Material Alchemy Seminar

Material Alchemy

On Friday 11th March 2016, we headed off in earnest from the Ulster University to Kilkenny for the exhibition Not Too Precious, hosted by National Craft Gallery Ireland. Upon arrival we were greeted by the beautifully curated exhibition.  Once we gathered ourselves and took a few selfies with Zoe Robertson’s Necklace, we headed to the talks.

Having travelled from Birmingham, Zoe Robertson kicked off the day with a presentation on her inspiration, working methods and her newest exhibition, ‘Flockomania’. As a fan of her work it was very exciting to see her process and studio environment. She was followed by Eoin M Lyons giving us an insight into his mind space and recent NCAD graduate Jaki Coffey with her new perspective on the jewellery art scene providing us with a laugh and a view of what’s possible when you literally apply yourself to everything! After the individual talks there was a panel discussion about opportunities available to those on different stages of their career. I feel this was of huge benefit to the students in the room posing the reality of their future lives as artists/jewellers.

Just before lunch we had the pleasure of listening to Sonja Landweer telling us about Ireland in the 60’s with a wonderful anecdote about garlic and her uncensored films being show in the Castle Yard.

After a stroll around the lovely surroundings, we heard from Felieke van der Leest about her childhood inspired work. Julie Connellan discussed the public’s engagement and perception of jewellery art and Carina Shoshtary told us about her beautiful work that’s inspired by her surroundings. The presentations were followed by a second panel discussion, which looked at the journey the work makes after leaving the studio to galleries, collectors and beyond.

This seminar was very inspiring and it was encouraging to see an event of this type happening in Ireland. Hopefully from this stems a jewellery revolution! A huge thank you to the Design &Craft Council Ireland, The National Craft Gallery and all of the speakers who took part.

Robyn Galway

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