head from Knowth to the silver tea urns of Georgian Dublin, The Power of the Object asks what the artefacts of earlier times have to tell us about our ancestors, our history and ourselves. As the great writer WG Sebald wrote: “Things know more about us than we know about them.”

To whet your appetite for thinking about & appreciating crafted objects, why not see the Jewelery & Goldsmiths' graduate show also now on at the National Craft Gallery, on with the 21stc Icons, til the 28th July? If you are unable to make it, here are some photos from the jewellry/goldsmith show, (click the link higher up to see more from the 21st Icons)

The makers all made miniatures of Kilkenny buildings

And Jewelery pieces

There was a whole row of these fabulous wasps from each- unfortunately I struggled to stop the reflection on most of the cases that held the pieces- sorry the photos are not great..

Everyone also made a themed teapot.

There were vases/pitchers, & jewellery pieces inspired by paintings, too. Do get to the gallery to see them in person if you can! 

I don't have the individual pieces labeled as I usually do- I don't have the info on who made what; if you know, pls leave a comment so I can add in photo captions- thanks! (Here is a list of the makers of the buildings:)

If any of these object have spoken to you, or you enjoy craft, history, or pondering how beautiful &/or useful objects have shaped/shape our culture, come along on Tues, 9 Aug at 8pm to the Parade Tower, & join Fintan O'Toole and Prof. Daniel Miller in exploring The Power Of Objects. You can book here

See you there!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a comment, or tip about Ireland of your own? Please share it here :-) Thanks!