Two exhibitions as part of Irish Design Week 2023 on at DCCI’s National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny opened last Friday – Illuminations: Selected works of Holger Strøm and Cartoon Saloon.
CEO of Design & Crafts Council Ireland, Rosemary Steen, said;
“Design & Crafts Council Ireland places huge importance on cultivating the design and craft sector. This is achieved through raising awareness of designers and creators past, present and future, and the connections between them.
“Having these two exhibitions displayed together in DCCI’s National Design & Craft Gallery celebrates Kilkenny as a long established cradle of creativity. It also provides inspiration to young designers and artists of our future. It is an honour to celebrate Holger Strøm’s exhibition and have it placed in the home where the artist brought this iconic light design to life 50 years ago.
“We are delighted to welcome Cartoon Saloon’s illuminations, a combination of work never exhibited before. Their Oscar nominated animations draw on the theme of this year’s DCCI Irish Design Week, Is Folklore the Future? and encourages conversation around the topic.”
The first exhibition, Illuminations: Holger Strøm, sees Strøm’s IQlight travel from ‘The Craft Island’ in Bornhold in Denmark to DCCI’s National Design & Craft Gallery (NDCG), which shares the designation as a ‘World Craft Centre’. This exhibition celebrates the invention of the IQlight by Strøm while he was working in Kilkenny Design Workshops (KDW) in the 1970s. The exhibition is a self-assembly lighting system, made up of interlocking quadrilaterals. lamp shades of various shapes and sizes can be constructed by linking together the identical modules, allowing the end user to build anything from the classical sphere to a completely new design.
The second exhibition, Illuminations: Cartoon Saloon is a celebration of the Kilkenny based studio’s most successful Oscar-nominated animations. Created by Tomm Moore, the animations include ‘The Secret of Kells’, ‘Song of the Sea’ and ‘Wolfwalkers’, all drawing on Irish folklore. The exhibition will look at the design process involved.
‘The Secret of Kells’ focuses on the ancient Irish art of illumination. ‘Song of the Sea’ celebrates “selkies”, the mythological creatures that can shapeshift between seal and human form by putting on or removing their seal skin. While the final instalment of the trilogy, ‘Wolfwalkers’, set in Kilkenny, tells the tale of the legendary werewolves of Ossory, a kingdom of early medieval Ireland, and the subject of several accounts in medieval Irish, English, and Norse works. The exhibition will include original drawings from the film, details on story arcs, and the design process . Entry to the exhibition is free.
Speaking about the exhibition, Tomm Moore, creator of Irish Folklore Trilogy said, “Seeing a combination of Cartoon Saloon’s work celebrated and exhibited at the National Design & Craft Gallery is a fantastic experience. Especially in the company of one of our Kilkenny design predecessors, Holger Strøm. Stories are so important to how we remember each other and our environment. By using Irish folklore, we are telling universal stories that connect people from all over the world. I hope that sharing this animation art will help encourage the conversation around folklore and design.”
The exhibition runs at the National Design and Craft Gallery until March 2.