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Irish Craft Heroes

July 30 @ 12:00 am - November 7 @ 12:00 am


Irish Craft Heroes is a highly-visual, outdoor panel trail celebrating Ireland’s inspirational craftspeople and makers whose work has contributed to the rich tapestry of craft and design practice in Ireland.

The exhibition charts the evolution of the craft and design sector on the island of Ireland over the last 50 years, and pays homage to the many makers whose work has significant legacy.

As part of the initiative to celebrate ‘Ireland’s Craft Heroes’, the craft community, industry stakeholders, and public were invited to nominate their #IrishCraftHero; makers whose work inspires and has significantly impacted the sector over the past 50 years.

Over 600 nominations were received, and an expert committee was convened – charged with the difficult task of narrowing the selection to 50 makers, representing 50 years of outstanding craft and design innovation in Ireland.

Nominations were reviewed on criteria of skill, design, impact, innovation and originality. The nominations demonstrated the wealth of inspirational makers working in Ireland throughout the last 50 years. It also highlighted that so many other heroes significantly contribute to the craft community whether through commitment to education; leading development of disciplines through Guilds, Associations, Networks and Societies; establishing innovative projects to support makers; and advocating on behalf of the sector.

The outdoor panel trail launched in Kilkenny Castle in 2021, to coincide with Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s 50th Anniversary since its establishment in 1971. It then toured to Dublin Castle in Autumn 2021, and Galway and Cork in 2022, and now to Belfast this summer.

Presented by Belfast International Arts Festival and Craft NI | Curated by Design & Crafts Council Ireland | Supported by National Museums NI


Botanic Gardens
College Park, Botanic Avenue
Belfast, BT7 1LP United Kingdom
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028 9031 4762
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