Saturday, December 03, 2022

By Jonathan McCambridge, PA

Collaborative artwork created by 50 glassmakers from across the island of Ireland during the Covid lockdown has gone on display.

Confined to within five kilometres of their homes and studios, the glassmakers came together virtually to collaborate on a large glass quilt.

The quilt is currently on display at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life in Co Mayo.

The glass quilt is on display at National Museum of Ireland – Country Life (Michael McLaughlin/PA)

Artist Roisin de Buitlear, one of the coordinators of the project, said: “Meeting online and sharing the creative process during this project has fuelled new ideas and interest and has brought our membership closer together.

“Some of Ireland’s foremost glassmakers are represented in the glass quilt, making this art work a unique and historic portfolio of Irish artists and their generosity of community spirit during a difficult time.”

Dr Audrey Whitty, deputy director/head of collections and learning at the National Museum of Ireland, said: “We are grateful to the artists and the Glass Society of Ireland for the opportunity to display this beautiful artwork at the National Museum of Ireland in Co Mayo.

“Each of the individual glass pieces provides a unique perspective on an unprecedented time in our history.

“Art and culture proved to be a vital means of expression during our shared Covid-19 journey and we know now, more than ever, what a privilege it is to be able to share and engage with these artworks together in our public spaces with our visitors.”

Artists from across Ireland collaborated on the quilt (Michael McLaughlin/PA)

Professional and amateur glassmakers are represented in the work as well as all techniques of glassmaking, from traditional cutting, glass painting, kiln working, etching, engraving and lampworking.

Each of the four provinces of Ireland is represented, bringing the whole island together in one collaborative piece.

The quilt was selected by an international Jury for Venice Glass Week and exhibited at Dublin Castle for the World Craft Council conference as well as President’s Michael D Higgins’s Residence at Aras an Uachtarain.

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