Kilkenny to host major exhibition of works by 74 makers from 19 European countries at dual locations: the National Design & Craft Gallery and Kilkenny Castle

9th February – 23rd June 2019

Monumentality / Fragility, a major multi-venue exhibition of contemporary crafts featuring 74 makers from 19 European countries, including seven Irish participants, will open in Kilkenny on Saturday, 9th February 2019. In partnership with the Office of Public Works, this unique showcase of over 170 exceptional objects will be displayed at two locations – the National Design & Craft Gallery, Castle Yard and Kilkenny Castle – the first of this scale in the Marble City.

Ireland is the only country to host this prestigious exhibition for the European Prize for Applied Arts outside of Belgium. Monumentality / Fragility will be officially opened at the National Design & Craft Gallery and Kilkenny Castle on Saturday, 9th February from 4pm to 6pm with guest speaker Gaëlle Cornut, Director of BeCraft. Visitors are also welcome to join a seminar entitled Materiality & Process, which will include talks by a number of exhibiting makers, in the Parade Tower in Kilkenny Castle from 1.30pm to 4pm on the day of the launch. 

This exhibition is the 2018 edition of the European Prize for Applied Arts for which artists were invited to draw inspiration from the paradoxical nature of the dual theme, Monumentality / Fragility, proposed by BeCraft (previously World Crafts Council – Belgique Francophone). Over 600 makers from across Europe applied to the open call from which 74 were selected by an expert jury. The seven Irish participants are basketmaker Joe Hogan; silversmith Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill; ceramicist Nicola Kelly; textile artists Caroline Schofield and Niki Collier; and jewellers Eimear Conyard and Annemarie Reinhold.

Karen Hennessy, Chief Executive of the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, commented: “Hosting this large-scale European contemporary craft exhibition across two venues in Kilkenny is a great privilege for the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. It is also an opportunity to share the stunning work of a diverse group of European artists with the public – among which there is a strong Irish representation – and to display the very best of modern craft practice within the historical setting of Kilkenny Castle as well as the National Design & Craft Gallery. We are delighted to work with the Office of Public Works to present Monumentality / Fragility in both venues and hope that visitors will enjoy these beautiful works created by highly skilled craftspeople from Ireland and throughout Europe.”

Speaking about the exhibition on behalf of the OPW, Mary Heffernan commented: “We are delighted to partner with the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland to showcase this wonderful exhibition taking place at both venues. Kilkenny has become synonymous with excellence in art, design and craftsmanship and this collaboration represents a great opportunity to bring this array of talented artists from around Europe before a new audience in one of Ireland’s finest national historic properties.” 

The European Prize for Applied Arts aims to reward the best creations of contemporary expression in applied arts and craftsmanship. The exhibitors and the winners of the BeCraft Master Prize, metalsmith Adi Toch (€3,500) and the World Crafts Council Europe Young Talent Prize, jeweller Takaoshi Terajima (€3,000) were chosen by international experts on the basis of criteria of artistic merit, technical mastery and innovation. The European Prize for Applied Arts exhibition was launched in the Grand Hall, Mons Anciens Abattoirs in Belgium on 20th October, 2018 and is an initiative of BeCraft in partnership with Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, the City of Mons, WCC-Europe and WCC-International.

According to Louise Allen, President of WCC-Europe, from a European perspective the theme ‘Monumentality and Fragility’ is apt. “As we navigate our way through uncertain times, this exhibition seeks to remind us of the fragility of our shared European community. Hosting this exhibition at the National Design & Craft Gallery provides an environment for exchange and dialogue that contributes to our shared understanding of how culture can help to build community and bring cohesion,” she said

The exhibition is presented in partnership with the Office of Public Works (OPW). Admission to the National Design & Craft Gallery is free. Access to the exhibition in Kilkenny Castle is included in the Castle admission charges.


Exhibitors: Jordi Aparicio / Peter Beard / Ulla Bech-Bruun / Cécile Bertrand / Claudia Biehne / Marian Bulenga / Juli Bolanos-Durman / Kris Campo / Sébastien Carré / Valérie Ceulemans / Ray Church / Gabriela Cohn / Niki Collier / Trinidad Contreras / Eimear Conyard / Mária Danielova / Karine De Baets / Marion Delarue / Francine Delmotte / Patricia Domingues / Dot Melanin / Sally Fawkes & Richard Jackson / Ann-Kathrin Hartel / Ariane Hartmann / Dorottya Hoffman / Joe Hogan / Lucie Houdkova / Statira Jazayeri  / Nicola Kelly / Jane King / Zuzana Kubelkova / Julia Maria Künnap / Nicholas Lees  /  James Lethbridge / Lena Lindahl / Reka Lorincz  / Kadri Mälk / Vicktoria Matsuka / Harry Morgan  / Nadège Mouyssinat  / Susan Nemeth /  Janne Nes /  Artis Nimanis / Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill / Ou Jiun-You / Wiebke Pandikow / Annemarie Reinhold  / Loukia Richards / Päivi Rintaniemi / Bruno Romanelli / Kristina Rothe / Rita Sarafian / Helena Schepens / Martin Schlotz  / Caroline Schofield / Karin Seufert / Astrid Sleire / Alejandra Solar / Sophie Southgate / Dimitar Stankov / Anna Talbot / Takaoshi Terajima / Adi Toch / Flora Vagi / Felieke Van Der Leest /  Ute Van Der Plaats / Reinhilde Van Grieken / Karen Vanmol  / Graziano Visintin / Olivia Walker / Simon Ward / Fabienne Withofs / Annamaria Zanella

Applications Open Craft Scotland Summer Show