Saturday, August 25, 2012

Utensil- some pieces bite back! At Kilkenny Craft Gallery

By Jennifer Slattery,  at Utensil
There's a lot to enjoy at Utensil, the current exhibition at The National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny. There are items you'd love to have on your own table, as well as ones that look like they might bite you back as you ate! The pieces mirror the experiences we have at the dinner table- pleasure, sharing, squabbles, angry or awkward silences full of emotion or worry.
The exhibit gets you thinking about the utensils in your own life, your own family heritage. As Gemma Tipton writes in her Irish Times article about the show:

"There is nothing humble or boring about the spoon in this exhibition, as the German silversmith Wiebke Meurer describes it as 'an everyday object, always found in the same spot, picked up and handled over and over again. A ritual that lasts for many generations. The life and thoughts of the spoon’s owners merge with the object itself. The spoon becomes a storyteller.'" 
(Ouch!)  items by Stuart Cairns at Utensil
This show was opened during the Kilkenny Arts Festival, & I went along to the informal tour/talk given by Craft curator Angela Kelly, which was quite interesting. These talks are enjoyable & it is interesting to learn more about the pieces, processes, or just even what others think/feel about the works.
If you missed that talk, head over for the free 'Late Date' at the gallery (there will be wine!) presented by Ken McGuire, Thurs 30 Aug, 6.30
items from Utensil, during tour

There are a few surprises, like the Whispering Table and Crossfire, so be sure to spend some time with these pieces on your visit.

To see more about the National Craft Gallery, and Utensil, visit their website here.
Utensil will be on show at the gallery until 29 October, 2012.

If you would like to see some of the other wonderful craft items that have been on show at the gallery

You may also enjoy reading this interview with Irish maker Enya Moore, who has pieces in the show. 
The photo below is one of her works. (photo from, the rest of the photos are mine.)

Enya Moore



  1. Hi Susan, Always amazed me how simple objects can be transformed by talented minds and hands, Kilkenny crafts, another reason to checkout Kilkenny. Still getting used to your new look,

    1. Hi Brian, I think those of us living in county Kilkenny are quite lucky- near such a lovely, small but perfectly formed medieval city with lots of things happening all the time. We are also spoiled for choice with fantasic places to eat in KK City! And the gorgeous countryside is right outside :-) PLUS our hurling team is the best ;-) Everyone should visit :-D
      Am nearly done finishing off the bits & bobs on the new look blog, whew! Susan


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