News & events > Ireland hosts European Prize for Applied Arts exhibition
09 Feb 2019 - 23 Jun 2019

Ireland hosts European Prize for Applied Arts exhibition


Monumentality / Fragility, a major multi-venue exhibition of contemporary crafts featuring 74 makers from 19 European countries, runs in Kilkenny, Ireland from February 9 - June 23, 2019. This unique showcase of over 170 exceptional objects will be displayed at two locations – the National Design & Craft Gallery, Castle Yard and Kilkenny Castle.

Ireland is the only country to host this prestigious exhibition for the European Prize for Applied Arts outside of Belgium. 

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.