Exhibition celebrating bespoke, extraordinary objects to open at the National Design & Craft Gallery

Lasting Impressions, an exhibition of extraordinary objects, designed and crafted with integrity and ingenuity that will become the heirlooms of tomorrow, opened at the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny on Friday, 27th April.

Curated by Gregory Parsons, the collection covers a wide spectrum of practices, including ceramics, glassware, jewellery making and furniture, and take a closer look at how these craftspeople make and the processes they use to produce an object that will last. The exhibition was officially launched by Liz Cooper, Applied Arts Curator and Programme Manager at Design-Nation, UK, on Thursday 26th April.

Eighteen leading craftspeople from Ireland and the UK showcase objects, including: glassmakers Scott Benefield and Neil Wilkin; ceramicists Adam Buick, Ashraf Hanna, John McKeag, Paul Wearing, and Walter Keeler; furniture designers and makers Sebastian Cox and Cillian Ó Súilleabháin; jewellery maker Andrew Lamb; textile artists Nicola Henley, Ptolemy Mann, Eleri Mills and Liz Nilsson; weavers Mourne Textiles; stone sculpture artist Helen O'Connell; and metalsmiths Adi Toch and Yusuke Yamamoto. Several of these makers are showing their stunning works in Ireland for the first time, including Sebastian Cox, Andrew Lamb, Ptolemy Mann, Eleri Mills, Paul Wearing, Neil Wilkin and Yusuke Yamamoto.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, said: “It is a privilege to have the work of such a prestigious group of designers and makers from both Ireland and the UK on show in our gallery. This exhibition not only allows us to appreciate the integral beauty of the objects but examines the whole idea and value of creating something unique, a future heirloom. We also look forward to exploring the notion of commissioning, collecting and investing in such works in the accompanying events to the show, produced in partnership with Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales to where the exhibition will travel later in the summer.”

Craft can offer something unique, bespoke and personal. The selected designer-makers excel in their creative-making skills and include their signature, something of themselves, into every object they make. In examining the bespoke, the exhibition will also explore collecting; commissioning a wholly new piece of jewellery or furniture, discussing its attributes with its creator and having it made exactly to fit is a very special thing. It is also important to understand where the materials are sourced, how it is designed, put together and finished. The exhibition will consider the commissioning process and talk to collectors of contemporary craft about why they choose to invest in contemporary talent.

Gregory Parsons, Lasting Impressions curator, also commented: “The exhibitors here excel – their personal creative making skills becoming their signature, embedding something of themselves into every object they make, creating a lasting impression. They are makers who develop individual voices that sustain their practice; they may be innovative and cutting edge or using old techniques in new ways, however through this they are positioning their work in a more edgy and exciting place. They set themselves apart from the rest and their immense skill should be celebrated.”

Lasting Impressions will show at the National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny until 4 July 2018 and is curated by Gregory Parsons. The exhibition is produced by the National Design & Craft Gallery in partnership with Ruthin Craft Centre, Wales and will open there in July 2018.