Design & Crafts Council Ireland continues to support high-quality exhibition-making and exhibition opportunities for Irish makers and designers through the annual External Exhibitions Fund (EEF). The purpose of this fund is to:
• Stimulate and reward the development of professional gallery-led exhibition skills in makers and curators of craft
• Develop significant exhibition opportunities for Irish makers
• Facilitate relationships with international galleries and collectors
• Increase awareness through education and outreach activities associated with high-quality craft exhibitions
• Enhance the reputation of Irish craft in Ireland and abroad
There was a large volume of applications to the EEF 2020, the standard of which was high, resulting in an extremely competitive process. A selection panel including international external judge Liz Cooper and national external judge Fiona Mulholland, with an internal DCCI assessor, reviewed the applications and allocated a total of €14,800 funding toward 10 projects.
Projects receiving EEF funding in 2020 are:
- Ceramics Ireland for a major exhibition in Farmleigh, Dublin and capsule exhibition representing Ireland as County of Honour at the 7th Argillà Italia International Ceramics Festival
- DLR Lexicon, Dún Laoghaire for an exhibition exploring process curated by Angela O’Kelly
- Eily O’Connell for a solo exhibition in Iceland
- Headford Lace Project for an exhibition as part of Galway 2020 curated by Fiona Harrington
- The Hunt Museum for a major costume exhibition curated with Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh
- Sinead Cooke for a collective jewellery and metals show coinciding with Schmuck, Munich
- South Tipperary Arts Centre for a woodturning exhibition curated by Stephen O’Connell
Liz Cooper is a curator and project consultant specialising in contemporary craft and design, and based in London until recently. She most recently curated "Surface Matters", the Portfolio Critical Selection touring exhibition. Her other recent curatorial project is "Ctrl/Shift" with the 62 Group of Textile Artists, at MAC Birmingham, The National Centre for Craft & Design and now 20-21 Visual Arts Centre. Other projects include work for Crafts Study Centre, touring exhibition "What Do I Need to Do to Make It OK?" and annual showcases at London Craft Week since 2017 for Design-Nation, for whom Liz is also is the development manager.
Fiona Mulholland has over 20 years' experience in the creative sector. As a curator and an interdisciplinary artist, she often works across a variety of media in her practice and has realised several exhibitions as well as large scale sculptural works. Recently Fiona curated Crowded Thresholds exhibition at National Design & Craft Gallery. In 2011, Fiona was awarded a residency at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre in the North West of Ireland, where she continues to be based. Fiona began designing the Mulholland Jewellery collections in 2014 and has since been successful in several highly competitive processes. Recent awards include: ‘Irish Accessory Designer of the Year’ at the Irish Fashion Industry Awards, a Future Makers ‘Spotlight Award’, the ‘Established Jewellery Category Winner’ at the RDS Crafts Awards and in 2017, a Golden Fleece Award.