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Local craftspeople to be promoted at exhibitions in London and Belfast

25 January 2013

A new Craft NI initiative will help promote local designer-makers through exhibitions taking place in both London and Belfast

Craft NI Exhibition 1Craft NI Exhibition 3The first stage of the exhibition will take place between the 11th and the 15th of March at the newly refurbished Craft Central in London's trendy art district Clerkenwell. This will be the first time some of the designer-makers will have had a chance to have their work shown out of Northern Ireland. This is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, and the lucky 13 selected designer-makers will showcase their work to VIPs, leading retailers from London and the wider public for one week.

Following that the exhibition will return to Belfast, where it will open on 4th April, kicking off with a late night art night, and then running until 26th April, at the Craft Northern Ireland headquarters in Belfast.

The overall exhibition is aimed at showcasing the very best designer-makers within the contemporary craft sector in Northern Ireland. Craft NI will offer a 'show within a show' entitled Perspective: Inspiration Unveiled. The aim of the two events is to draw attention to the wealth and cultural strength of artistic talent this unique province has to offer. From jewellery designers to sculptors, ceramists, weavers, glass blowers and furniture designers, there will be a wide array of disciplines represented.

Supported by the Creative Industries Innovation Fund, the London exhibition will tie in with St Patrick's Day celebrations and aims to develop the partnership between Craft NI and Craft Central and also to broker new partnerships with other leading London based craft organisations, with a view to expanding future export opportunities for makers.

The makers include Eammon Higgins, a master blacksmith and glass sculptor, who is inspired by the beautiful Countryside of the Glens of Antrim.  He's also typical of the new emerging thirthy-something craft based entrepreneurs forging a name for themselves outside of Northern Ireland.  In his spare time he also runs the local Tug-of -War team hosting matches in his shed.  He is also the Northern Ireland tug of war champion!  Bob Johnstone is another good example who is passionate about cradle to cradle making. He uses traditional weaving techniques in a contemporary way.

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Belfast City & Greater Belfast News

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