August Craft Month gets people talking

Talk, write, listen or make: get involved in craft this August. At the launch of the fifth August Craft Month in Northern Ireland local people are being encouraged to join in the conversation.

The theme of this year’s August Craft Month is “Craft Chat” and its aim is to get people thinking about the quality and relevance of craft through discussion, storytelling, poetry and online blogging as well as directly through the objects themselves.

Joe Kelly, Director of Craft NI, explained: “2011 is the Year of Craft and we want to start a conversation about craft and the different ways in which designer-makers create beautiful and unique pieces of art.

“We hope to encourage people to discover craft for themselves – cultural, personal, social and intellectual.  It is about sharing information on making and encouraging people to discover the fantastic work that is being fashioned by designer makers throughout Northern Ireland.”

The first event kicks off on 30th July at a new gallery in Lisburn called R-Space.  The gallery houses facilities for artists, designers and makers to develop, create and show new work that crosses all artistic and creative industries boundaries. The exhibition – Normal Floral – by acclaimed international artist Anna Dumitriu illuminates the boundaries and relationships between art, textile crafts and science. Her work uses a range of digital, biological and traditional media including live bacteria, projections and textiles.

Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council said: “We are delighted that ‘August Craft Month’, taking place across Northern Ireland, is supporting professional artists whilst allowing more people to become involved in and enjoy the arts.

“The Arts Council of Northern Ireland as the programme’s main funder recognises the potential for craft, creative industry and cultural tourism development.”

This year’s August Craft Month will have a few surprises in store and some highlights include:

Make, Tea and Tell featuring the Craft Guerrillas – English based designer makers who will be using different materials to decorate empty spaces in Derry’s Craft Village.

Invasion – an exciting new public art happening in Portadown, details of which will be revealed on the day, so watch this space!

A White, A Blue, A Yellow, Red Poetry – the first viewing of this exhibition of five works by different artists including NI born Jeweller Grainne Morton and accompanied by poetry by dynamic British writer Jeremy Reed.

Piece Work at the Arts Disability Forum – Artist Stacia Blake is making a piece of work dedicated to each person who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As part of this exhibition, members of the public are being encouraged to make an origami crane.

Subversive Embroidery – stitching with attitude – guaranteed to get people talking.

Street Weave – spin a yarn and pass it on: free drop in weaving workshop open to the public at St Anne’s Square.

Sound and touch – Tweave and Knit Sonik introduce all the senses to craft.

Also check out: Sense of Place at Space CRAFT Gallery in Fountain Street, Belfast; Landscapes of the Interior held in Ards Arts Centre, Flowerfield Arts Centre Portstewart and PLACE in Belfast; Irish Wood Turner Association Exhibition at Strule Arts Centre, Omagh and Craft Fest at Castleward.

There are also a range of workshops, talks and seminars which will enable people to learn more about the creative process and even take the first steps towards making something for themselves.

Mr Kelly added: “This year’s August Craft Month gives the public a chance to engage directly with designer makers who are creating a dizzying array of imaginative and innovative work. It is a chance to buy something personal, unique and learn about the skill and passion that goes into making high quality craft.”

The principal sponsor of August Craft Month is R-Space Gallery and the programme is supported by the National Lottery Fund through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Invest NI, Northern Ireland Tourist Board and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.  It is delivered in partnership with arts and cultural venues and organisations across Northern Ireland.
For more information about the events taking place during August Craft Month visit