Twenty of Ireland’s most exciting and creative designer-makers are exhibiting new work in Shape the Future at the National Craft Gallery. Each of the featured designers and makers has been awarded prizes or development funding in recent years through the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) Future Makers Awards and Supports programme.
Future Makers is one of the biggest award programmes in Europe for students and emerging makers and has supported 162 makers since its launch in 2009.
Curated by Angela O’Kelly, the exhibition will be officially opened at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny on Friday at 7pm by Professor Willie Donnelly, President of Waterford Institute of Technology. Running until 5 February 2017, the exhibition has been organised as part of the marking of the centenary of the 1916 Rising under the Cultural Expression strand and has been supported by Kilkenny County Council as part of The Kilkenny 2016 Centenary Plan.
Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: “The Future Makers Awards and Supports programme is one of a number of DCCoI initiatives nurturing and empowering the wealth of emerging creative talent in Ireland.
“We are committed to investing in the development of this new generation of innovators to enhance their profiles and build their confidence so they may reach their potential in their chosen fields, paving the way to a more productive and dynamic design and craft sector in Ireland,” she said.
Shape the Future is an opportunity for this selected group to showcase their skills and creativity, and will be a platform on which they can establish their reputations further, both in Ireland and abroad,” she added.
In a year when Ireland’s sense of cultural identity and the importance of it are heightened, Shape the Future seeks to explore the relationship between craft, design and culture, and how they relate to and shape each other. The designers were invited to create new pieces inspired by their cultural surroundings, and the featured works push boundaries of artifact construction and material manipulation. They cover a wide range of disciplines and approaches across fashion, jewellery, accessories, textiles, furniture, product, glass, ceramics and leather.