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Modern Languages at The Lighthouse, Glasgow

Modern Languages is the new exhibition of international perspectives on traditional craft at The Lighthouse from 5 January. Offering the contemporary perspectives of five international artists and designers on the familiar traditions of Irish craft: Nao Matsunaga, Laura Mays, Deirdre Nelson, Ciara Phillips and Barbara Ridland have sought to reinterpret the sometimes forgotten skills of Ireland’s craft tradition.  In doing so they uncover fresh significance and meaning, offering new insights. 

Curator Katy West invited 5 artists with very different relationships with Ireland to re-imagine Irish craft traditions in the 21st century. From the precision and planning needed to make a chair, to the hard work involved in industrial weaving or cottage industry knitting. These traditions still remain, but often only as nostalgic reminders of our past – mainly replaced by methods of mass production. This exhibition revisits those traditions and examines them in a contemporary light.

The re-interpretations of tradition in Modern Languages demonstrates the modern language of craft, how in today’s global context, it transcends place, and employs materials and methods that explore ideas and concepts through making. The legacy of Ireland’s craft is further explored through archival footage from the National Museum, Fáilte Ireland and Gael Linn, offering a counterpoint to the contemporary exhibits.

Modern Languages, 5 January until 31 March, The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane,  Glasgow G1 3NU.

Credits:  Laura Mays, Rocking Stefan, 2010. © 2012 The Lighthouse

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