Re-Interpreting Craft Traditions

Aran 0.5 by Deirdre Nelson
Aran 0.5 by Deirdre Nelson

In the exhibition Modern Languages Nao Matsunaga, Laura Mays, Deirdre Nelson, Ciara Phillips and Barbara Ridland seek to reinterpret the sometimes forgotten skills of Ireland’s craft tradition. 

From the precision and planning needed to make a chair, to the hard work involved in industrial weaving or cottage industry knitting, these traditions still remain, but often only as nostalgic reminders of our past.  Mainly replaced by methods of mass production, this exhibition revisits those traditions and examines them in a contemporary light.

Film still“I hope visitors will discover things they already know about but presented in a way that makes them rethink the familiar” says curator Katy West. “Indigenous objects made for centuries are sometimes undervalued. I hope visitors will leave with an excitement over the work, but also with memories triggered by Aran knits, woven blankets, turf creels and currachs.”

The re-interpretations of tradition in Modern Languages demonstrate the modern language of craft, how in today’s global context it transcends place, and employs materials and methods that explore ideas and concepts through making. The legacy of Ireland’s craft is further explored through archival footage from the National Museum, Fáilte Ireland and Gael Linn.

The exhibition was commissioned by The National Craft Gallery of Ireland and The Galway Arts Festival as part of The Year of Craft 2011.

See: Modern Languages
Until 31 March 2013 (closed 15-17 Feb)
The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU
Open Mon to Sat 10.30am – 5pm Sun 12 – 5pm
Read our review

Leave a Comment