21st Century Icons

21st Century Icons

10 June 2011 – 28 July 2011
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21st Century Icons10 June 2011 – 28 July 2011

Some of Ireland's most exciting contemporary jewellers re-interpret the iconic forms of celtic neckpieces, torcs and lunulas for the 21st Century.
The function of jewellery has always been to convey status. This was particularly true of the torc, whose ostentatious size and weight could communicate the force and power of the wearer. But in contemporary usage, the torc has become an object of kitsch, often geared towards the tourist. But if we were to design neckpieces now that conveyed something about us - as Irish - to the world, what would they say? And what would they look like? Would they be gold? Recycled? Injection moulded? Would they be images of power and beauty? Shackles? Or blue collars?

21st Century Icons offers a unique opportunity for 21 of Ireland’s most innovative and creative makers to suggest some answers. Curated by Ann Mulrooney

Angela O’Kelly | Eily O'Connell | Eimear Conyard | Inga Reed | Julie Connellan | Justyna Truchanowska | Lesley Frew | Melissa Curry | Rachel McKnight | Rudolf Heltzel | Sabrina Meyns | Sonja Landweer | Tuula Harrington and Róisín de Buitléar (collaborative piece) | Una Burke | Marika Miklosi Manning | Christina Brosnan| Laura Macnamara | Sam Hamilton | Seliena Coyle | Erika Marks | Emma Bourke

The makers responses have included inspiration from a vast array of influences including the National Museum’s Bronze Age gold collection (Inga Reed); sheep’s wool from Co. Waterford (Eily O’Connell); the spiritual warrior women of Irish legend (Melissa Curry); Celtic lunulas (Christina Brosnan); the Tudor style ruff (Rachel McKnight); the 21st century neckpiece, the ipod headphones (Sam Hamilton); social networking (Laura McNamara) and tangles of Irish branches and tree roots (Emma Bourke).

This exhibition will open on Friday 10th June, on the occasion of the World Crafts Council delegation’s visit to Kilkenny.

On Tour

Galway City Museum 22 April 2012 – 25 July 2012

Dublin Castle, 2 Palace Street, Dublin 2 19 December 2012 – 30 June 2013


Education & Outreach


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