Past Exhibitions

Shuttles & Shafts

‘The Gift – as Heirloom | 18 November 2021 –  24 December 2021

CRAFT NI were delighted to welcome ACJ NI to Craft NI Gallery for a second Christmas jewellery selling show. ACJNI brought the most accomplished new work from nine of their members and associates who are practising contemporary jewellers in Northern Ireland. The selected makers created neckpieces and earrings in response to the title of The Gift inspired by Lewis Hyde’s book of the same title.

Jewellery has a strong association with being gifted, usually as an act of love, devotion, or a memento to mark an occasion. It carries deep personal stories and powerful narratives that connect us through generations and time – an heirloom. The exhibition represented the richness of approaches and a diversity of materials, skilfully combined to create meaningful stories about our culture and values. 

Participating jewellers were: Anne Earls Boylan, Jill Graham, Cameron & Breen, Clodagh Molloy, Lotus de Wit, Fiona Kerr, Camilla Prey, Eddie Doherty and Celine Traynor. 

 

Shuttles & Shafts

‘Shuttles & Shafts’ | 14 October 2021 –  11 November 2021

Craft NI were delighted to present the ‘Shuttles and Shafts’ exhibition, a visual journey into the archives of one of Northern Ireland’s most prominent linen manufacturers and an insight into the work of the design partnership that have brought some of their classic patterns into the 21st century. 

Previously suppliers to the Ritz and the White Star Line,  glass design plates from the Ewart-Lidell Mill in Co. Down, were donated to Belfast School of Art.  Senior Research Fellow, Trish Belford and Professor of Design Barbara Dass have preserved, catalogued and digitised the plates for future generations.

Their Heritage Lottery funded project Reviving William Liddell’s Damask Designs preserved a unique collection of 1600 photographic glass plates discovered in 2007 when the Ewart-Liddell linen factory at Donacloney, Co Down was dismantled. Their initial research was exhibited at Lisburn Museum during the inaugural NI Linen Biennale in 2018, and the resulting contemporary textiles are now in production at William Clark and Sons of Upperlands.

 

Pinned

‘ARRIVAL’ Exhibition | 9 September 2021 –  7 October 2021

In partnership with Ulster University and curated by Kim Mawhinney, Senior Curator of Art, Ulster Museum, Craft NI were delighted to present ‘ARRIVAL’, an exhibition showing the work of the Ceramics, Jewellery and Silversmithing Graduates of 2021.

The work selected presented a range of pieces including functional, non-functional, figurative and abstract works across a breadth of materials, exploring a range of concepts, skills and processes which range from hand building to the use of haptic software. The participating graduates were: Becca Cunningham, Jemma Knox, Erin Calvert, Joel Smyth, Rheia Bogle, Saorla Ní Chearúllain, Sorcha Groocock, Tracey Johnston and Leesa Espener.

 

Pinned

‘RE-New’ Exhibition | 2 August 2021 – 3 September 2021

 

 ‘RE-New’, Craft NI’s annual August Craft Month Exhibition at Craft NI Gallery, celebrated the work of Northern Ireland’s makers. As we looked at the year ahead we wanted to celebrate a sense of renewal, so makers were invited to reflect on the theme ‘RE-New’. Submitted work was directly inspired by the theme itself, work taking the makers craft practice in a new direction, or existing work the makers wanted to showcase as part of our reopening, renewal celebration.

Pinned

Launchpad Exhibition | 24 June 2021 – 22 July 2021

The Launchpad exhibition featured work from the four participants in Craft NI’s professional Development Programme, Launchpad 2020-21: Anne Butler (Ceramics), Anna Smyth (Ceramics), Claire Skelton (Jewellery and Metals) and Claire Mooney (Jewellery and Metals). The Craft NI programme was developed with funding from Arts Council of Northern Ireland to support makers through training and mentoring in developing their craft practice.

Pinned

Emerging Talent | 17 May 2021 – 17 June 2021

In partnership with Ulster University and curated by Kim Mawhinney, Senior Curator of Art, Ulster Museum, we were delighted to present the work of the Ceramics, Jewellery and Silversmithing Graduates of 2020. The work selected presented a range of works including functional, non-functional, figurative and abstract works across a breadth of materials, exploring a range of concepts, skills and processes.

Pinned

PINNED | 2 November 2020 – 2 January 2021

Craft NI was delighted to host the first group exhibition from the Association for Contemporary Jewellers and Silversmiths NI (ACJNI) from 2 November 2020 to 2 January 2021. Pinned presented the work of 23 local jewellers and silversmiths who have each responded to the exhibition’s theme to produce one-of-a-kind pieces beyond the scope of their usual commission or production work.

The exhibition featured over 50 variations on the idea of a brooch, with versions in both precious and non-precious materials. Traditionally set stones contrast with re-purposed vintage tins and toys, precision geometry meets abstract forms. Gold, silver and gemstones sit alongside found objects in unexpected interpretations that demonstrate technical accomplishment, innovation and creativity.

Perfectly timed ahead of an extraordinary Christmas season 2020, all the works were for sale. With prices starting under £70, the show offered a wonderful opportunity to select a unique piece and support a local business.

Unlocked

UNLOCKED – Opening Friday 7 August 2020

Taking centre stage in August Craft Month 2020, this exhibition showcased the work of makers currently practicing in Northern Ireland and NI makers working elsewhere. The selected craft pieces were created in response to the theme ‘Unlocked’. Makers were asked to exhibit work created during the pandemic lockdown; or as a wider interpretation of the theme ‘Unlocked’.

Due to the year’s circumstances, there was no public exhibition launch – but instead we went digital! This online video recording of ‘Unlocked’  was useful for those who couldn’t visit the gallery, allowing them to view the exhibition from the comfort of their own home.

Bernadette Tuite – ceramics and glass, exhibited in ‘Unlocked’ for August Craft Month 2020 to represent Cork Craft and Design and NI’s own Claire Mooney – silversmith had been selected to exhibit her work with Cork Craft and Design in partnership with August Craft Month and Cork Craft Month.

‘Unlocked’ exhibition opened on Friday 7 August 2020 in Craft NI Gallery: 115-119 Royal Avenue, Belfast BT1 1FF. Opening hours: 10:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Saturday, showing work from twenty talented Northern Ireland makers across a range of disciplines.