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CultureCraft Culture in the Making: an exhibition of contemporary craft for the UK City of Culture 2013, Derry~Londonderry

‘Culture has been defined in a number of ways, but most simply, as the learned and shared behaviour of a community of interacting human beings.’ – Useem, J., & Useem, R. (1963), Human Organizations

Neil Read /Adam Frew/ Peter Meanley/Gail Mahon/ Peter Fulop/Deirdre O’Callaghan/ Scott Benefield/Peadar Lamb/ James Toal/Charlene McFarland/ Richard Sinclair/Rachel Mc Knight/ Eily O’Connell/Sabrina Meyns/ Justyna Truchanowska/ Cara Murphy/Angela O’Kelly/ Grainne Morton/

Stuart Cairns/Seliena Coyle/ Tara Ní Nualláin/Liz Nilsson/ Caroline Schofield/Logan McLain/ Mary R. Cullen/Brigitta Varadi/ Suzanne Woods/Liam Flynn/ Tom Agnew/Joe Hogan/ Dr Helen McAllister/Alex Scott/ Alva Gallagher/Dr Caroline Madden/ Michelle Stephens/ Nigel Graham Cheney/

First published in 2013 by CultureCraft and the Crafts Council of Ireland as part of the UK City of Culture 2013, Derry~Londonderry Š the Editors, Artists, Authors and Publisher. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher or author, except in the case of a reviewer, who may quote brief passages embodied in critical articles or in a review.

ISBN 978-1-906691-36-3

Culture in the Making an exhibition of contemporary craft for the UK City of Culture 2013 Derry~Londonderry

Contents Foreword & Acknowledgements p. 12 I ntroduction p. 16 01 Essays & Writing

p. 20

02 Makers’ Works p. 33 03 Master residency/ p. 175 Maker workshops 04 Makers Index p. 183 05 Colophon p. 191


36 of Ireland’s leading craftspeople/craft makers were invited to contemplate the notion that one’s culture has an impact beyond sentimentality and to create a piece of work in response to this reflective investigation. Culture has been defined in a number of ways, but most simply, as the learned and shared behaviour of a community of interacting human beings.1

Material objects have a history and reflect a cultural perspective. Therefore, material objects can be used to document the lives of a people. However, we must realise that it is not the material objects that distinguish one group of people from another, but how people interpret, use, and perceive those material objects. Understanding cultural groups prepares us to better listen to, respect, and celebrate those who seem different at first glance. Seliena Coyle Curator

1. 2.

Useem, J., & Useem, R. (1963). Human Organizations, 22(3). Parson, T. (1949). Essays in Sociological Theory. Glencoe, IL.


Culture … consists in those patterns relative to behaviour and the products of human action which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generation independently of the biological genes.2

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Contemporary craft provides a space for multi-faceted investigation which creates the conditions for a dialogue between ideas. Strange if not indifferent bedfellows to contemporary art, it reminds us that object-making engages the hand and head. The best, most innovative craft can often be accused of squatting on other disciplines ‘territory’, without permission and unrepentant. A black sheep, an antidote to the massproduced. The City of Derry has been designated UK City of culture 2013, bringing with it; celebration, pride, controversy, disagreement and the familiar culture of political debate in Northern Ireland. Whereas, historically, reference to ‘community’ often required adjectives to distinguish by religion or political association, this exhibition experience is intended to allow the question of culture to function as a more inclusive umbrella, under which individual and community identities can be explored, understood and, ultimately, celebrated and validated, through the arts. This process can help to move, over time, individuals and communities, beyond an inherited divide and into a new set of relations.


The Curator would like to thank the following individuals for their invaluable help and guidance throughout the CultureCraft project; exhibition, masterclasses and catalogue –


Dr Caroline Madden Professor Declan McGonagle Dex Lynch Deirdre O’Callaghan Suzanne Woods Caroline Schofield Alex Scott Steve Lewis The London Street Gallery staff Garry O’Callaghan In particular I would like to thank Helen Quigley (Inner City Trust) and Louise Breslin (Derry City Council), whose support from the outset was instrumental in the success of this project.

Crafts Council of Ireland

About the National Craft Gallery Established by the Crafts Council of Ireland in 2000, the National Craft Gallery is Ireland’s leading centre for contemporary craft and design. It exhibits Irish and international designers, artists and makers who push boundaries in their engagement with the making process. Its mission is to inspire appreciation, creativity and innovation through its exhibition, event and education programmes, and it plays a critical role in building understanding of craft and material culture in Ireland.


Karen Hennessy Chief Executive Crafts Council of Ireland

About the Crafts Council of Ireland The Crafts Council of Ireland (CCoI), which is headquartered in Kilkenny, is the main champion of the craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. CCoI’s activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. CCoI currently has over 70 member organisations and over 2,750 registered clients.

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Culture, identity and nationality are intrinsic components of craft. Irish craft has a human face, a unique history, and it displays skill, commitment and quality. The crafted object’s unique ability to express who it is we are, encompasses both the richness of our tradition and our creative ability to innovate and adapt to new technologies. The Crafts Council of Ireland is delighted to work with Craft Northern Ireland, Craft Connects, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Derry County Council on CultureCraft – Culture in the Making. This exhibition provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase Irish culture and creativity to national and international audiences as a key component of the City of Culture 2013 celebrations. We look forward to welcoming CultureCraft to the National Craft Gallery in 2014 as part of the exhibition’s touring programme.

Introduction: Crafting a New Narrative Professor Declan McGonagle

Director, National College of Art and Design, Dublin

Introduction CultureCraft

It is interesting that the historian, Simon Schama, has argued, in his book, Landscape and Memory [1995], that the Classical civilisation of the Greeks and Romans, from whom we have taken many of our ideas of civil society and democracy, saw itself as a counterpoint to the darkness of the ‘primeval wood’. For primeval wood, think nature—uncontrolled, disordered and dangerous. In that world view, civilisation represented an imposition of order on disorder and an ordering of human experience within the civilised space, adhering to a particular set of values. This is an extremely powerful impulse in the human project—to make order out of chaos, to catch and fix experience by harnessing raw materials in order to craft manmade evidence of our power and control over nature.

We can see this in ancient artefacts, from the earliest moments when, it can be said, mankind made ‘sculpture’ i.e.. artefacts which were more than simply utilitarian, such as the Cycladic sculpture of the Cyclades Islands, in the eastern Mediterranean, from about 6,000 years ago - one of those moments when human consciousness emerged and mankind manipulated materials to confirm his/her humanity, firstly, to him/ herself and, secondly, to communicate that humanity to others —thereby creating empathy, thereby creating society. This is why art making and ‘crafting’ is important, this is what it is for—the creation of empathy. However when that crafting is connected to power and to the exercise of power, a sort of innocence cannot be claimed. A knife, a gun, a weapon are all designed and crafted though it is the use to which these artefacts are put which makes them positive or negative elements of human experience. This is also true when materials are brought together and crafted environmentally, architecturally, on the scale of landscape. The City Walls of Derry were planned by the companies of the City of London in 1614 and built to an internal grid of ordered streets, protected by sixteen foot wide walls. By 1622 the street grid pattern was filling in and the sense of order within was being established—which was to be tested at the time of the siege of Derry sixty or so years later—as a counterpoint to native disorder without. The cross grid pattern, meeting at a square also had a religious significance, in the sense that within the Walls was civilised and what was without was

Professor Declan McGonagle

powerlessness and recurring conflicts about that, are so clearly embodied in the very fabric and topography of place … in the present. The City Walls represent crafting on an environmental and societal scale and therefore are unavoidable, can’t be ignored and had to be addressed. A new shared narrative and an understanding had to be developed around the complexities rather than the simplicities of the inherited stories and it is this which is leading to a new kind of ownership of meaning. It is appropriate, therefore, with all of the above in mind, related to rich, complex issues of identity, now being renegotiated, that this exhibition takes place within a shout of the City Walls, in a building in London Street, one of the oldest streets in the city and in the context of Derry/Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013. The exhibition space is also beside St Columb’s Cathedral, another crafted artefact which also communicates its meaning without ambiguity. In some ways, the whole world now seems crafted, even parts of nature are groomed, in the service of human needs and there is a loss if that process of ‘paving paradise’ continues unchecked. It may be that one of the roles of crafting and art making is to connect man-made experience to nature and to natural processes, including the sense of time, in order to connect rather than separate. Derry’s city Walls did their job in their day, when they had to. As that narrative no longer needs protection their role and meaning can be unfixed and change. They can now meet other needs to do with connectedness rather than conflict. This is already underway and is evident in the work in this exhibition and in the purpose and occasion of the exhibition. Empathy is created by providing proof of existence and, crucially, communicating and sharing that proof of existence and what this exhibition also does is provide artists and designers, who are playing their part, with the opportunity to exchange that proof of existence for the means of existence.

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Godless and uncivilised. In the context of Derry, which became Londonderry at that time, because of the involvement and the investment of the Companies of the city of London—a connection which remains singular to this day—this was simply a colonial reality in the period of the Plantation and the need for fortified, defensible towns and houses. Derry/Londonderry, at this point, was the first example of conscious town planning in Ireland, almost from scratch, since the 1614 development replaced the ‘Derrie’ of 1600—a star fort with a disorganised layout of streets and buildings inside its fortifications. The City Walls protect and, indeed, the walled City itself, relates to Classical ideas of order and of ordering human experience—within the Walls—and being able to exercise authority outside, especially in this part of the North West of Ireland and, particularly, in relation to the Foyle estuary. The Foyle river and estuary was recognised as significant and of strategic military importance to England’s relationship with the continental powers of Spain and France, at the time. In fact, the Walls and the City became pivotal in the late seventeen century in the war over the English throne between James 2cd and William of Orange, a contest which drew a map of allegiance and loyalty which people in the city and in Ireland have been negotiating ever since. There are two narratives in play and, until, recently those narratives literally collided regularly on and around the City Walls because the Walls, as well as being an important historical and cultural artefact were also understood, by both communities, as an important, indeed, foundational, political artefact. The aesthetic which determined the ‘form’ of the City Walls was a political aesthetic i.e.. about the exercise of power—who has it, and on whose behalf is it exercised. Yet this City is not alone in having power relationships so clearly articulated in historical stones, bricks and mortar but it is among the very few places where historical relationships centred on power and

Introduction CultureCraft

‘Craftsmanship at its best is a human activity which brings out the spiritual nature of work. Firstly, as an activity that engages both the hand and the head, it allows for a balance between body and mind which few other trades permit. Secondly, by producing artefacts that are “more than simply utilitarian”  … craftsmanship allows us to engage with the unavoidable

CultureCraft exhibition launch in the London Street Gallery, Derry, Sunday 11 August, 2013.

President Michael D. Higgins

President Michael D. Higgins speaking at the

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connection between what is aesthetic and what is functional— the functional valuing what is beautiful and the beauty of what is truly useful. It precludes—or ideally should preclude—the hegemony of representation over sensation, of design over workmanship. It also allows us to move closer … to a form of intimacy. The craftsman gives something of himself to the object he shapes.’

01 Essays & Writing

All kinds of everything Dr Joseph McBrinn Culture Craft Dr Audrey Whitty The Instability of Culture Professor Jessica Hemmings

All kinds of everything Dr Joseph McBrinn Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster

02  Essays & Writing CultureCraft

In the 1990s the critic Peter Dormer in an attempt to define the terms ‘culture’ and ‘craft’ and unravel their complex relationship, resolved that as words they were at best ‘slippery’ and at worst ‘sloppy.’ Dormer in his classic edited volume The Culture of Craft (1997) considered, along with a group of leading historians and critics, the ‘culture of craft’ in terms of language and rhetoric, education and technology, connoisseurship and aesthetics as well as politics and economics and the often secreted presence, and history, of craft in the worlds of fine art and design.1

In our new era of post-disciplinarity the apparent slipperiness of ‘craft’ as a term is more evident than ever and its apparent sloppiness has seeped much further conceptually and has recently been characterised, by critics such as Glenn Adamson, as a feature of contemporary making itself.2 ‘Calculated sloppiness’ it seems, whether cynically or casually done, may help handmade things stand out in contradistinction to the sleek manufacture of globally produced, and distributed, fine art and design. For Dormer making things by hand was, and is, always in some way ‘a practical philosophy.’3 Writing about the Belfast-trained furniture maker, Mary Little, in 1995 he saw her approach as less technical, in its soft, semi-shapeless and sloppy structures, and more about aesthetic hybridisation, fusing sources as diverse as Japanese design, theatre and fashion with a sort of anthropomorphism.4 For the most part Peter Dormer hardly ever wrote about Irish craft or design. By the time he met Mary Little she had left Belfast and moved to London. However, in the early 1980s when Dormer began formulating a new way of conceptualising what became termed ‘the new ceramics’, ‘the new jewellery’, ‘the new furniture’, and so on, as late twentieth century Postmodern inheritors of the post-war studio crafts, he paid his first visit to Northern Ireland. Visiting at the height of the Troubles, commentary of 1.

2. 3. 4.

See the ‘Introduction’ in Peter Dormer (ed.), The Culture of Craft: Status and Future (Manchester University Press, 1997), pp. 2 – 16 for Dormer’s use of the terms ‘slippery’ and ‘sloppy.’ Glenn Adamson, ‘When Craft Gets Sloppy’, Crafts, no. 211, March/ April 2008, pp. 36-41. Ibid, p. 48. Peter Dormer, Furniture Today: Its Design & Craft (Crafts Council, London, 1995), p. 46.

5. 6. 7.


Peter Dormer, ‘Unsplendid Isolation’, Crafts, no. 54, January/ February 1982, pp. 40-41 Ibid, p. 40 Peter Fuller, ‘The Proper Work of the Potter’ in Peter Dormer (ed.), Fifty Five Pots and Three Opinions (The Orchard Gallery, Derry, 1983), p. 25. Richard Dixon (ed.) Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Ireland and the Irish Question (Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1971), p. 108.

Dr Joseph McBrinn

Ireland, a former manufacturing base already nearing the end of its decline. Derry, like other Northern Irish cities, had an important industrialized past and by implication a largely redundant and increasingly dispossessed skilled workforce. Indeed, Marx and Engels’s observations about the impoverished agricultural inheritance and emergence of a brutal industrial system in the Northeast of Ireland were based largely on knowledge of the ‘armies of labourers’ in Derry’s shirt-making factories.8 One of the most remarkable exhibitions of the Derry~Londonderry City of Culture 2013 programme was the inaugural show in the London Street Gallery where a group of artists were asked to reflect upon Derry’s industrial textile heritage. One of the exhibitors, Bernie Murphy, had worked in one of the city’s last shirt-making factories until, after 21 years, she was made redundant when the factory was closed down. Retraining at an art school she didn’t abandon her skills but turned to producing work that reflected upon the dislocation of the skills and processes inherent in manufacturing—creating unwearable garments that forced us to look for meaning in their facture rather than in their function. Indeed, much interesting craft being produced today, all over the world, engages with such issues as the displacement and redundancy of making skills, the disappearance of manufacturing in the West and the increasing exploitation of labour and resources outside the West, as well as our increasing alienation from the making of things from food to clothes to almost everything we consume. Our sense of paralysis in the West to the realities and implications of the globalised circuit of production and consumption has rendered us much

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which in the British press Dormer thought was generally ‘fat with condescension’, he approached local craft in terms of its social and economic status tempering, to some degree, his characteristic combative tone.5 Interviewing a range of makers, from the ceramists Jack Doherty and Peter Meanley to the jeweller Graham Harron, Dormer concluded that, in Northern Ireland (as in England) makers were aware that ‘insofar as people buy hand-made ware, they often do so out of nostalgia and sentiment.’6 He saw Irish craft, albeit in its Northern manifestation, as ‘unsplendid’ in its isolation and in real need of supporting organisations, such as local government and educational bodies, to bring ‘the best of the crafts (both home and abroad) to a wider public.’ Subsequently, the following year Dormer helped organise one of the largest ever exhibitions of modern and contemporary craft ever seen in Northern Ireland—the Fifty Five Pots and Three Opinions exhibition at the Orchard Gallery in Derry. As an exhibition Fifty Five Pots and Three Opinions comprised the work of eighteen British ceramists, ranging from the studio pottery of Bernard Leach, Michael Cardew, Hans Coper and Lucie Rie to the new ceramics of Angus Suttie, Carol McNicoll, Alison Britton and Richard Slee, and was accompanied by a catalogue containing three essays written by Dormer himself, Martina Margetts and Peter Fuller. Although focusing on the work of the potter these essays identified the work of craft artists in general as producing, in Peter Fuller’s approximation of the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott’s words, ‘transitional objects.’7 It was a useful way to consider the shift in context for craft—from post-war to post-industrial—and it held some real resonance in Northern

02  Essays & Writing CultureCraft

more estranged from labour of all sorts—the personal and the political—much more perhaps than Marx and Engels could have ever have envisaged. This is not to say that all craft, especially in Ireland, carries implicit critique by its choice of making by hand. To take another example, when the G8 Summit recently came to town the attention of the press focussed not the ubiquitous ‘End World Poverty’ protests but on the presentation of a series of mimetic portraits of eight world leaders in the incongruous form of Toby jugs by the Northern Irish-based potter Peter Meanley. This is not craft as a meditation on labour, more craft as luxury commodity. The commoditisation of craft, its identity as luxury good, souvenir or gift, is widely prevalent in the construction of the cultural position of contemporary Irish craft. Although recent international conferences and symposia9 have aimed to ignite debate about the ‘critical’ dimension in Irish craft and its intellectual relevance, as much as its economic significance, there is an overall tendency to see Irish craft in reductionist terms. The profile of Irish craft makers in the wider media may have increased in recent years but craft, unlike fine art, is still seen as something more tied to commerce than culture and is often included in the shopping as opposed to review sections of magazines and newspapers.10 Knowledge and the distribution of information about craft makers and studios, which are often located outside cities, is not always as easy to access. For instance, almost a decade after Peter Dormer came to Belfast when another English critic, Margot Coatts, came to Dublin to research an article on woodworkers she found little public

information to guide her—commenting that it ‘was like playing murder in the dark—you know they are out there yet they are difficult to see.’11 Most recently a few Irish makers have been able to ride the wider global wave of interest in craft and craft makers; consider the brilliant Cork-based furniture designer Joseph Walsh’s recent glossy cover feature in Crafts magazine (no. 238, September/ October 2012) as a case in point. Testament to Irish craft’s zeitgeist moment was the opening address given in 2011 by the then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, at the Crafts Council of Ireland’s Craft Conscious: Re-shaping global futures in the innovation age conference, where she evoked a personal narrative of craft heritage in the familial context of knitting, homespun clothes, time investment in skill, gendered and communal sanctity—a lost world, a lost identity—which she termed the ‘diminishing of craft in modernity.’12 All this may sound like anxiety-fuelled traditionalism at best and political sound-bite at worst but it does serve to expose the real political imperatives of ‘craft’ as a concept in contemporary Ireland—a country cruelly ravaged by cyclical financial crises, pervasive poverty and sectarian division and an inertia to deal with even the most fundamental of modern-day issues from gay rights and divorce to, most recently, abortion legislation. To return to Derry and the ideas that emerged in the Fifty Five Pots and Three Opinions exhibition at the Orchard Gallery—all three essays in the catalogue, like the largely functional ware on show in the exhibition, seemed to stress the everyday nature of craft. Indeed, in some ways if we think of craft 9. 10.

Such as the Inter-changes: Craft & Context symposium held at NCAD, Dublin, 13 – 14 April 2010. For example see ‘Home Made’, special issue of The Irish Times Saturday magazine, 21 August 2010; ‘Irish Craft: Celebrating the Best in Irish Design’, The Irish Times Special Report, 9 June 2011; and also for a similar perspective, albeit from the outside, see Beverly Sanders, ‘The Wide World of Craft – Ireland: In Pursuit of Craft’, American Craft, vol. 68, no. 4, August/September 2008, pp. 94-96.

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as possessing proximity to the mundane realities of everyday life, as bearing witness, then it seems strange that we never seem to talk about craft (certainly in an Irish context) in terms of possessing traces of the trauma of colonialisation and its modern-day incarnation, globalisation. And to return to Peter Fuller’s notion of the ‘transitional object’, maybe that’s what craft does—consoles, reassures, soothes—the comfort of things. Our world may be filled with, as the old Eurovision song by a former-Derry popstrel goes, ‘all kinds of everything’ but the Janus-faced way we consume today may not be limitless—something that the complex ‘slippery’ ideas and ‘sloppy’ realities of craft will, perhaps, not let us forget.

Dr Joseph McBrinn

11. 12.

Margot Coatts, ‘Eire Craft’, Crafts, January/February 1992, pp. 34 – 39. The Crafts Council of Ireland’s conference, Craft Conscious: Re-shaping global futures in the innovation age, 9 June 2011, Dublin Castle, was held as part of their Year of Craft programme.

Culture Craft Dr Audrey Whitty

Curator of European and Asian Glass, Corning Museum of Glass, New York

02  Essays & Writing CultureCraft

The purpose of this exhibition is to present the work of a wide range of contemporary makers who come from a diverse range of craft disciplines and embody a variety of cultural identities and backgrounds. So goes the brief for this landmark showcase of artistic talent in contemporary material culture to mark the city of Derry as UK Capital of Culture 2013. The location of Derry~Londonderry is in itself of huge international significance as a city in which to host an exhibition, that focuses on ‘Culture’ as its curatorial remit and theme. When I consider my own background; Irish, (lapsed) Catholic originally from the southeastern county of Wexford, but mainly raised in the capital city of Dublin, Derry conjures up so many images from my childhood that it is hard to put this into any kind of intelligible explanation. Obviously, the significant effect of The Troubles on the character of such a city as Derry is the first image that springs to mind, but also the resilience and spirit of its people from both sides of Northern Ireland’s community is the prevailing message which lingers.

Later in early adulthood, Derry came to mean far more to me than resilience of character and resounding community spirit. As an archaeology student I learned of the significance in these islands of the site of Mount Sandel, Co. Derry where one of the most renowned Irish Mesolithic excavations took place during the 1970s under P.C. Woodman.1 Ironic concerning the later symbolic significance and history of the city in terms of a people divided, that within the same county the first communities in Ireland had lived together as hunter-gatherers, one might even say some of the first peoples on the island of Ireland to live, procreate and die together. In other words, the first people to form a ‘culture’, whereby (and as stated in this project’s brief) ‘Culture…. consists in those patterns relative to behaviour and the products of human action which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generation independently of the biological genes’: Parson, T. (1949) Essays in Sociological Theory, Glencoe, IL. When one tables this meaning of culture and applies it to the word ‘craft’, the fusion of the two makes for a loaded, but thought-provoking statement. As referred to in the introduction to another landmark exhibition, held at the American Irish Historical Society in New York City three years ago: 1. 2.

Woodman, P.C.: Excavations at Mount Sandel, 1973-77, County Londonderry, HM Stationery Office, 1985. Material Poetry presented by the American Irish Historical Society, Culture Ireland and the Crafts Council of Ireland. October 8th to November 18th, 2010. Curated by Brian Kennedy.

The original meaning of craft—preserved in Danish, Dutch, German, Icelandic and Norwegian is ‘strength, power, force’. The transference to ‘skill, art or skilled occupation’ appears to have taken place exclusively in the English language. 2

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In the Irish language the term ábhar is sometimes used to describe work or material. For example, when it comes to my former position as curator of ceramics, glass and Asian collections in the National Museum of Ireland, the Irish equivalent was as follows: coimeadaí craidoireachta, gloine agus ábhar Aiseach; the word ábhar implying the same inherent meaning of ‘making’. The word ceird in Irish, however, refers to a trade, similar in effect to its meaning in the English language. Therefore, when one considers the meaning in the northern European languages outlined above, it is perhaps this sense of ‘strength, power, force’ that should dictate what constitutes exceptional contemporary craft practice, rather than necessarily the past century’s preoccupation with the juxtaposition or otherwise of art with craft. With regards to the artists invited to participate in Culture Craft, the inclusion of such greats as Liam Flynn (wood-turning), Joe Hogan (basketry), Caroline Madden (glass), Cara Murphy (silver) and Peter Meanley (ceramics) gives this exhibition a particular resonance of substance of experience over fleeting trends in the craft disciplines and applied arts. The ceramic participants are noteworthy established names, such as Neil Read, Alex Scott and Peter Fulop. Indeed one of the most revealing and personal artistic statements comes from Alex Scott, who like several of the artists involved is a native of Northern Ireland.

His work entitled ‘Grannie’s wee chair’ is eloquently and beautifully described by the artist as having been inspired by memories of his late grandmother and childhood. Crucial to the story is the presence of the person being described in association with the everyday material culture used: ‘central to this scene was my grannie; firmly ensconced in her solid, and dependable white oak chair.’ This transference of memory into the creation of a ceramic art work, i.e. into a three-dimensional form made of another medium, is comprehensively discussed by the artist as well as made visible in the resultant physicality of the ‘crafted’ piece. Reading Alex Scott’s artist’s statement led me back again to material culture studies generally in his elegant description of his grandmother’s chair. Ireland (north and south) is a country of immense historical heritage by way of vernacular furniture. The preeminent study on the subject being Claudia Kinmonth’s Irish Country Furniture 1700-1950 published by Yale University Press, 1993. In its chapter on ‘Stools & Chairs’ one can find numerous examples of the uniqueness of the Irish character from all counties. In other words, for such a small geographical landmass, nowhere is the rich diversity of the island’s creativity more pronounced than in its vernacular furniture. In this chapter there are numerous references to the collection of the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, and chairs from the counties of Antrim and Derry, where the influence of such types as the Sutherland chair, originally made in the north of Scotland, was transferred into the Ulster province and given a unique twist. Another Scottish chair type was that from Caithness, made visible in some of the vernacular chairs from Co. Derry. Considering this same publication also

02  Essays & Writing CultureCraft

includes a photographic image of my own paternal grandmother’s childhood home in Co. Wicklow 3, it helps serve as an indication of the highly varied material cultural legacy all of us share on the island of Ireland, whether of Ulster Scots, Gaelic Irish, Norman Irish or any background which can be traced on Irish soil over the past half millennium, or less. What unites us is far stronger, diverse and culturally rich than what has traditionally separated us. This same level of honesty and pondering upon the subject of identity is also evident in the artist’s statement of Seliena Coyle, who is not only making her mark here as lead curator of the Culture Craft project, but who is also one of the country’s most celebrated silversmiths and jewellers, having been trained at both Dundee and Indiana Universities. As a native of Derry, the admission by her of the inherent, quiet but potentially suffocating labelling that can take place upon meeting someone for the first time, I would venture to say is not unique to Derry or Northern Ireland alone, but is unfortunately an Ireland-wide cultural undertaking practiced on a subconscious and routine level. As Seliena Coyle states: An undeniable trait of Northern Irish cultural behaviour is a dogged determination, on meeting someone for the first time to pigeon-hole, label if you like … it’s part of our collective genetic make-up, one of those characteristics that unites the populace. Transferring this questioning of cultural background to the questioning of function in craft, Coyle uses the brooch as a means of both form and function, integral to clothing that has evolved,

as with culture generally, throughout the ages. She explains the brooch as being ‘made from precious materials, it ultimately denotes status and/or wealth whilst in utilitarian form, it functions to identify such as corporate pins or name badges’. The brooch in Ireland holds massive cultural significance in the history and use of artefacts on this island. As with Coyle’s surmising on the status of such an object type in contemporary art so too in early medieval Ireland – … we cannot be certain if the great silver brooches of the eighth and ninth centuries were worn exclusively by laypeople or ecclesiastics … as elsewhere in Europe, the most senior clerics, whether abbots, abbesses or bishops, were often aristocrats in their own right and many were related to the kings and nobles of the locality. These brooches were not merely costly trinkets commissioned by the highest strata of society, they were also statements of power and authority.4 Interestingly, Seliena Coyle’s work exemplifies this ancient Irish treatment of material with object type as her ‘badge/pins have been … cast in metal to increase the relationship to a jewellery type more often associated with status or wealth.’ From the history of mono-culturism in Ireland to modern day notions of multi-culturism, the work of both James Toal (glass) and Stuart Cairns (metal) address the latter, but from different viewpoints. Cairns addresses the universal to the personal interpretation of culture by elaborating on the value of culture as ranging ‘from a universal, culture of learned outlooks and 3. 4.


Kinmonth, Claudia, Irish Country Furniture 1700 – 1950, Yale University Press, 1993, p. 192. Ó Floinn, Raghnall. ‘Beginnings: Early Medieval Ireland, AD 500 – 850’ in Ó Floinn, Raghnall and Wallace, Patrick F. (eds); Treasures of the National Museum of Ireland: Irish Antiquities. Gill and Macmillan, 2002, p. 177. Olding, Simon, Director of the Craft Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, UK, Defining Craft in Irish Craft Portfolio 2011. Crafts Council of Ireland, 2011.

and creatively. Cheney eloquently describes the effect of this background on his work as follows: ‘my cultural identity was forged somewhere between twin notions of ‘sacrifice’ and ‘industry’. The piece I have made contains over 90 metres of hand sewn hems and represents hundreds of hours of labour’. What is remarkable, however, about Cheney’s work, as with that of all of the participants in this exhibition, is the lack of any overt political meaning given the topic at hand. Interestingly, this same lack of contention, radicalism and politically avant-garde in Irish craft was also recently commented upon by a leading UK academic when he remarked on the Crafts Council of Ireland’s ‘Portfolio’ selection by stating:

The designation of Derry as the UK’s Capital of Culture 2013 could not be more timely given the crossroads both Ireland and (to a lesser extent) the UK are facing. If the inherent worth and cultural significance of the craft arts are to be nourished and protected, then exhibitions such as this will go a long way to acknowledging their massive collective identity for this country, on both a national and international scale.

Dr Audrey Whitty

Tradition is respected but not slavishly so. There is an undercurrent of profound interest in organic forms. There is little radicalism… not yet an urgent political intent. That may change, of course… as Ireland tenses itself for radical protest and the funding of culture may be scrutinized as never before.5

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experiences shared by a large group of people, through to the personal culture of the individual… As an artist I draw upon the cultural associations of society in general, but frame them within my own individual culture’. Perhaps more than any other form of artistic expression, those creative individuals that ‘design, make, craft’ have an historical lineage from which to draw inspiration, the challenging aspect being how can craft artists make what at first glance appears commonplace and everyday in the medium employed - unique, aesthetic and three-dimensionally poetic. Interestingly, Cairns successfully addresses this challenge by arranging his works as ‘a collection [creating] further implied meanings as they sit side-by-side, illustrating possible relationships, contrasting and complimenting as they interact with each other’. Likewise the physicality of the material employed as a means to interpret the importance of culture in the traditional craft arts is referenced in James Toal’s glass art. As with Cairns in metal, Toal is interested in the process and form of the material itself whereby his ‘current investigations explore the opacity of colour and how it is transformed through the transparency, fluidity and reflective qualities of glass’. It is this relationship with the tactile nature of what can be termed the applied arts that resonates in Nigel Cheney’s remarkable textile work. As with Alex Scott, Cheney’s honest reflection of childhood and upbringing breathes a deeper understanding and appreciation into his artistic output. His upbringing in Peterborough, England surrounded by Symington’s lingerie factories, and his own family’s involvement in this trade and craft appears to have greatly informed him culturally

The Instability of Culture Professor Jessica Hemmings Head of Visual Culture, National College of Art and Design, Dublin

02  Essays & Writing CultureCraft

The ways in which culture informs craft are unstable, shifting not only from maker to maker, but also changing over the course of an individual’s life. To complicate matters further culture, from a global perspective, is a slippery reference point. Compared to a century—or even half century—ago, it is now increasingly common for individuals to cite ease and familiarity with more than one culture. For some, childhood occurred in several geographic locations, introducing meaningful and multiple connections. For others, the family home is a place where several languages are spoken and these fluencies bring with them cultural attachments. Others have experienced an upbringing in a single place, but with an on going bond to elsewhere—another place spoken of, or perhaps, visited regularly—a site where another large component of an individual’s identity resides, even when this is not literal. All the above could be grouped as childhood experiences, a time when identity formation is particularly impressionable, but significant decisions about where a person lives or the language they speak are not their own. Still others owe an allegiance to several cultures as an adult through partners or work that means as the years pass their familiarity with one cultural reference point becomes two or even three. The scenarios outlined above can have both rich and difficult outcomes. Seeing the world from more than one perspective can promote tolerance, curiosity, and a constant reminder that a person’s perspective is just that—one person’s perspective.

But cultural multiplicity can also create a sense of unsolvable dislocation, a feeling that the most comfortable place is one that does not exist—an impossible in-between of shared, discrete reference points that inform the small details of daily life, as well as the large: language, faith, governance. All of this adds up to a cultural landscape that is ever changing. Perhaps it is a quest for a sense of the opposite, something fixed and immutable, which troubles so many individuals happiness today. The strange comfort that a shared culture provides can be precisely the opposite of this: a sense of stability achieved through common values and perspectives that can create cohesion in a community. Artists and makers that engage with ideas of hybridity often adopt materials for their practices that are transient and shifting. Take for example Meekyoung Shin, who divides her time between South Korea and England. The central plinth in Cavendish Square, London has recently presented the public with an evocative material representation of mutability—Written in Soap: A Plinth Project. Here Shin recreated the equestrian statue of the Duke of Cumberland; the original was removed in 1868 when the Duke’s popularity waned as a result of his brutal role in quashing the Scottish uprisings. As the title suggests, the new temporary version is crafted from soap and during the past year exposure to the elements has eroded the sculpture, a poetic reminder that no identity is ever static.

Professor Jessica Hemmings

While craftsmen are working, making vases with African features referring to the history of [the] 10th century, the same people that once occupied Sicily, bringing their culture and the material of Majolica, are returning not as conquerors, but as immigrants. Every day during the summer, 500 clandestine travellers from Africa are [disembarking] in Lampedusa, a small Sicilian island in the middle of Mediterranean Sea.

The pair highlight the irony of a recent public opinion poll that registered ‘65% of Italians believe that immigrants are “a danger for our culture and our religion”’ and offer us a sage reminder of the multiple cultural influences that make up what we know to be Sicilian culture today. It may be valuable to note that the pair are Italians, currently based in the Netherlands—first for education and now for professional reasons; a similar pattern is apparent in Meekyoung Shin’s life which brought her to London first as a student at the Slade. All three individuals live and work across several cultures and languages, seeking ways to communicate how the hard won making traditions of our past are the result of complex and often ancient networks of knowledge and material exchange. Culture is central to these explorations; but is not a culture that can be fixed to a single place or meaning. Instead it is an understanding that culture is constantly exchanged and adapted. These shifts are apparent in the material world around us—increasingly through contemporary objects that are influenced by cultural references from distant, but connected, corners of the globe.

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Elsewhere, Shin creates from soap replicas of museum quality ceramics for the gallery setting, but the potential of erosion and questions of material worth are a constant. As reviewer Skye Sherwin observed of Shin’s material, ‘soap neatly evokes the elision of meaning across history and continents—it’s slippery stuff, malleable and vulnerable to being lathered down to nothing.’ Shin’s eloquent evocation of the instability of identity reaches back to the past to remind us of the changing favour the Duke experienced, but also alludes to the her own identity formed by both English and Korean culture. Her choice of unassuming materials revises any sense of a static relationship to culture through her choice of unstable material. Another example of a practice interested in the instability of culture are the Italian design duo Simone Farresin and Andrea Trimarchi who work as Studio Formafantasma. Much like Meekyoung Shin, they question what can be understood as agreed singular points of cultural reference. Take for example their 2009 series Moulding Tradition. Inspired by Sicilian ceramics from the city of Caltagirone the collection takes as its starting point the traditional Sicilian vase, the Teste di Moro, which from the 17th century onwards often included the faces of North Africans in reference to the 10th century Arab-African conquest of Sicily. Farresin and Trimarchi observe a contemporary parallel in today’s immigration to the region:

02 Makers’ Works

Neil Read Adam Frew Peter Meanley Gail Mahon Peter Fulop Deirdre O’Callaghan Scott Benefield Peadar Lamb James Toal Charlene McFarland Richard Sinclair Rachel McKnight Eily O’Connell Sabrina Meyns Justyna Truchanowska Cara Murphy Angela O’Kelly Grainne Morton

Stuart Cairns Seliena Coyle Tara Ní Nualláin Liz Nilsson Caroline Schofield Logan McLain Mary R. Cullen Brigitta Varadi Suzanne Woods Liam Flynn Tom Agnew Joe Hogan Dr Helen McAllister Alex Scott Alva Gallagher Dr Caroline Madden Michelle Stephens Nigel Graham Cheney

Neil Read Identity Stamp

Digitally printed porcelain & black stoneware, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

Events often evolve around individuals over which they have little or no control but which alter the culture they live in. My great grandfather Robert Read (1832—1921) was born at Pettigo, Donegal into a family that could trace their roots in the village back to 1610. Like his father Thomas (1767— 1856) Robert and his wife Annie McCrea became Postmasters in the village and collected its history. When I think of post offices I think of stamps, these marked the life of that small community and events in the wider world that impacted on it. The Post Office, Initially British underwent painful and dramatic changed between 1919 and 1922 when the Free State was formed shortly after the battle of Pettigo. The Read home, a few yards south of the border, was abandoned, windows broken and gates left open. The Post Office split like the country to Billary in the south and Tullyhommon in the north and the stamps changed too.

[L] Postmaster Robert Read and [R] Pettigo Post Office circa 1900

Today the Post Office is again in the its old site on Main Street and run by James Gallagher a descendant of Peter Gallagher who ran the temporary office at Billary. This piece is inspired by the transition from one culture to another, the small paper prints that document it and to the culture of collecting.

36 | 37 Neil Read

02  Makers’ Works


38 | 39 Neil Read

Adam Frew Large Jar Porcelain, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

My work centres on the potters wheel. Traditional eastern forms inspire me, but spontaneity as a means of personal expression is key to my work. The exuberant action of throwing is enhanced by a continued experimentation through process, form and colour. Mark making is intuitive, sometimes relating to the form, or process of making, sometimes it’s part of a personal narrative. I create large pots as I enjoy the physical and technical challenges of throwing on a large scale. This leaves me with a substantial surface area, a blank canvas, to add colour and marks to. The firing is as important as the making. I gas fire to 1300 degrees in a reducing atmosphere, this allows my celadon glaze to become a vivid blue colour, bringing to life the coloured slips that I used to decorate the pot.

40 | 41 Andrew Frew

02  Makers’ Works


42 | 43 Andrew Frew

Peter Meanley The Queen / The Potter and his Sauce Salt glazed ceramic, 2012

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

My father originated in Staffordshire. As a student in the Royal College of Art I became aware through close proximity with the Victoria & Albert museum to the wonderful collections of English pottery manufacturers during the 18th and early 19th centuries. I am an avid collector and my collection of many hundreds of vessels (often broken) provides a wonderful stimulus to my making. I can examine first-hand how vessels have been made and apply this learning to my practice. I draw and think through paper and transfer this understanding into the clay. I have been a salt glazer since 1985; for 30 years as a maker of teapots and for the past 8 years as a maker of vessels featuring my friends or personalities possessing a face which will translate well into salt glaze. The two pieces selected for this exhibition tell a story. All my works must be capable of being used and thus I will couch these under the title of ‘Toby jug’.

The Queen The desire to make her Majesty started when I visited the Ulster Museum to view an exhibition entitled The Queen as seen through the eyes of many different artists. Each seemed to be emphasising the glitz and glamour or the Majesty. None seemed to be dealing with the lady herself. I wanted her to be quietly sitting with her hands folded with her comforts; her handbag and her corgi and a simple brooch. Her legs are crossed which she never does in public (I took this aspect from a photograph of Elizabeth the Queen Mother). I gave her a tiara to reaffirm who she is but also that the liquid can be dispensed more easily.

The Potter and his Sauce This work depicts me and my passion for Toby jugs. I have a collection of about twenty historical Tobys, the best are those made in the late 18th century. After about 1850 most Tobys became debased; their making became crude and uncritical. In the 18th century captions would be misspelt as the education of the makers would often be lacking. Thus my use of the work SAUCE instead of SOURCE extends this earlier characteristic but also adds a piquancy to my passion for making and collecting Toby jugs.

44 | 45 Peter Meanley

02  Makers’ Works


46 | 47 Peter Meanley

Gail Mahon Nomatic Porcelain, stoneware, crushed ‘ceramic’ sand, wire, rubber, resi, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

Handmade, making from scratch, being ‘in’ the journey, processes and materials are embedded in my psyche and remain the reason I work with clay as my primary visual language. As an artist, whose making practice grew with a craft ethos, where workmanship, time and skill immerse you in a rich narrative of human experience, where my tacit knowledge of materials are deeply connected and driven by this personal value. The culture of craft and making has rooted traditions and heritage; this association has not always been an easy fit within my practice. At times certain words hang in our minds and lingered on the tip of our tongues with stereotypes of cottage industry. More often craft practitioners are taking approaches in traditional making into interdisciplinary fields. They combine technology, science, performance, and site-specific works yet maintain connections to the original tenures of craftsmanship. The complex intermix of social mechanisms in which we live, now much more fragmented and restless than ever. Present areas of intrigue in my research material explore themes of human subconscious, memory, bodies, substance, movement, incompleteness and structures. Within my practice I aim not to trace the past but map points, connections and overlaps as a vehicle to explore deeper curiosities of my own cultural surroundings.

The status of craft from art and design is one of the phenomena of the late-twentieth-century Western Culture … It has led to the separation of ‘having ideas’ from ‘making objects. 1 I view my objects as being ‘hybrids’ falling somewhere in between craft, sculpture and installation. It is there, in the middle, I am comfortable to be at the intersections of theses disciplines and move and gravitate with new projects that will later inform my work. Ideas for Nomatic have ruminated in my mind curiously through sketches, notes or parts of incomplete objects and models. They hang weighted or balancing off nails in my studio along walls or perched on high shelves. Collections of random found objects such bones, butterflies driftwood and pebbles, sit in direct contrast to fabricated engineered parts, metallic fixtures rubber seals and dye cut gaskets. Seeing these laid out, in plain, sight allows me to select ways to connect take inspiration or directly manipulate them within an object or groups of objects. Nomatic explores the possibilities in small interactions between materials and human connection, seeking dynamics in composition, balancing ceramic weightiness with free falling linear structures. The human quality of the objects seek to spark reaction, whether a smile, sadness or curiosity. It marks a continuum within the group of objects, each piece an open-ended idea waiting to be explored. 1.

Dormer, Peter, The Culture of Craft, 1997.

48 | 49 Gail Mahon

02  Makers’ Works


50 | 51 Gail Mahon

Peter Fulop Turf Ash Glaze Disc No. 1 — 3 High iron grogged clay, turf ash glaze, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

My teacher Professor Koie Ryoji taught me the difference between living on the land and living with the land. The symbolism of the container is both a primal and universal symbol.  In ancient cultures, containers were created for ceremonial purposes and referenced the form of the human body.  I have collected containers all my life and use them to store personal keepsakes from my childhood in Hungary, and small treasures that personify special experiences of my travels in India, China, Korea and Japan. The precious artefacts within my personal containers have the ability to transport me in time and place, to reflect on past memories. The containers created for this exhibition embody the very essence of the place in which I work and live. Hungarian by birth, I have utilized the processes of walking and physically integrating my surroundings into my work to absorb and express a deeper sensory understanding and intellectual connectedness to the Irish landscape. The expressive surface treatments of these exhibited containers are formulated from indigenous elements, extrapolated from rocks and minerals. It is my goal that these containers express a consciousness of the Irish landscape that has so heavily influenced the Irish cultural idioms of music and writing.

52 | 53 Peter Fulop

02  Makers’ Works


54 | 55 Peter Fulop

Deirdre O’Callaghan Raging love heartbroken sorrowful friendship loyalty Raku fired ceramic with sprig decoration, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

I am Catholic with the most Irish of names ‘Deirdre’. I would consider myself Northern Irish. After spending many years living in both England and Southern Ireland I feel neither is my motherland. Although we live in a world where the cultural boundaries become ever more blurred the old traditions, rituals and institutes that bind our society remain steadfast however superfluous these may sometimes seem. In this work I am exploring the cultural rituals that we part take in to reach desired objectives that are considered socially essential to succeed in the culture around us. When invited to take part in this exhibition I became interested in using the Claddagh ring as a starting point to explore these ideas. Immediately recognisable as Irish the Claddagh is steeped in tradition and meaning. The hands represent friendship, the heart love and the crown loyalty. The way it is worn indicating the romantic availability—or lack thereof—of the wearer. It is an object which has always held a fascination with me. As a teenage girl there was a fad for wearing a Claddagh among my friends, they would proudly show of their ring heart facing inwards. It interests me that my name also immediately recognisable as Irish steeped in

meaning and mythology holds its own trio of meanings quite the opposite to the Claddagh. ‘Deirdre of the Sorrows’ her story, part of the Ulster Cycle of pre Christian Ireland and its meaning: raging, sorrowful and heartbroken, the tragic character in Irish legend who died of a broken heart. Playing with these two opposing ideas I have created a very personal response to the idea of my culture. As the single mother of a mixed race child the piece is an homage to those of us who like myself are not very good at achieving the cultural rituals, that somehow make us fit into our culture, ticking those boxes that make us appear like we are succeeding. To create the work I dipped into the rich culture of my craft and used techniques which I had previously little knowledge of working with. I took guidance from a designer from Belleek Pottery to develop the sprigs used as surface pattern and worked with a fellow colleague to perfect the raku firing technique.

56 | 57 Deirdre O’Callaghan

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58 | 59 Deirdre O’Callaghan

Scott Benefield The Alarmist Glass, granite, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

I have always been weary of identifying too immediately with culture that isn’t of our choosing; that is, culture that is inherited or otherwise involuntarily attached to us. I feel no sense of loyalty to past practice as an accident of birth, on the contrary, I think it is our job as artists to question that received authority closely. We may be a product of that culture, but that doesn’t absolve us of the existential responsibility of sounding out how far that penetrates our identity and choosing carefully what we keep or discard. I was born in Japan and grew up in the United States, moving throughout my childhood and adolescence to a different location in that vast country every two years. My native culture was a home-grown American monoculture of television, consumer goods and suburbia that existed more or less unchanged in middle-class neighbourhoods from coast to coast. There were no strong cultural signifiers that had a past of any length; and only a very mushy class structure that hinged on a manufactured aspirational lifestyle as found in advertisements. But it is given to us as adults to find a culture or a tradition into which we find a comfortable fit, and for me that came with my introduction to the global community of artists working with glass.

It is the material and the understanding that it demands which unites us across barriers of nationality or language. We may come from different traditions within that glassworking community, but on a very real level we have an appreciation for the medium of glass that transcends those specific origins. It also extends across time: I can look at the work of a C16th Muranese craftsman and understand, from the tool marks and slight imperfections which the glass so sensitively records, exactly what his struggles and triumphs entailed in the making of one particular piece of glass. I have taught glassblowing classes in Turkey and Japan to students who had no command of English, only communicating through the language of heat, gravity and ancient tools that are essential to the common culture of glass-working. We all got along just fine.

60 | 61 Scott Benefield

02  Makers’ Works


62 | 63 Scott Benefield

Peadar Lamb A Whistle in the Dark #2 Painted stained-glass and lead lightbox, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

This stained glass piece is based on the play, A Whistle in the Dark by Tom Murphy. Emigration in Ireland has formed us culturally as people. When you are an emigrant you can try to be culturally similar to blend and fit in to your new environment or else you can cling doggedly to the culture you’ve left behind. With Murphy, the family within the play are both. The composition is trying to emphasise the relationship between the individuals within the play and how they express themselves physically rather than emotionally. The colour creates a separating layer, which enhances the individual isolation. Ordinarily colour in stained glass is used to create a harmony between elements with in the narrative, but in this piece the structure of the lead lines and colour further emphasise the feeling of claustrophobia within the cramped space. Murphy’s play, though centred on emigrants, is predominately about the loyalty to family, and the contradiction of leaving behind, breaking away and moving on.

64 | 65 Peadar Lamb

02  Makers’ Works


66 | 67 Peadar Lamb

James Toal Untitled I, II & III Kiln formed glass, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

I am passionate about culture and the way in which heritage, language and traditions shape us as individuals. Having worked and lived abroad, I am even more appreciative of my background and equally absorbed by the history of other cultures. In particular, I am interested in traditional practices within craft and how these principles shape contemporary art today. Building upon this knowledge, I am very interested in the continued exploration and experimentation with materials and processes within glass making. My current investigations explore the opacity of colour and how it is transformed through the transparency, fluidity and reflective qualities of glass.

68 | 69 James Toal

02  Makers’ Works


70 | 71 James Toal

Charlene McFarland Oscar Blown glass, copper, brass, steel, found object, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

My work captures childhood memories of time spent in my father’s workshop, being mesmerized by his enthusiasm and passion for collecting and restoring old, used and discarded mechanical objects. My work often incorporates actual artefacts form my father’s collection and my inspiration comes both from the relationship with my family and people I meet and from the objects themselves. The fascination with these objects is in the history and the past that they hold within them, the people that have held and worked with them and the places they have been. As such, my work imagines these objects into characters that have lived the objects past. During a recent visit to Estonia, I visited a retired Soviet chemical plant. The plant was scattered with unused and discarded blown glass test tubes that covered shelves and tables. The sight was of a place stuck in time, testimony to a world and culture that had largely been left behind. I began to imagine each of these tubes as a little piece of that history. I began a process of recreating my own glass test tubes to create a new, long character made up of individual blown glass tubes sections, each tube representing the journey that the object has taken through its past.

72 | 73 Charlene McFarland

02  Makers’ Works


74 | 75 Charlene McFarland

Richard Sinclair The Font of Life Egg tempera, gold leaf on a natural gesso ground, wooden panel, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

I was born in Derry and graduated in fine art from the then Belfast College of Art, I worked variously in bookshops, taught very briefly and worked for a long time as a designer, based in the Central Library in Derry. My cultural background is part of the Church of Ireland and although I no longer associate myself with any specific denomination, I see difference as something to be celebrated. For approximately the last twenty years I have made images, icons, for use in prayer. These images are based on the Orthodox Christian tradition of iconography, a tradition coming from the early years of the church and as such a common heritage for all Christians. Although it must be said that it is the Orthodox community who have preserved, valued and fostered this tradition. I studied with a number of Iconographers before discovering Eva Vlavianos a distinguished Greek Iconographer and restorer of icons whom I have studied with for the last fifteen years. When I received an invitation to make an icon for the present exhibition the icon of The Font of Life immediately came to mind, both for it’s beauty and for a remark of Eva’s indicating that this is one of the few icons where the Iconographer is permitted to customise the background to reflect a particular location.

I have my studio in Pump Street and am very aware of the Roman Catholic oratory just across the street from me as well as the Church of Ireland cathedral at the top of the street. The central image of this icon shows a fountain with the Mother of God and the Christ Child in the bowl of the fountain. The Mother of God is a title given to Mary to express the belief that Christ in his incarnation was born of a human mother and was truly both human and Divine. Mary is shown gesturing towards her son indicating that Christ is the way. The shape of the fountain brings to mind the baptismal font and the chalice used in holy communion. These beliefs are held by both of the churches in Pump Street yet the ways in which they think about them can be gloriously diverse. Also close to my studio are; the Fountain, St. Columb’s Well, the Walls and the Oak trees in the Diamond and the Long Tower.

76 | 77 Richard Sinclair

Rachel McKnight Granny’s Pearls Wood, polyurethene resin, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

In Northern Ireland I feel we have a culture of traditions whether it is music, marching, relationships or family engagements. Traditions are very prominent and breaking from them is not that common. I work with non-traditional materials, but it’s not a conscious effort to try and break from tradition, I genuinely love the nature of the materials that I use. My personal culture is informed by; vibrant colours, modern architecture, alternative rock music, repeated pattern, powder coated metal, quirky furniture, lighting, wood and neon. Granny’s Pearls is a traditional piece of jewellery, in the sense that it is a string of beads worn around the neck, but it is made from materials not commonly associated with jewellery design and it challenges the common perception of scale.

78 | 79 Rachel McKnight

02  Makers’ Works


80 | 81 Rachel McKnight

Eily O’Connell Ocean Inquest Brass, enamels, topaz, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

My fascination and deep connection with the sea surrounding the Island of Ireland is what emanates from the community and culture that nurtured my upbringing and profoundly influenced my craft. Being brought up in the fishing village of Killybegs, I could smell, see and  absorb the ocean daily. My father was a fisherman for 20 years so I learnt a great deal of reverence for the dangers that the rhythmic and fickle sea also brought with it. Some men never returned home…  Days off always encompassed a trip to the beach with the family. Whether it be to enjoy the calming lull or spontaneous splashes, collecting crabs and other exquisite treasures, the sea was always ours. 

Eily’s grandfather on the beach in Killybegs

82 | 83 Eily O’Connell

02  Makers’ Works


84 | 85 Eily O’Connell

Sabrina Meyns Roots Hand made paper, seeds, sterling silver, 18ct yellow gold, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

Spanning two nationalities and a number of countries with a rich mix of traditions, languages, music, food and beliefs, my family has given me diverse yet distinct cultural roots. My work finds direct inspiration from my early cultural influences. When I was young my father worked as a blacksmith, hammering out metal curls and bows to precise measurements. His forge and work- the tools, designs, materials, sparks and smells fascinated me. My mother is a passionate gardener, cultivating an extensive garden with vegetables, fruit, flowers and trees that I have studied extensively and which she has helped me understand better. While the visual influences are unmistakably evident, there are also many other cultural facets, knowledge, experiences and ideas from my family that I have captured in my craft practice and work. This piece is in celebration of my family, my strongest cultural influence.

Meyns family portrait, 1988

86 | 87 Sabrina Meyns

02  Makers’ Works


88 | 89 Sabrina Meyns

Justyna Truchanowska B.O.C.I.A.N Merino Fleece, Silk Cut Tops, Sterling Silver, Thread, 2013.

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

Living as an immigrant in Ireland for over a decade, I often question where my true home is, or where do I belong? The place where I was born and raised, or the place where I have been educated and developed a career, given birth to my child, and most likely will stay? With time, it is a question that is becoming more difficult to answer. In contemporary society, people are more often identified by their nationality. If I agree with this interpretation, then I believe that Poland is and always will be my true home, yet this does not always feel correct in the here and now of my life. It seems more appropriate to consider the Renaissance attitude to identity which was founded on the territories they inhabited rather than nationality. To use an age-old quote—Where is your heart there is your place. Yet I remain uncertain of belonging. When in Ireland I refer to Poland as home, when in Poland it feels more correct to name Ireland.

[L] Justyna as a child [R] Justyna’s daughter on a dinosaur

This question of belonging has become a subject matter for my work. In an attempt to illustrate the essence of the question I am drawn to the nature and behaviour of migrating birds, in particular the Stork. I have vivid childhood memories of observing these magnificent birds arriving every spring only to leave at the close of summer. Each year, I welcomed their return, a indication of impending school holidays, sunshine and freedom. White storks will always have a special place in my heart; a personal metaphor for youth, summer and Poland. On reflection, I can relate to these migrating birds. They arrive in Poland every summer to lay their eggs, build a nest and await the arrival of their offspring. By the end of the summer the birds fly south to spend the winter in a warmer climate. In subsequent years the same couple will return to the same nest. I feel an affinity for this routine. The nest, my true home Poland to where I make an annual summer pilgrimage only to leave and return to my actual home in Ireland. So the question remains unanswered, and ultimately irrelevant as migration once more has become common currency internationally. In creating the jewellery object I have chosen materials for visual and sensual impact, combining merino wool and silver. Wool offers unlimited possibilities for developing form whilst the nature of the material allows me to utilize a myriad of colour and tones. Silver units punctuate the larger felted pieces and accentuate their organic texture.

90 | 91 Justyna Truchanowska

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92 | 93 Justyna Truchanowska

Cara Murphy Infuse Silver, enamel, ivory substitute, 2012

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

Drinking tea is rooted in our Irish culture, Ireland being the number one tea drinking nation, drinking more tea per capita than any other nation in the world. Tea is simultaneously a beverage, a medicine, and a social ritual. We drink tea on our own, with family, with friends, in business and socially. It’s drunk while we communicate, celebrate, commiserate, console, relax, calm, negotiate and revive. Infuse is a teapot for those occasions when we want to drink tea. This teapot will be enhanced by user participation, it aims to initiate dialogue while in use and challenge the users’ established knowledge of silverware. Inspired by nature and the Irish landscape, discussions with farmers about furrows and growing, observing the changes to the landscape through the weather, the seasons and erosion, are key to my practice. Infuse is inspired by the natural environment and has a sculptural presence, focusing on how the piece interacts with the table and metaphorically ‘grows’ from it. The enamelling is by my mother Deirdre McCrory, many cups of tea were drank in the designing and making of this teapot and while deciding which of the forty shades of green were most appropriate to use for the enamel.

94 | 95 Cara Murphy

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96 | 97 Cara Murphy

Angela O’Kelly Further From Their Source Felt, palladium leaf, text from Gerard Smyth poem on paper, labradorite beads, dyed nylon, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

The Things We Keep The things we keep are not the things we need: the red flag and porcelain horse. A calendar out of date since John Lennon was shot. Those heaps that grow in the attic and the garden shed: schoolbooks of the old curriculum, the schoolbag we refuse to relinquish, a broken statue in salvaged shards; black vinyl discs—each one with a groove where the gramophone needle got stuck or skipped. A carpenter’s box with carpenter’s tools, a stack of cards from anniversaries that added one more year to a love affair, a marriage, a lost cause. Soft toys reported missing long ago. The Kodak camera bought with summer money— a roll of film locked behind its shutter holding secrets we’ll never know. Gerard Smyth

Collected stones

Reflecting the maps of life, experiences, education, roads taken, books, music, smells, visual language, simple pleasures of collecting, reminiscing past and present experiences are what I most associate with Culture; the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, which constitute the shared bases of social action. During the last year I have worked with the Dublin poet Gerard Smyth. We have delved into our past, the landscape in which we grow, mapping our route of life and what is important to us as individuals. His poem The Things We Keep which he wrote after a conversation we had about collecting simple things has remained with me. Seeing dimensions and layers of our conversations emerging so eloquently in text has been fascinating. What I have attempted to do in my three dimensional work is to echo the fluency, meanings and rhythms of the text and reinterpret them in a complimentary visual language. ‘The things we keep are not the things we need’, but somehow they are. These are the things that make us unique. I keep stones and pebbles from beaches which spark and refresh memories of places visited, remembering feelings, sounds and smells, images positive and negative locked away. The simple shapes of collected stones inspire my work in this exhibition. I reconstruct line and form through a mix of textured materials in subtle colours in a quiet introspection of my life and echo my understanding of culture.

98 | 99 Angela O’Kelly

02  Makers’ Works


100 | 101 Angela O’Kelly

Grainne Morton Triumphant Deer brooch / Bee ring / She Moves Through the Fair ring

Oxidised silver, found objects, 2010 / Oxidised silver, found objects, 2013 / 18ct Gold-plated Silver, found objects, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

My work is profoundly personal, almost in a subconscious way. My personality, and as such my creativity and practice are embedded in my culture: traditional crafts, folklore, music, and fairy tales. I have always had an affinity with the cottage industry and over the years have created my own through which to produce my work. Yet the period I have been most influenced by and have visited and re-visited throughout my career as a maker is the Victorian era—essentially born out of industrialisation. This and other contradictions are inherent in my culture, my personality and my work. My culture is entrenched in divisions and the past but also seeks to unite and embrace a different kind of future. Religious and political divides exist amongst the seamless beauty of landscape, warmth of people and close-knit family life. In my work, pieces grouping a variety of ‘unrelated’ objects in an apparently spontaneous way have actually been laboured over for long periods to determine their sequence, achieve order and produce meaning. Antique objects from the past are used to create pieces that are modern and of the present.

Key to Symbolism: Deer: one who will not fight unless provoked, peace and harmony Doire: ancient word for oak grove

Oak leaves: great age and strength Acorns: antiquity and strength Flowers: hope and joy

Above all in my practice is an attitude of hard work, determination and drive. This is undoubtedly a product of the work ethic that pervades my culture. For CultureCraft I am showing three pieces representing all aspects of how my craft is linked to my culture. Bee ring – represents industry, order and individual hard work. She Moves Through the Fair ring – my direct interpretation of the traditional folk song. Triumphant Deer Wreath brooch – made before the CultureCraft brief, this piece represents my subconscious way of working and is inspired by heritage, its symbolism and ability to create a language through those symbols.

Laurel leaves: peace and/or triumph Civic wreath: showing patriotism in defence of one’s native land.

102 | 103 Grainne Morton

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104 | 105 Grainne Morton

Stuart Cairns Recollection Silver, mixed media, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

Culture can be seen as shared behaviours and understanding between individuals within a community. This ranges from a universal culture of learned outlooks and experiences shared by a large group of people, through to the personal culture of the individual, which are shaped by their personal experiences and preferences. As an artist I draw upon the cultural associations of society in general, but frame them within my own individual culture, so while the objects I make are personal in nature, others are able to understand/read them through our shared social understanding. Objects have three aspects drawing upon cultural experiences- form, materiality and process. The principle forms I am interested in are utensils and vessels—the objects from the tradition of silversmithing which relate to the table, dining and eating. These activities have an essential place within human culture as eating is a principal activity of survival, therefore the viewer can connect with the associated forms through the suggestion of use. Also with their implied function relating to the hand they can suggest a very personal experience and interaction; a person can imagine lifting them and attempting to use them, again referencing a shared culture of use and function. The materiality of the objects I create spring from my own personal culture of experiencing the landscape, translating through the finds I make as I walk through it. Through this activity of walking and collecting I am physically lifting the landscape and translating it into the objects I make.

This part of my culture of practice therefore reflects where I am, the aspects and locations of which are liable to change as I travel and the environment itself changes. The manner in which I work and combine these found and fabricated materials through various processes is also important. The act of construction is revealed in how the materials are handled: often marks from filing, hammering and cutting are left visible, rather than being removed or hidden. Such marks imply the making process as part of the object itself. This is further highlighted by how the elements are joined, often with very visible mechanisms of pinning, tying, wrapping and riveting. These visible techniques and processes put the human hand in the production of the objects, referencing an on-going culture of making, familiar to both the collective and the individual. These three elements of familiar forms, materials and processes are combined in unfamiliar combinations, so while the individual elements are easily understood the composition is open to interpretation. The works arranged as a collection create further implied meanings as they sit side-by-side, illustrating possible relationships, contrasting and complimenting as they interact with each other. These collections of implied meaning allow the viewer to come to their own understanding of the pieces, referencing their own personal culture over the underlying culture we all share.

106 | 107 Stuart Cairns

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108 | 109 Stuart Cairns

Seliena Coyle Untitled/Unlabelled Brass, copper, sterling silver, dymo labels, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

I was born in Derry. A descriptor that has become somewhat of a shibboleth.* Assumptions will be formulated and applied consciously or otherwise. Being native to Northern Ireland and in particular of an age to be considered a ‘child of the Troubles’ one grew up with an inbuilt social barometer based on your upbringing. An undeniable trait of Northern Irish cultural behaviour is a dogged determination, on meeting someone for the first time, to pigeon-hole, label if you like. Labels are applied at a sub-conscious, unspoken level. We all do it, it’s part of our collective genetic make-up one of those characteristics that unites the populace. The work Untitled/Unlabelled relies on this unique learned behaviour to engage the viewer in a social experiment. Given the choice, how would you label yourself? Is there an adequate or appropriate set of linguistic signifiers capable of the task?

Altered directional road sign outside Strabane, Co. Tyrone

For many years the public service of Northern Ireland required potential employees to complete an equal opportunities questionnaire. For all intents and purposes, an official mechanism to ‘pigeon-hole’. I have used this to identify descriptors that I have appropriated for this work This work questions the fundamental function of a specific jewellery type. Historically, the brooch embraced both form and function. Throughout the ages it has evolved and its format has been appropriated by various user-groups to fulfil a specific need i.e. recognition of military heroism or sporting prowess. Made from precious materials, it ultimately denotes status and/or wealth whilst in utilitarian form, it functions to identify, such as corporate pins or name badges. I have created a series of badges/pins using a nostalgic yet nonetheless effective label-making device. The choice of pin(s) lies with the wearer, an exercise in self-determination if you like. There is no criterion in place for judgment or analysis, simply recognition of difference at a micro level, often lost when tribal politics determines the macro characterisation. Inherent in this process is a fundamental question; just how comfortable are you ‘wearing’ your (cultural) identity… is it a badge of honour or unwelcome branding? *Shibboleth – a word, sound, or custom that a person unfamiliar with its significance may not pronounce or perform correctly relative to those who are familiar with it. It is used to identify foreigners or those who do not belong to a particular class or group of people. It also refers to features of language, and particularly to a word or phrase whose pronunciation identifies a speaker as belonging to a particular group.

110 | 111 Seliena Coyle

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112 | 113 Seliena Coyle

Tara Ní Nualláin Foundation I —VI Concrete, steel, fabric paper and stitch, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

Culture is commonly defined as ‘the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society.’ Personally, I view the role of custom and history as essential to culture, we as individuals and as societies are built on our past. I identify strongly with Irish Culture, which to me is a culture of contrasts. I have a great sense of pride in my ‘Irishness’, my ‘Dublinness’ that I celebrate in my work. I see the history of family, of place, of the Irish language (that I discovered as I grew up) and Irish culture and traditions in all forms as a resource that strengthens our future. Irishness, to me, is a shifting quality which is constantly adjusting to changing times. It is made of contrasting notions of past, present and indeed future. But as Irishness evolves I consider there to be a laying down of layers of history and experience that form a foundation for who we are at this point in time. We continue to redefine what it is to be Irish in the context of the 21st century both in Ireland and around the world. It is the contrast between our past and our becoming future that interests me in this work. Where are we from and where are we going?

Foundations reflects on Irish culture and history as a base for a modern Irish identity. The piece features a series of stitched drawings of the M50 motorway supported by or cast into cylinders of stitched concrete. The M50 Motorway is for me, a symbol of modern Ireland, literally (in the case of Carrickmines Castle) and metaphorically built on the past. It encircles Dublin City and is evidence of the advances in infrastructure and development of recent times. It connects the old city centre with new outlying communities and radiates links to all parts of the country. There is a sense of permanence about the structures of the M50 that will mark our environment for generations to come.

114 | 115 Tara Ní Nualláin

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116 | 117 Tara Ní Nualláin

Liz Nilsson How did I get here? Screenprinting, hand stitching, cotton cloth, viscose thread, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

I sometimes look in the mirror and wonder how I got here. My head is full of random threads, unfinished impulses and loose ends. My mind, my personality and my identity are all shaped by the cultural confusion of being born and raised in Sweden, and then living for twenty five years away from home. On my journey I met people I loved; they shaped and influenced my personality like the sea polishing the pebbles on the beach. But still there is a strong tie to the homeland; long threads that bind me to my native culture, deep undercurrents that always seem to pull me back homewards. These do not go away, they ghost my being. I am a permanently displaced and dislocated person. This bicultural displacement is both enriching and perplexing. How do I keep hold of myself in this complex jumble of cultural threads? How do I stay sane when my head feels like it is going to burst from these two gravitational pulls of belonging? I am held in a constant tension. I thread, unpick and re-thread cultural influences and counter-influences, past, present and future. I just about keep it all together in the here and now. My existence can fray and unravel, so I am constantly mending it, constantly minding it.

118 | 119 Liz Nilsson

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1 20 | 1 21 Liz Nilsson

Caroline Schofield Belief Fleece, string, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

For generations in my family Textiles has been a part of our culture. My great-grandfather came to Kilkenny Woollen Mills as a Master Dyer. My grandfather continued that tradition, setting up a hosiery company which my father continued. My earliest memories are of learning from my grandmother how to clip threads off garments as we clipped bundles of a dozen, sitting in the factory with its own special noise of humming machines and the smell of fabric and oil. The women in the family taught me to knit and sew and encouraged my continual projects … always needing to make. Repetition and making, the feel of fibres and their softness influences my practice and use of textiles. I grew up as an outsider. I was brought up with an English grandparent, part of the Protestant community, going to Protestant primary and secondary schools in southern Ireland.

Workers in the Kilkenny Woollen Mills factory

At an early age I rejected religious beliefs meaning that I didn’t fit in, at school or in the community. It wasn’t a loud rebellion, just a strong belief in there being another way. The need to question and look influences my work today. Those beliefs I rejected inform my work and in particular the hanging I have made for this exhibition. My cultural identity surfaces in this piece, reflecting my childhood obsession with making and repetition and with the religion I rejected. The stone effigies of my childhood Sundays influence the imagery. Needing to try and understand people’s thoughts, why they think certain ways, I am questioning how they put their faiths in beliefs unavailable to me. Impossible to read their thoughts, the bodies hang close telling us how their relationship is. The threads connecting them unravelling and joined, holding the community as one.

1 22 | 1 23 Caroline Schofield

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1 24 | 1 25 Caroline Schofield

Logan McLain Wunder Viscose thread on paper, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

This piece is part of a series of works exploring a culture of sharing and collecting. In this instance, a specific focus is given to a collective behaviour which has been founded online in the digital space. The piece is informed by a craft practice that investigates textiles and typography. The title of the piece translates from the German word for wonder, which may immediately locate the work in specific culture; however the typography is sourced directly from an image found online. Cultures can create exchange and borrow words, images and ideas from each other. The rate at which these can spread has become instant with the prolific availability of online social media, allowing people from all cultures to generate and share content online in completely new contexts. The starting point for this piece came from one such example; an image found within a randomly discovered online compilation of snapshots categorised together and shared within a community and culture of collectors. The original image is a photograph of a single neon sign in isolation against the backdrop of an aging concrete surface. Who took the original photograph? How did it come to be a part of this seemingly random online collection of images? What logic was applied to qualify this image as worthy of inclusion in this catalogue?

Regardless of the answers to any of these questions the image has become part of an emerging online behaviour, a culture of collectors that ultimately may only exist in its current form for a limited period of time given the rate of change in technologies and the ways we use them. Wunder is a product of interacting with this culture of online collecting and sharing. The image was chosen for no other reason than its resonance with the maker’s aesthetic. It was then taken out of the context of its collection and was worked through a craft process. The outcome will go on to be made available as more online content to be discovered, shared and collected. The image may, again be taken out of this context and to become just another thread connected to more collections.

1 26 | 1 27 Logan McLain

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1 28 | 1 29 Logan McLain

Mary R. Cullen Traverse I, II & III Digitally printed silk twill, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

Traverse – to move, pass, cross, bridge, negotiate; this word can be interpreted in many ways. My work tells a story that can be read in a multiplicity of formats. Images from the past (as a child going from the south of Ireland to the North to visit family and as an adult to study in Belfast) merge with contemporary images from Dublin and recent travels in Japan and Berlin. My pieces reflect an emotional, selective and sensory response to cultural and social situations. Images from these years are imprinted on my memory, photographs record, reaffirm and make visual these cross-cultural journeys.

Mary Cullen (bottom left) and family in garden, Dungannon

Formal and informal objects are metaphors for communication, status, conversation and dialogue (dia – through or across). Shards are evidence of different previous existences, mirrors may reflect what is absent and present. I have juxtaposed and altered my information to present three composite pieces that convey this series of memories.

1 30 | 1 31 Mary R. Cullen

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1 32 | 1 33 Mary R. Cullen

Brigitta Varadi Of the Land Raw wool, silk, cotton, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

I live on the side of a mountain, Sliabh an Iarainn (Iron Mountain). There is no traffic going past our house, our road ends further up the mountain, but I know the sound of every farmer’s car going up and down this lane. When we first moved here, we felt a bit isolated. However, after a while I started to do art projects in the community and worked with the farmers on an environment project that used the wool from their sheep. These interactions made me part of the land and part of the local community. As a Hungarian living in Ireland I am constantly trying to define what culture means for me. From which angle shall I approach this task, from global or local levels? After long consideration I have decided to stay with the local approach as my everyday interactions define my days and my being. Living in the country I am part of the yearly cycle of birth and death, I see animals born on the field, I witness their growth and I am there when they are taken to be sold. I stop every time my neighbour passes me and get to know all I need to know about local and national news. I do not have television any longer as I do not need it. The everyday life and daily routine of the countryside has embedded itself in me and I have become part of this cycle.

Yearly sheep shearing is part of this cycle. Fifteen years ago I used to go to Ballina to get my wool from a woollen depot where all the wool from the North West was brought in, packed and shipped all over the world. A new estate stands on the place of the old woollen depot and this business is gone. Nowadays, farmers have huge difficulties in selling the wool. It can sit around for two years before somebody comes to collect it and in some cases, the farmers just dig a hole and bury the wool to get rid of it. In this piece I am honouring a vanishing part of the Irish culture that brought me originally to Ireland and I am honouring the present-day life of the rural countryside, still defined by the cycle of nature.

1 34 | 1 35 Brigitta Varadi

Suzanne Woods Blue Willow Fragments Merino wool felt, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

For a long time I have been interested in the decorative and symbolic use of pattern especially in the ways that pattern is created from original sources and is altered and diffused over time. Whilst born in Northern Ireland, I spent most of my life living elsewhere—in the UK, Canada and the USA. Returning on holiday as a child and later as an adult, an awkward ritual of visiting barely known relatives and family friends became a pattern. Good china cups and saucers balanced on knees (Jaffa Cakes melting against the hot cup) imposed a formality to these occasions. Good china displayed in cabinets until important visitors came by, but put into use for us, was a reflection of our standing and the rarity of our presence. The dresser with its display of china has pride of place in many homes. It is a family shrine which is decorative yet holds meaning ranging through family memories, feelings of comfort and hospitality to symbols of status and wealth. One of the most common china patterns to be displayed is Blue Willow, developed in the late 18th century by Minton Pottery and replicated by most potteries up until the present day. The pattern is an amalgam of various Chinese-inspired details, and a story was invented to market the china to householders seeking an exotic experience. It is recognisable even in fragments.

1 36 | 1 37 Suzanne Woods

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1 38 | 1 39 Suzanne Woods

Liam Flynn Inner Rimmed Vessel Oak, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

This being an exhibition about culture and how it impacts my work, I should probably be making the following points. The shape of the piece I have made is redolent of ancient monastic beehive huts, nor is it dissimilar to haystacks that were once such a common but transient feature of the rural landscape. Then again, maybe the black finish on the vessel is inspired from spending summer evenings fishing the inky peat infused water of the local rivers. Or perhaps it is as another writer so eloquently put it, ‘Once he has ebonized the finished work, it has a deep patina that evokes ancient vessels blackened by their long slumber in the peat bog of archaeological sites’. I cannot say if there is a connection, instead I try to make work that feels right for me at that time. I hope it does for others as well…

140 | 141 Liam Flynn

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142 | 143 Liam Flynn

Tom Agnew Metamorphosis Raku-fired clay, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

I have addressed the vexed question of cultural identity many times over many years in an effort to inform my work and practice. Unerringly, for me, it leads to a dead end and only serves to encourage pale imitation of past cultural highlights. I am a political animal and have a strong sense of what my political cultural position is, but decided long ago to separate that from my creative practice. Of course it’s a cliché, but we really are inhabitants of the global village, subject to a myriad of influences. I suppose if I am forced to make an observation, I feel part of a western European tradition with all it’s developments in politics, art, architecture and design through the centuries. Does that mean that there is a relationship between that tradition and my practice? Not knowingly. I have conviction in my technical ability, but uncertainty and doubt are omnipresent when I come to appraise my efforts. Perhaps this is no bad thing. I try my best in whichever cultural tradition I am a member of in pursuit of happiness and fulfilment.

144 | 145 Tom Agnew

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146 | 147 Tom Agnew

Joe Hogan Up for Air Willow rods, bog pine, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

This basket is made from home grown willow rods and bog pine. I gather the bog pine in a wonderful area of isolated bog land near where I live and after allowing it to dry for a year or more I can consider using it. I make tentative shapes with these bog wood pieces and these will then provide the framework for the basket. In the case of this basket I had two images in my head; one from Eamon Grennan’s poem The Quick of It about swallows on a windy day ‘harvesting the cloudy air’ and ‘harnessing the blast to their own advantage.’ The other image was from Seamus Heaney’s Squarings, no 5, where he advises improvising and making free ‘like old hay in its flimsy afterlife, high on a windblown hedge.’ A sense of flying seemed suggested in some way by these bog wood pieces. When I make non- functional or artistic baskets I am trying to develop a deeper connection with the natural world, to wonder more and be less certain of what I think I know.

148 | 149 Joe Hogan

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1 50 | 1 51 Joe Hogan

Dr Helen McAllister 3 feet make a yard but 3 of your feet make a shipyard Tights, bleached/unbleached linen yarn, glass shards, beads, leather, cotton thread, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

This is one of the many humorous sayings a school friend of mine had, it reflects Belfast’s, ‘honest,’ frank, often cutting pessimistic humour. The title references three elements. The Goliath and Samson ship-building cranes have become emblematic of Belfast. From when they first appeared; I loved them (and still do). We did not live in their shadow, yet from my bed I could see them; at night their position was made visible by red flashing lights, Their sounds carried with other city noises of bomb blasts, and shots, making everything feel very near. Yet as long as I could see those red lights I was able to sleep. These cranes were ‘mine’ as much as any favourite toy or any blanket a child is comforted by. Yellow tights reference the cranes by their torsion and tensions with the repeated motif of the boat like footwear. The repeated shoe form hints at a production-line and

references the title. My childhood saw the demise of Belfast as a world-ranking manufacturing centre. The Linen industry is one such case. Like ship building, the linen reflected craftsmanship of the highest order, quintessentially a phenomenon of Ireland, now sadly extinct. The hand crafted shoe-forms and embroidery techniques, make homage to the linen industry by use of linen thread, referencing industrious work ethic and the respect for ‘making’. The glass shards used in the artwork are precious, iconic mementos of Belfast, retrieved from a fire-bombed church. For over 30 years I have kept these as some kind of evidential trophies of the past, the result of wanton destruction, now these keep-sakes tell of re-appropriated crafted embellishment. The glass shards reflect emotive memories and history in the found, collected objects. The cranes sit idle, there is no manufacturing of significance; the ‘Troubles’ to outsiders is a thing of myths; all extinct, micro mirrored by none of family in Belfast, my favourite school physically gone, and more sadly, no friendships from my Belfast days. Yet these missed ‘traits’ seem to define my cultural barometer. No evidence of me in Belfast yet Belfast is evident in me seems to sum up the ambiguous nature of a personal sense of culture from that of a collective view.

Harland & Wolff shipping cranes (Samson and Goliath) seen from the streets of Belfast

1 52 | 1 53 Dr Helen McAllister

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1 54 | 1 55 Dr Helen McAllister

Alex Scott Grannie’s wee chair Terracotta crank, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

The most vivid memories of my childhood are those of family gathered around two separate kitchen tables. We were a small family, my mother passed when I was young leaving myself, two brothers, a sister and my father. In our house near Coleraine meals were often taken in the company of our housekeeper Mrs Boyle, her husband and her three children. There were never enough chairs and my father made stools and eventually a bench or ‘form’ for the children to sit on. For two years myself and my older brother were sent to live with my Grannie in Co. Down. Around that kitchen table there were more family faces, those of two aunts and an uncle. Central to this scene was my grannie; firmly ensconced in her solid and dependable white oak chair. It was made for her by a local man from local timber as a wedding present. Indeed that maker later married a relative of my father and we always joked that the chair was part of the ‘family tree’. Like myself over the years this chair received its fair share of knocks and scrapes, but like everything back then it was built to last. Each mark and scratch is a testament to the life and experiences of a quiet, frugal, rural world. My mother’s mother was the primary matriarchal figure in our lives. As I grew from a boy to a shy teenager she came to suffer from dementia and quietly passed many years ago. Of the few possessions she had to bequeath I have eventually come to

own her chair. It’s of no monetary value; being neither fine nor fancy, but for me as an object it acts as a portal to that time and place. Being from an Ulster Scot’s background (more Scottish than English, more British than Irish) I was raised on values of the importance of family, fortitude, and quiet respectability. I feel that my culture was forged at those dinner tables. It’s where I learned the values I abide by today and was taught how to behave and how to treat others. My father was entirely pragmatic and taught me how to make and mend. There was an emphasis on the importance of tools, their function and how to care for them. These are skills I carry forward today in my work with the medium of clay. As a craft maker I am inspired by three-dimensional forms. I am rarely interested in recreating or representing them in a precise way. My practice is more concerned with responding to these objects through a variety of materials and techniques. I appreciate an honesty in ceramics that appear to listen to the material itself and where the evidence of how it is made, such as marks, indentations, fingerprints and textures are present in the final work. Having been interested in the chair form for many years and most recently in a body of work that responded to a residency in China in 2011 this project presented new challenges in scale and the use of specific clay bodies and slips to make pieces that referred to my grannie’s wee chair.

1 56 | 1 57 Alex Scott

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Scott’s grandmother in her chair


1 58 | 1 59 Alex Scott

Alva Gallagher Tales ‘Tide Pool’ Cast float glass, 2013

02  Makers’ Works

‘We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that the sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of it.’ Henry David Thoreau

CultureCraft [Top] Workers in the fishing port of Killybegs Harbour [Bottom] Alva and her family fishing in Killybegs Harbour

This work draws from my ancestry and a childhood immersed in activities of the sea. Traditions and stories passed from my Grandfather to my Father to us as children. I grew up in the fishing village of Killybegs in Donegal, the largest fishing port in the county and on the island of Ireland. My earliest memories conjure smells of the pier, hunting in rock pools for treasure, the noise of a boat engine, and being gathered together round the kitchen table watching my father teach us how to gut the fish we caught while we played with scallop shells, waiting silently for them to open, trying to get close enough to touch them before they snapped shut. From my Mother I learnt to dive as a teenager and adore the solitude and sense of calm experienced in the depths of the water. The characteristics of the ocean, particularly its unpredictability and perpetual rhythm, the activities, memories and the tales of it, passed from generation to generation, continue to inspire my work.

160 | 161 Alva Gallagher

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162 | 163 Alva Gallagher

Dr Caroline Madden Culture: crossing the line Blown glass, moss, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

The concept of a line implicitly supposes the construct of duality and a notion that on one side of the line there is X and on the other side of the line there is Y. Most often the symbols X and Y are used to signify diametrically opposed positions or widely accepted notions of polar opposites like good/bad, male/female and black and white. Cultural idioms are constructed, destructed or sustained through symbolic meaning(s) and are embodied by those persons who reside within the specific culture. The work, Culture: crossing the line proposes the notion that a line has two borders; an upper and a lower border. It is the space between these two borders that allows the grey matter between duality to emerge alternative meaning(s). This work journals some of those histories.


164 | 165 Dr Caroline Madden

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166 | 167 Dr Caroline Madden

Michelle Stephens Twill I & Twill II Wood, LEDs, screen printed and walnut case, 2013

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

Of all the craft areas, woven cloth, is most at ease with the demands of technology and design of contemporary western culture. There is fluidity in the practice, design and art of woven textiles that enables textiles to fit easily with contemporary technology. It is this language of textiles that I continuously employ throughout my practice. Northern Ireland has a rich heritage of weaving through the linen industry, especially during the industrial revolution. This however slowly declined for example in the city of Derry from the 1830’s and the failure of a factory linen industry, played a significant part in the birth of the shirt industry. The city was, for years, built upon the textile trade with factories dominating the cityscape. In the last few decades this textile industry has furthermore reduced and is driven by technology. There are in fact very few hand weavers left. We were once defined by this industry, whereas now in recent times our culture has diversified with new technologies. The introduction of technology alongside hand crafted techniques has always been of great interest to me as a practitioner in an ever more technologically driven world. Laser cutting, CNC milling and digital technologies are

combined with personal abstracted weave techniques throughout my work. I am part of a new generation of makers that has evolved out of these rich heritage roots. Modern practice has compelled practitioners to question their ways of making and thinking in order to produce more innovative outcomes. Many would say that my culture has defined elements of my practice. This questioning of ideas has led to the use of old and new technologies within my work as well as the fusion of craft and technology. I have access to new technologies that I can readily fuse with my textile background, enabling me to produce unique series of works. This enables me to establish my own unique voice through the way in which I assemble the individual fragments. These arrangements of forms, colour combinations, outlines of structure and the degree of complexity or openness are all choices that are made during the making process. There is a natural affinity between weaving and mathematics, the loom and the digital computer. These are the patterns and formula that I deconstruct and re-interpret so that I can construct new compositions. Like that of Twill I & Twill II.

168 | 169 Michelle Stephens

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1 70 | 1 71 Michelle Stephens

Nigel Graham Cheney Made in Market Harborough Digitally printed linen union, cotton and viscose thread, brass, 2013.

02  Makers’ Works CultureCraft

I was born in Market Harborough, Leicestershire and lived there I until I was 3 when my family moved to Peterborough. The family has long since returned to Market Harborough and it is a town I feel a great connection to even though I have never actually lived there. As a child I grew up in a house with a sewing machine in the living room. Not a dainty little machine for home dressmaking but a great big brute of an industrial sewing machine. My father was the manager in a garment factory and brought boxes of outwork home every evening for my mother who then sewed them together the following morning. There was a seemingly endless cycle of work in and work out. My mother was an amazing machinist. I’ve still never seen anyone who could sew as fast and as neatly as her. As a child the Symingtons lingerie factories in Peterborough and later Whittlesey where my father worked were magical places. They were the vast places where these bundles of fabric came from and returned to as parts of garments, one element in a production line. Occasional visits there when my father was called in at weekends exposed me to the magnificence of plenty, of multiples and the patterns that piles of anything can create. I found stories involving both branches of the extended family to be fascinating, accompanied as they were by countless photographs of both strange and familiar faces. My childhood memories are built around this archive of

images and are filled with the tactile appreciation for cloth and materials. In particular the rolls of bias binding and the coiled steel boning that were part of mother’s work provided endless hours of fun for a child to play with. I always remember there being tape measures in the house, all types and colours, even one glued along the sewing machine stand, but those with press studs to keep them in a tight spiral were the best. On reflection I consider that my cultural identity was forged somewhere between twin notions of ‘sacrifice’ and ‘industry’. The piece I have made contains over 90 metres of hand sewn hems and represents hundreds of hours of labour. Using digital technology to apply colour to a linen union fabric it was possible to consolidate many hundreds of images onto a single piece of cloth. The images that create the narrative of this measurement of time and memory come from a variety of family archives. The tape measure is 45 metres long, a ridiculous length that meanders through a memory time line that is not linear but more like a piece of music with repeated refrains within an underlying composition. Music is incredibly important to me, as Michelle Shocked sang I consider I also have a ‘45rpm soul’. The number 45 has many personal significances for me, from the speed of a vinyl single on my childhood record player to the fact that at this point in my life I can finally act my age and my shoe size simultaneously.

1 72 | 1 73 Nigel Graham Cheney

02  Makers’ Works


1 74 | 1 75 Nigel Graham Cheney

03 Master residency/ Maker workshops

Dr Caroline Madden & Seliena Coyle Pinhole Visions Alex Scott & Deirdre O ’Callaghan Made in the City Caroline Schofield Thread Drawings

CultureCraft: Master residency/Maker workshops Glass, Ceramics & Textiles

The London Street Gallery, Derry~Londonderry, August 2013

03  Workshops CultureCraft

CultureCraft, set out to embed contemporary craft practice in the psyche of the Northwest audience. The project afforded an opportunity to facilitate new forms of artistic engagement with a community well acquainted with progressive artistic activity. The exhibition was accompanied by examples of best practice, articulated through a series of residencies with artist/maker-lead workshops. The function of these 5-day residency/workshops was two-fold; facilitating public access to technique and materials through artist residency whilst developing a practice of endowment of subsequent craft objects to the city. It is envisaged that these works will be temporarily or ideally permanently sited. Three CultureCraft exhibitors were invited to lead a workshop for a group of individuals with the ultimate goal of producing individual and a collective artwork.

Dr Caroline Madden & Seliena Coyle Pinhole Visions This workshop exposed individuals from the city to a combination of photographic and specialist glass techniques. Glass gable walls have been cast by the artist for use in this project. The concept relies on the significance of the wall, in particular the gable-end wall usually associated with murals in the local urban landscape. The application of the self-portrait and personal imagery positions the individual as a positive contemporary motif. Each individual created and used a pinhole camera to extrapolate imagery from their indigenous surroundings.

[From back to front] Maker Seliena Coyle of CultureCraft, Tara Nicholas of Derry City Council and Mayor of Derry, Martin Reilly show pieces from the workshop

1 78 | 1 79 Glass, Ceramics & Textiles

03  Workshops

Alex Scott & Deirdre O ’Callaghan Made in the City The inspiration for this workshop comes from the association with Derry~Londonderry as the Maiden City. This year 2013 will be recorded as a celebration year of its culture past and present. To me this suggests a city with an ancient and rich history. As lead artist it develops themes within my own work. During the workshop I created a clay piece, an abstracted form that alludes to a strong and determined female form. This piece is titled The City Maiden and will be donated to CultureCraft to remain in the city.

CultureCraft Alex Scott preparing materials for the workshop

180 | 181 Glass, Ceramics & Textiles

03  Workshops

Caroline Schofield Thread Drawings The project took place over four mornings starting with a drawing exercise that required the children taking part to use their own culture (family, friends, games) as a starting point. Subsequently we utilised the felt-making process to translate these initial sketches into colourful wall-hangings. My getting to know Derry and the children’s drawings was always going to dictate the outcome of the final artwork, resulting in a thread drawing based on a particular sketch of the Peace Bridge by one of the group. This piece has been permanently installed in the recently opened space operated by Creative Village Arts.

CultureCraft Initial sketches by the children

182 | 183 Glass, Ceramics & Textiles

04 Makers Index

Makers A — Z

04  Makers Index

Adam Frew Large Jar pp. 38 – 41

Angela O’Kelly Further From Their Source pp. 96 – 99

Dr Caroline Madden Culture: crossing the line pp. 162 – 165

Porcelain, 2013 Dublin

Felt, palladium leaf, text from Gerard Smyth poem on paper, labradorite beads, dyed nylon, 2013 Dublin

Blown glass, 2013 Leitrim


Alex Scott Grannie’s wee chair pp. 154 –1 57 Terracotta crank, 2013 Dublin Alva Gallagher Tales ‘Tide Pool’ pp. 158 –161 Cast float glass, 2013 Donegal

Brigitta Varadi Of the Land pp. 132 – 133 Raw wool, silk, cotton, 2013 Leitrim Cara Murphy Infuse pp. 92 – 95 Silver, enamel, ivory substitute, 2012 Down

Caroline Schofield Belief pp. 120 – 123 Fleece, string 2013 Kilkenny Charlene Mc Farland Oscar pp. 70– 73 Blown glass, copper, brass, steel, found object, 2013 charlene-mcfarland-artist#!portfolio Donegal

Grainne Morton Triumphant Deer brooch / Bee Ring / She Moved Through the Fair ring pp. 100 – 103

Raku fired ceramic with sprig decoration, 2013

Oxidised silver, found objects, 2010 Oxidised silver, found objects, 2013 18ct gold-plated silver, found objects, 2013 Derry Derry Eily O’Connell Ocean Inquest pp. 80 – 83

Gail Mahon Nomatic pp. 46 – 49 Porcelain, stoneware, crushed ‘ceramic’ sand, wire, rubber, resi 2013 Derry

Tights, bleached/unbleached linen yarn, glass shards, beads, leather, cotton thread, 2013 Dublin James Toal Untitled I, II & III pp. 66 – 69 Kiln formed glass, 2013 Dublin

Willow rods, bog pine 2013 Galway Justyna Truchanowska B.O.C.I.A.N pp. 88 – 91 Merino fleece, silk cut tops, sterling silver, thread, 2013 Dublin Liam Flynn Inner Rimmed Vessel pp. 138 – 141 Oak, 2013 Limerick Liz Nilsson How did I get here? pp. 116 – 119 Screenprinting, hand stitching, cotton cloth, viscose thread 2013 Dublin

Makers A–Z

Brass, enamels, topaz 2013 Donegal

Dr Helen McAllister 3 feet make a yard, but 3 of your feet make a shipyard pp. 150 – 153

Joe Hogan Up for air pp. 146 – 149

186 | 187

Deirdre O’Callaghan Raging love heartbroken sorrowful friendship loyalty pp. 54 – 57

Logan McLain Wunder pp. 124 – 127

Nigel Graham Cheney Made in Market Harborough pp. 170 – 173

Viscose thread on paper 2013 Dublin

Digitally printed linen union, cotton and viscose thread, brass, 2013 Dublin

04  Makers Index

Mary R. Cullen Traverse I, II & III pp. 128 – 131 Digitally printed silk twill 2013 Dublin


Michelle Stephens Twill I & Twill II pp. 166 – 169 Wood, LED’s, screen printed and walnut case 2013 Armagh Neil Read Identity Stamp pp. 34– 37 Digitally printed porcelain & black stoneware 2013 Dublin

Peadar Lamb A Whistle in the Dark #2 pp. 62 – 65 Painted stained-glass and lead lightbox, 2013 Cork Peter Fulop Turf Ash Glaze Disc No.1–3 pp. 50 – 53 High iron grogged clay, turf ash glaze 2013 Leitrim

Peter Meanley The Queen The Potter and his Sauce pp. 42 – 45 Salt glazed ceramic 2012 Down Rachel McKnight Granny’s Pearls pp. 76 – 79 Wood, polyurethene resin, 2013 Antrim Richard Sinclair The Font of Life pp. 74 – 75 Egg tempera, gold leaf on a natural gesso ground, wooden panel 2013 Derry Sabrina Meyns Roots pp. 84 – 87 Hand made paper, seeds, Sterling silver, 18ct Yellow Gold 2013 Leitrim

Scott Benefield The Alarmist pp. 58 – 61

Tara Ní Nualláin Foundation I – VI pp. 112 – 115

Glass, granite 2013 Co. Antrim

Concrete, steel, fabric paper and stitch 2013 Dublin

Brass, copper, sterling silver, dymo labels, 2013 Derry

Silver, mixed media 2013 Antrim Suzanne Woods Blue Willow Fragments pp. 134 – 137 Merino wool felt 2013 Derry

Raku-fired clay 2013 Derry

Makers A–Z

Stuart Cairns Recollection pp. 104 – 107

Tom Agnew Metamorphosis pp. 142 – 145

188 | 189

Seliena Coyle Untitled / Unlabelled pp. 108 – 111

– Talcott Parsons, Essays in Sociological Theory

Makers A–Z

‘Culture … consists in those patterns relative to behaviour and the products of human action which may be inherited, that is, passed on from generation to generation independently of the biological genes.’

05 Colophon

Editor: Seliena Coyle Photography: Sylvain Deleu

Edition: 500 Publisher: CultureCraft with the Crafts Council of Ireland ISBN 978-1-906691-36-3 © the artists, authors, and publisher


Design / Production: Marcus Swan Printing / Binding / Finishing: Impress Printing Works, Dublin Paper: Folio – Claro Silk 150g/m2 Cover – Vanguard Dark Grey 240g/m2 Type: The main text face is Caravel by Bobby Tannam, a contemporary grotesque sans-serif developed in 2013. Jubilat by Darden Studio is the supporting typeface used throughout the catalogue.

CultureCraft: Culture in the Making, an exhibiton of contemporary craft for the UK City of Culture 2013, Derry~Londonderry 36 of Ireland’s leading craftspeople/craft makers were invited to contemplate the notion that one’s culture has an impact beyond sentimentality and to create a piece of work in response to this reflective investigation. Neil Read Adam Frew Peter Meanley Gail Mahon Peter Fulop Deirdre O’Callaghan Scott Benefield Peadar Lamb James Toal Charlene McFarland Richard Sinclair Rachel McKnight Eily O’Connell Sabrina Meyns Justyna Truchanowska Cara Murphy Angela O’Kelly Grainne Morton

ISBN 978-1-906691-36-3

9 781906 691363

Stuart Cairns Seliena Coyle Tara Ní Nualláin Liz Nilsson Caroline Schofield Logan McLain Mary R. Cullen Brigitta Varadi Suzanne Woods Liam Flynn Tom Agnew Joe Hogan Dr Helen McAllister Alex Scott Alva Gallagher Dr Caroline Madden Michelle Stephens Nigel Graham Cheney

Culturecraft catalogue issuu sml  

CultureCraft - Culture in the Making catalogue. This exhibition was a response to the inaugural City of Culture Year hosted in Derry, North...

Culturecraft catalogue issuu sml  

CultureCraft - Culture in the Making catalogue. This exhibition was a response to the inaugural City of Culture Year hosted in Derry, North...