Craft makers invited to showcase special lockdown creations

Craft NI prepares for a stand-out August Craft Month 2020

Craft makers invited to showcase special lockdown creations

Kim Mawhinney

Staff reporter


Staff reporter

TALENTED craft makers from across Northern Ireland are being invited to submit creative pieces of work for a new ‘Unlocked’ exhibition which is being curated for August Craft Month.

The exhibition will take centre stage as part of this year’s celebration of incredible local craftspeople. It will relate to work created during the challenging COVID-19 lockdown period, as well as capturing the makers’ interpretation of the powerful ‘Unlocked’ theme.

There is an exhibition prize for one maker, with the winner being selected by an expert panel which includes Audrey Whitty, Head of Collections and Learning of the National Museum of Ireland, along with Kim Mawhinney, Senior Curator of Art at National Museums NI and Board Member of Craft NI. 

Commenting on the new exhibition, Kim Mawhinney said, “The pandemic and lockdown has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone, both personally and in business, and the craft community has not been immune to it. We want our talented local craft makers to share their work from this strange moment in our history, or perhaps a piece reflecting on their personal interpretation of the ‘Unlocked’ theme as we start to cautiously re-open.

“We are expecting this ‘Unlocked’ exhibition to showcase the incredible skills of our talented local makers as well as their personalities and experiences too. We would encourage makers to consider this very special exhibition and really showcase the beauty and talent of craft within Northern Ireland. We hope it will be an exceptional reflection of the full range of craft disciplines being practiced on our doorstep.”

Katherine McDonald, Director of Craft NI, also said, “Like many businesses, craft makers had to close doors of studios, workshops, exhibitions and shops over the lockdown period. Particularly as part of August Craft Month, we also want everyone to support and celebrate our local makers and buy local craft, whether it is gift or something special for your own home. We are really looking forward to August Craft Month which this year will be a more online celebration of local and international craft. So – watch this space!”

The selected ‘Unlocked’ works will be exhibited at the Craft NI Gallery on Royal Avenue, Belfast, during August and September 2020. The makers will also be asked to submit a short audio-clip describing the process of making the piece and what it means to them.

For more information on the exhibition, to submit your pieces and for the launch of the full August Craft Month 2020 programme, keep an eye on or follow Craft NI on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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