Crafty characters at Braid Arts Centre

This autumn, the Braid Museum and Arts Centre, Ballymena, is the place to go to view a stunning collection of craft from all over Ireland.

Mayor of Ballymena, Cllr. Audrey Wales, is pictured at the RDS national crafts competition in The Braid along with Alan Meredith (woodturner), David Horkan (Chairman of Royal Dublin Society Committee of Arts), Cathryn Hogg (textile artist), Brendan Madden (Weaver) and Adam Frew (ceramicist), Dara O'Leary (RDS), Nicola Gates (assistant curator Ballymena Museum) and Adam Frew. INBT38-203AC
Mayor of Ballymena, Cllr. Audrey Wales, is pictured at the RDS national crafts competition in The Braid along with Alan Meredith (woodturner), David Horkan (Chairman of Royal Dublin Society Committee of Arts), Cathryn Hogg (textile artist), Brendan Madden (Weaver) and Adam Frew (ceramicist), Dara O'Leary (RDS), Nicola Gates (assistant curator Ballymena Museum) and Adam Frew. INBT38-203AC

For the first time, the venue is hosting the annual RDS National Crafts Competition Travelling Exhibition.

The exhibition showcases a wide variety of contemporary and traditional craft skills - to inspire, or simply, to be admired.

Diverse pieces on display range from contemporary wearable art to intricate traditional lace and skilfully-worked furniture.

The exhibition was launched by the Mayor of Ballymena, Councillor Audrey Wales, with a lively crowd of craft enthusiasts and guests from the Royal Dublin Society in attendance.

Founded in 1968, the RDS National Crafts Competition is one of Europe’s leading independently adjudicated craft competitions, with a prize-fund of €24,000.

The Competition is renowned for celebrating excellence in traditional craftsmanship as well as encouraging innovative design and creativity through a wide range of craft processes. Both established and emerging craft artists and designers can compete for awards.

This year’s New Entrants’ Prize was won by ceramicist Adam Frew, who is based in Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart. His work is inspired by traditional eastern forms as well as spontaneity as a means of personal expression, and his exuberant prize-winning ‘Scribble Pot’ can be viewed in the exhibition.

Other stand-out pieces include an intriguing life-size leather body suit by luxury leather accessories designer Úna Burke. Úna has dressed style-icons such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Daphne Guinness and her work fuses traditional skill with a contemporary vision.

Talking about the exhibition, David Horkan, Chairman of the RDS Committee of Arts, said “We are delighted to be able to show this exhibition in the Braid Museum and Arts Centre. The aim of the RDS Travelling Exhibitions is to enable a broader audience of people who may not have had an opportunity to visit the Dublin Horse Show in August, to see this wonderful work. We hope that visitors will enjoy this exhibition of outstanding Irish craft from all over the island of Ireland’.

Hosted by Mid-Antrim Museum at The Braid, the exhibition continues until 26th October. Opening hours are from Monday – Saturday, 10am – 3pm, and admission is FREE.