Wicklow crafter to appear at prestigious London fair for contemporary craft and design

A selection of Ireland’s master craftspeople will feature at Collect 2024, the leading international fair for contemporary craft and design, with 2024 marking the 20th year of Collect taking place at Somerset House in London, which will host the fair between March 1 and 3 this year.

To celebrate this landmark anniversary, Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s (DCCI) exhibition features work by 23 Irish makers chosen from DCCI’s Portfolio Critical Selection, who have participated in Collect over the last 20 years.

Wicklow artist Cathy, who was previously a horticulturist, draws on her botanical experiences for sources of inspiration in her hand-built works using stoneware clay.

Each of her fabulous pieces is finished with multiple, complex and volatile glazes to emulate flaking rusts, mossy lichens or tidal flow, referencing a continual cycle of decay and renewal.

An award-winning artist whose most recent accolades include the 2023 Golden Fleece Special Award, as well as exhibitions at the Royal Ulster Academy 142nd Annual Exhibition and Sculpture in Context 2023 at NBG Glasnevin, Cathy will display her ‘Lecanora’ and ‘Lecidea’ series at Collect 2024.

“DCCI, supported by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, is working in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Craft NI and Crafts Council UK to bring this spectacular exhibition of work to London,” a DCCI spokesperson said.

“The representation of Ireland on such a large international stage with a display of exemplary craftsmanship and cross-border and channel collaboration is a key objective of the Government of Ireland’s Global Ireland initiative.

“It is particularly meaningful at the start of March, the month when we encourage countries all over the world to celebrate all that is Irish.”

Global Ireland is a government initiative to double the scope and impact of Ireland’s global footprint in the period from 2018 to 2025, with a particular focus on promoting Irish arts, heritage and culture to new generations and new audiences across the world.

Specialist galleries, dealers and collectives representing 400 artists will gather from across the globe at Collect.

Design & Crafts Council Ireland exhibitors include ceramicists, Deirdre McLoughlin, Antonio Julio López Castro, Alison Kay, Gráinne Watts, Marcus O Mahony, Susan O’Byrne, Mandy Parslow and Mike Byrne, artist Mary Nagle and sculptors Nuala O’Donovan, Jennifer Hickey, Mary Conroy, and Alan Meredith.

Textile maker Helen O’Shea will exhibit alongside designers Annemarie O’Sullivan and Sasha Sykes. Other makers include John Lee, a furniture designer, Jack Doherty, a porcelain designer, Róisín de Buitléar, a glassmaker, Angela O’Kelly, Stuart Cairns and silversmith Cara Murphy.

On Friday, March 1, Irish exhibitors Jennifer Hickey and Mike Byrne are set to engage in an insightful exhibitor talk. Joining them on Saturday, March 2, will be Sasha Sykes and Jack Doherty.

Commenting on the launch of Collect 2024, Rosemary Steen, CEO of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, said: “Design & Crafts Council Ireland is delighted to work collaboratively with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Craft NI and Crafts Council UK to bring our finest master craftspeople to Collect in London for the 20th year.

“Collect provides Irish designers and makers an opportunity to celebrate the range of design and craft on an international level. Bringing them to Somerset House in London is the perfect opportunity to showcase their work to international collectors on a leading world stage.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to all the makers involved this year”.

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