Craft is being served up with generous helpings of food, music and story-telling as August Craft Month enters an action packed second week.
The Craft of Conversation offers a mouth-watering treat as a dozen designer-makers display their work in hip Belfast restaurant Coco this Thursday and in the marvellously eccentric Crafty tearoom in Wellington Place on Saturday.
Mixed media artist Gail Mahon, one of the new breed of designer-makers behind the Craft of Conversation, said it was a chance for the public to see some cutting edge and exciting work in a new environment.
“The idea is to put craft at the centre of a table where people are sitting down to eat and to get them thinking and talking about it. We are encouraging people to interact with the makers and to see their work in a brand new way outside a gallery.”
Last year Gail formed artist group mak9 with like-minded makers, Heather Wilson and Stuart Cairns and on August 18 they will be hosting the mak9 Exchange in the Ormeau Baths gallery.
“We are bringing together lots of artists and makers to share different ideas and perspectives on craft and design. People will be showcasing what they do. It will be a very interactive event which the public can enjoy,” added Gail.
Also starting this week is Landscapes of the Interior – a fascinating series of performances and discussions around the concept of the sense of place, connections with the landscape and the art of story-telling.
Landscapes of the Interior is the result of a collaboration between two artists whose work is rooted in nature. They are singer songwriter Martin Donnelly, whose music is inspired by the land, sea and skies of Ireland and ceramicist Deirdre Hawthorne, whose beautiful, fragile pottery is deeply ingrained in the changing seasons and the natural world.
The pair will lead discussions with local artists, makers and craft enthusiasts in a series of intimate gatherings, beginning on Friday at Ards Art Centre in Newtownards. This will be followed by similar gatherings in Flowerfield Arts Centre in Portstewart on August 18 and Place in Belfast on August 26.
Flowerfield Arts Centre, a haven for the arts in the North West, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with an ambitious exhibition, Thirty, showcases the work of some of the most innovative designer makers across Ireland. The show has been curated by the centre’s resident makers, Adam Frew, Pia Raeymaekers and Catherine Keenan.
Meanwhile, to coincide with August Craft Month, the Ulster Museum and the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum are holding a series of workshops aimed at teaching people about the creative process and enabling them to learn new skills.
The workshops include leatherwork demonstrations; jewellery-making; cross-stitch brooches; felt-making; customised bags and interactive sculpture.
For more information about all the events coming up during the rest of August Craft Month, visit www.craftni.org