MADE IN IRELAND Exhibition | Open Call


National Design & Craft Gallery are delighted to announce a major open submission exhibition for 2021. ‘MADE IN IRELAND intends to celebrate the skill and vitality of the island’s makers, and inspire pride in the remarkable and distinctive work being created in Ireland today.’ Mary Gallagher and Hilary Morley.

Ireland has a rich heritage of craft with wealth of studio craftspeople working across all regions of our island making exceptional functional and artistic pieces. Makers invest in honing their skills over many years and work with carefully sourced, often local materials, to create high-quality pieces designed to last lifetimes. At a time when customers are showing a considerable preference and appreciation for goods that are Irish made, there is no better time to produce a vibrant, inclusive exhibition that celebrates the very best of craft MADE IN IRELAND.

Submissions are invited from all skilled Irish makers; those with extensive exhibition experience, and those quiet makers who are stepping into the limelight for the first time. Requirements are:

  •     makers living on the island of Ireland
  •     working in clay, glass, metal, wood, textiles, paper, or other craft materials
  •     creating original work
  •     demonstrating accomplished skill and artistic merit
  •     work made in collaboration with other makers is welcome

An independent panel of craft experts will assess the submissions.

MADE IN IRELAND will launch at the National Design & Craft Gallery (NDCG), Kilkenny in November 2021 and will tour to other Irish venues in 2022. This open call exhibition has been originated by Mary Gallagher, Owner of Blue Egg Gallery, Wexford and Hilary Morley, Editor of and Independent Curator.

The Selection Process

Stage 1 (Online Submission - Deadline 1 February 2021)

Makers are asked to complete a short application form with supporting material:

  •     At least 3 high res images (300dpi minimum) of work made in the last two years. These images do not need to show the actual work you propose to exhibit, but must be representative of the type of work you intent to submit.
  •     A short description of the new work intended for exhibition
  •     A brief CV 
  •     A description of maker’s craft practice - max 150 words
  •     Website address and social media links

Applications will be assessed using the following guidelines:

    Is there clear evidence that the items are made using learned and practised craft skills? (Items that are predominantly made using externally sourced parts will not be considered)
    Is it clear that the work is made in a studio/workshop setting in Ireland rather than a manufacturing facility?
    How the submission scores in terms of:      

  •     Skills in Making
  •     Design / Artistic merit
  •     Originality
  •     Consistency of craft practice
  •     Presentation
  •     Quality of materials
  •     Ability to complement other selected exhibits
  •     Value for money - All work must be available for sale

Stage 2

Selected makers are asked to submit completed work by 13th September 2021 to allow time for final selection, catalogue photography and exhibition curation.

1st February 2021  deadline for Applications
26th March 2021  selection complete and responses sent to makers
13th September 2021  deadline for the submission of work for the exhibition
12th November 2021  MADE IN IRELAND opens in Kilkenny
20th February 2021  exhibition closes in Kilkenny

The Selection Panel

  •     Peter Carroll, architect and director of A2Architects, Dublin
  •     Dr. Riann Coulter, curator, F.E. McWilliam Gallery and Studio, Banbridge
  •     Mary Gallagher, owner of the Blue Egg Craft Gallery, Wexford
  •     Irene Kernan, Director Craft Scotland
  •     Kathleen Moran, former Managing Director of Kilkenny Design Centre for 30 years
  •     Neil Read, ceramic artist and Head of Department of Ceramics, Glass and Metals, National College of Art and Design, Dublin, 1987-2010
  •     Dr. Audrey Whitty, Head of Collections & Learning, National Museum of Ireland.

The Curators:

Hilary Morley has extensive experience in the craft sector as a curator and project manager. Hilary was instrumental in establishing, an online journal celebrating Irish craft in archive, stories and review, which she now edits.

Stephen O’Connell has worked for many years in the decorative and applied arts, including a period as a decorative arts specialist at Christie's in London.  He curated LAND(ED) for the Lavit Gallery in Cork, working with a selected group of internationally recognised Irish artists and craftspeople. He is currently working on an exhibition of contemporary Irish woodturning due to open in South Tipperary Arts Centre in December 2020.

Online Application:

Application deadline: 1st February 2021

Posted on November 11, 2020. Tagged craft, design, exhibitions, open call, application