Magnificent exhibition of clay ceramics in Kilkenny

Sean Keane


Sean Keane



Adam frew's touchstone part of the exhibition opening on Friday in the National Design and Craft Gallery

Touchstone, an inspiring exhibition by Ceramics Ireland to celebrate the breadth of Irish ceramic practice, will open at the National Design and Craft Gallery in The Castle Yard, Kilkenny on Friday.
It is a major boost to have the show in the city and is a reflection that Kilkenny is at the centre of design and crafts in this country.
Curated by ceramicists Tina Byrne and Elaine Riordan (editor and chairperson of Ceramics Ireland respectively) and featuring a variety of approaches to working with clay, Touchstone is a visual feast exploring form, figure, and function.
The exhibition will be officially launched by Minister for Local government John Paul Phelan at 6.30pm on Friday evening.
The third exhibition in the Ceramics Ireland triennial series and coinciding with the 40th anniversary of the organisation, Touchstone debuted at Farmleigh Gallery, Phoenix Park, Dublin, on 17 June.
The exhibition’s transfer to Kilkenny should provide an opportunity for national and international visitors to the area as well as local audiences to experience a comprehensive collection of contemporary Irish ceramics.
“Ceramics Ireland is a key promoter of Irish ceramicists and their work at home and abroad,” Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) said.
“The organisation champions the quality and craftsmanship of this discipline and raises the profile of ceramics as an art form,” Karen said.
“We are thrilled to host Touchstone so that visitors to this region will have the opportunity to explore this beautiful collection from Ireland’s established and emerging ceramic artists,” she added.
The exhibition runs until January 21.
The artists come from across the broad spectrum of clay practice, including sculptural, decorative, functional and installation based works.
An independent expert panel of three selected from over 100 applications and the chosen group includes the work of celebrated makers, including Frances Lambe, Cormac Boydell, Adam Frew, Sara Flynn, and Gráinne Watts, many of whom are featured in the (DCCoI) PORTFOLIO programme.
The exhibition highlights the work of makers who are embarking on their careers such as Cathy Burke and Ann McBride.
They are former DCCoI Future Maker Awards and Supports recipients.
The full list of artists features: Adam Frew , Aisling McElwain, Alex Scott, Alison Kay, Andrew Ludick, Ann McBride, Caroline Getty, Cathy Burke, Claire McLaughlin, Cormac Boydell, Deirdre McLoughlin, Elaine Riordan, Eleanor Swan, Frances Lambe, Grainne Watts, Gus Mabelson, Isobel Egan, Jack Doherty, Jennifer Hickey, Jon Pigott, Ingrid Murphy, Katharine West, Lucy Morrow, Mandy Parslow, Marcus O'Mahony, Mark Campden, Markus Jungman, Michael Flynn, Mike Byrne and Nuala Creed. Nuala O'Donovan Owen Quinlan, Peter Fulop, Sara Flynn, Susan O'Byrne, Tara Butler-Frey and Vicki Sutherland.