Current and Past Exhibitions

The Ros Tapestry, a tale told in thread.

6th August 2021- September 2022

The Ros Tapestry exhibition has drawn in thread the story of the Normans and their arrival in the Southeast of Ireland and the consequent development of the dynamic port of Ros is depicted in a series of fifteen large striking embroidered panels. From the initiation of a Celtic King to Hiberno-Norman commerce, the cultural legacy of Leinster is immortalised in stitches.

Everyone can now see this amazing exhibition, which is a fantastic legacy for the country, combining as it does wonderful art, admirable craftsmanship, and a multitude of fascinating stories.

The Ros Tapestry project is the brainchild of Rev. Paul Mooney, St Mary’s Church, New Ross, inspired by the famous Bayeux Tapestry in France, who conceived the idea of creating a series of tapestries to commemorate the Norman history of New Ross and South East Ireland.

The first tapestry was completed in 2002 and to date 14 of the 15 tapestries are finished. The final one is being stitched in Kilkenny and is nearing completion.  Volunteers throughout the country have done all the stitching, with well over 150 stitchers contributing, working both at home and in local venues.  Each tapestry is embroidered on to Jacobean linen twill fabric with woollen thread using a multitude of different stitches, such as ‘Long and Short’, ‘French knots’ and ‘Bullion knots’.  It takes approximately 1 hour to stitch 1 square inch and can take anything from 3 to 7 years to complete a panel.

Irish Craft Heroes

22 July – 6 October 2021
Kilkenny Castle Park & Castle Yard
Park Opening Hours

OPW is delighted to support Irish Craft Heroes with this major outdoor exhibition celebrating makers whose work has significant legacy, has heralded new approaches or changed the way we look at the world.

The exhibition charts the evolution of the craft and design sector in Ireland over the last 50 years and pays homage to the many makers whose work has contributed to the rich tapestry of craft and design practice in Ireland. Produced by Design & Crafts Council Ireland with support from the Office of Public Works, Kilkenny County Council and Kilkenny Arts Festival.

Through an open call the craft community and public were invited to nominate their #IrishCraftHero; makers whose work inspires and has significantly impacted the sector over the past 50 years. Over 600 nominations were received, and an expert committee was convened, charged with narrowing the selection to 50 makers, reviewing all nominations on criteria of skill, design, impact, innovation and originality. The nominations demonstrated the wealth of inspirational makers working in Ireland throughout the last 50 years. It also highlighted that so many other heroes significantly contribute to the craft community through commitment to education; leading development of disciplines through guilds, associations networks and societies; establishing innovative projects to support makers, or indeed advocating on behalf of the sector.

The Irish Craft Heroes exhibition, celebrating 50 years of Irish craft, coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s (DCCI) establishment in 1971. Following its launch in Kilkenny, the outdoor exhibition will tour to Dublin Castle, Belfast, Galway and Cork through to 2022.

Further information from: www.ndcg.ie/exhibitions/irish-craft-heroes