‘Side by Side’ will exclusively feature work from ‘PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection 2015 – 2016’, the biennial flagship publication of the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI).

“...craft and design sit side by side. Innovation can sit beautifully alongside heritage and history.” Christina Jansen, Curator

Centre Culturel Irlandais, 5 rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris


Side by Side, a curated exhibition of contemporary work from the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s publication, PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection 2015-2016 is being presented at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris from 12th June to 10th July 2015.                                                                                          

Curated by Christina Jansen, Director of The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh, the exhibition forms part of the programme for Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), the year long initiative backed by the Irish government exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design throughout Ireland and internationally. 

PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection is a biennial publication of the leading edge of Irish contemporary design and craft in a world-class context. This volume is published by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland in order to increase awareness and understanding of top Irish makers and their work, particularly among Irish and international collectors, galleries, commissioning bodies and museums. PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection 2015 – 2016 features 22 makers across the disciplines of ceramics, jewellery, glass, metals, leather, fashion, stone, furniture,  woodwork, and basketry.

The exhibition includes Sara Flynn’s ceramic vessels which were top sellers at the London Art Fair earlier this year, individually crafted bespoke couture pieces from fashion designer Helen Cody and exquisitely woven willow baskets from Joe Hogan who is regarded as an ambassador for traditional Irish craft.

Ambassador of Ireland to France Geraldine Byrne Nason, who will officially open the exhibition to invited guests on June 11th, commented:

“We at the Embassy in Paris are extremely proud to have played a role in bringing this excellent showcase of Ireland’s design and craft to Paris during 2015, the year of Irish Design and believe it presents a superb opportunity to grow awareness of Ireland as an emerging creative force in Europe today. This is one of a number of important initiatives in Paris during 2015.”

ID2015 is being convened by DCCoI, in colloabration with partner organisations, on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland. Speaking about the initiative, Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD said:

“The aim of Irish Design 2015 is to bring visibility to the breadth of creativity in Ireland today where we have many internationally renowned and award winning Irish designers across a broad range of disciplines.  Presenting exhibitions such as Side by Side provides a unique opportunity to showcase the work of talented Irish designers and makers to discerning international audiences, growing Ireland’s reputation abroad for innovative design.”

The Director of the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Nora Hickey M’Sichili, commented:

“All the world’s a stage, and it is with great pleasure we open ours to this exhibition which shows the richness at play in Irish Craft and Design in 2015. Side by Side is Ireland’s most articulate expression of the excellence and dynamic range of creative exchange giving shape to modern life. We at the Centre Culturel Irlandais are delighted to play a key role in opening it to the world stage.”

Side by Side is one of several collaborations between the Embassy, Enterprise Ireland, CCI and DCCoI in Paris marking Irish Design 2015:

  • In January 21 designer makers participated at Maison et Objet and a special reception was hosted by Ambassador Byrne Nason at the embassy in Paris
  • In January CCI and DCCoI announced a month-long design residency which was awarded to basketmaker Joe Hogan
  • In tandem with Side by Side, 7 jewellery makers from the wider PORTFOLIO programme will exhibit their work in the Iki Galerie, 18 rue du pont Louis Philippe, 75004 Paris

The 21 makers included in Side by Side at the Centre Culturel Irlandais are:

  • Angela O’Kelly JEWELLERY
  • Cara Murphy SILVER
  • Cillian Ó Súilleabháin FURNITURE
  • Cóilín Ó Dubhghaill METALS
  • Edmond Byrne GLASS
  • Eoin M Lyons JEWELLERY
  • Helen O’Connell STONE
  • Helen Cody FASHION
  • Jack Doherty CERAMICS
  • Joe Hogan BASKETRY
  • Karl Harron GLASS
  • Liam Flynn WOOD
  • Michael McCrory METALS
  • Nuala Jamison JEWELLERY
  • Pierce Healy JEWELLERY
  • Roger Bennett WOOD
  • Sara Flynn CERAMICS
  • Simon Doyle FURNITURE
  • Stuart Cairns METALS
  • Úna Burke LEATHER WORK
  • Zelouf + Bell FURNITURE

Side by Side curator Christina Jansen says: 

“The title acknowledges that, in this exhibition, a number of complex disciplines complement one another; craft and design sit side by side. Innovation can sit beautifully alongside heritage and history, as one informs the other. Uniting design and craft takes us into the modern age where utility and beauty are not opposed, and also recognises a shift in culture that has been happening for some time; the boundaries of craft and design have been converging.”

Side by Side runs at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris until 10th July 2015.  The exhibition was first shown at the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland’s National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny (27th March – 28th April 2015) and will open at the Coach House in Dublin Castle in November. 




For further press information please contact: Aoife Smith, Sorcha Furlong or Tara Walsh at Elevate PR on 01-6625652 or aoife@elevate.ie / sorcha@elevate.ie / tara@elevate.ie 


About PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection:
PORTFOLIO: Critical Selection is a biennial publication which features the best of Irish contemporary design and craft in a world-class context.  Selected by an international expert panel, the makers are those producing innovative objects, either one-off pieces or limited editions, and working to the highest standards of design quality and technical skill. www.portfolio.dccoi.ie/critical-selection

About the Curator:
Christina Jansen has been the Director of The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh since 2004. The gallery is one of the oldest privately owned galleries in the UK. As well as being a fine art gallery, it is also home to the best of contemporary objects specialising in national and international ceramics, glass, jewellery, metalwork and sculpture.

About the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland:
The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland (DCCoI) is the main champion of the design and craft industry in Ireland, fostering its growth and commercial strength, communicating its unique identity and stimulating quality design, innovation and competitiveness. DCCoI's activities are funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCoI currently has over 75 member organisations and over 3,000 registered clients. In collaboration with partner organisations, DCCoI is convening Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) on behalf of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Enterprise Ireland. www.dccoi.ie

About Irish Design 2015 (ID2015):
ID2015 is a year-long programme exploring, promoting and celebrating Irish design through signature events on the island of Ireland as well as in prestigious partner venues in international capitals of design and commerce in order to drive job-creation, grow exports and increase competitiveness. www.irishdesign2015.ie

About Centre Culturel Irlandais (CCI):
Inaugurated in 2002, the Centre Culturel Irlandais is situated in the Collège des Irlandais, or Irish College, whose origins stretch back to 1578. The CCI works to profile Ireland’s rich arts scene in Paris and is at the heart of Franco-Irish cultural collaboration.  www.centreculturelirlandais.com

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