50 Makers 50 Years – Ireland’s craft heroes celebrated in landmark new exhibition

President Michael D. Higgins and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar had paid tribute to country’s makers as Design & Crafts Council Ireland celebrates “50 Makers 50 Years” in a new exhibition charting the country’s evolution of crafts and design.

The 50 Makers 50 Years exhibition is part of a series of events in 2021 to mark the 50th anniversary of Design & Crafts Council Ireland.

It will celebrate makers whose work has contributed to the rich tapestry of craft and design practice in Ireland.

50 Makers 50 Years

50 Makers 50 Years

“In Ireland, we are very proud of our reputation for creativity, a reputation which is greatly enhanced by our many talented craftspeople and designers”, President Higgins said.

“Their creative and beautiful works, which receive wide acclaim on both the national and international stage, remind us of how much of our culture and heritage is embedded in crafted artefacts such as the Book of Kells and the Tara Brooch.

“At its very best, our design and craftwork connect us in profound ways to our roots whilst also reflecting the immediate world of our inhabited by the designer. They become an exquisite weaving together of individual artistic vision, collective cultural memory and contemporary influence.”

rsz dcci 50 anniversary landscape 2
 Legendary gold and silversmith Des Byrne passes on a few tricks of the trade to Róisín McCabe, final year student at the Jewellery and Goldsmithing Skills & Design Course run by Design & Crafts Council Ireland at the Castle Yard, Kilkenny (DYLAN VAUGHAN)

Aside from the exhibition, the Design & Crafts Council is also planning a series of events over the coming months to mark the contributions by all the individual craft and design disciplines – from jewellery, ceramics, textiles, and candlemakers to silversmiths, stone working, furniture makers and more.

As part of the initiative to celebrate ‘Ireland’s Craft Heroes’, industry stakeholders across the country are invited to nominate makers whose work has a significant legacy, heralded new approaches or changed the way we look at the world.

It is hoped that this exhibition will take place in July 2021 subject to whatever, if any, restrictions that are in place then.

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I'm a freelance content creator and a journalist who has a strong desire to do as much as possible in the time I've got left on this planet. I got a taste for storytelling when I interned in Storyful many moons ago and since then have worked for places like WorldIrish (now Irish Central), Her.ie and Lonely Planet. I am constantly curious.

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