Craft Hub International Craft Exhibition in Dublin





Although Dublin is the capital city, Carlow is the place to be this August as craft enthusiasts are set to flock to the county to either take part in or simply enjoy the Craft Hub International Craft Exhibition. Taking place from August 22 to September 3 at the Visual Centre of Contemporary Art & The George Bernard Shaw Theatre, the exhibition, which is supported by Creative Europe and Creative Ireland, commenced in Italy in April 2023, before travelling to Greece, Germany and Portugal. Then, after it wraps up in Carlow, it will move on to Wales, and then to Norway for the closing conference. It will feature work from across the whole spectrum of craft techniques and has used an anonymous selection process, giving emerging artists an equal opportunity to be selected alongside the established makers. Welcoming the exhibition, Councillor Andrea Dalton, who is the Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council, says it is a huge boost to the region. “We are delighted to be hosting this crafts exhibition,” she said. “It is a major show for the entire Southeast and we are excited to showcase the work of these talented international makers in Visual, Carlow.” Speaking about the importance of craft in the context of the people who live, work, and visit Carlow, she says that it is beneficial in a myriad of different ways. “Craft is important for communities because it can promote creativity and self-expression, which brings people together,” she said. “It also helps to teach valuable skills, preserve cultural heritage, and support local economies. “Crafts also provide a way for people to express their creativity and individuality – and this can be a valuable outlet for people of all ages, while also helping to build self-confidence and self-esteem. So we are looking forward to welcoming people from Carlow and further afield to the Craft Hub Exhibition.” Craft Hub is a European project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme focused on craft in the context of cultural heritage and its continuing relevance in contemporary practice. The project activities involve investigating and documenting craft skills and processes and their differing application in creative practice across Europe. It also asks questions of cultural specificity and individual motivations of practitioners. This will be addressed through a comprehensive and exciting programme to allow the creation of new craft work and experimental investigations into process and material supported by 42 transnational maker residencies, 305 days of outreach work, one festival, seven exhibitions and two conferences. In the build-up to the exhibition, Carlow County Council is organising a series of workshops in Carlow Library from August 14 2022 to August 22, 2023. The are 16 workshops, which include: Make a Giant Paper Heart with Dawn from Craft Central; Make a ‘Pin Ball’ Game, also with Dawn from Craft Central; and Print Your Own Tote Bag with Ann Kenny of Ann Makes Books. There is also Bind Your Own Book with Ann Kenny (Ann Makes Books); Paint Along with Dawn from Craft Central; Sock it to me! with Jean Robertson; Get Buzzing! with Jean Robertson; I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Icecream! with Jean Robertson; and Cool Cactus Craft, also with Jean Robertson. In addition to this, there will be a Handmade Jewellery Workshop with Megan Manning from Create That Inner Spark , Make A Silver Ring inspired by Ireland’s Ancient East with Mary Bourke (DeBurca Design), Design and Make Your Own Silver Pendant with Mary Bourke (DeBurca Design), Make Blended Colour Earrings and Pendant with Liga Valge of Valg Studio, and Make Vibrant Pattern Earrings and Pendant, also with Liga Valge (Valg Studio). Craft Hub in Ireland is co-ordinated by Carlow County Council’s, Local Enterprise Office, Carlow Libraries and Carlow Arts Office. Speaking about the workshops, Kieran Comerford, head of economic development & enterprise, said they are educational and both socially and culturally important. “Craft workshops and classes can be a great way to bring people together from all walks of life,” he said. “They provide a shared activity which can help to build relationships and create a sense of community. “Crafts can teach people valuable skills, such as hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and creativity and these skills can be useful in many different areas of life, and they can help people to develop a sense of accomplishment. “Crafts can help to preserve cultural heritage by keeping traditional skills and techniques alive, and this is especially important in communities where these skills are in danger of being lost. “Crafts can also support local economies by providing opportunities for people to sell their handmade goods – and this can help to boost the local economy and create jobs.”