Crafts Council of Ireland Seminar in Kilkenny
May 29, 2006
I spent today in Kilkenny where I was a speaker at the Craft Council of Ireland’s one day seminar on Best Practice in Commissioning and the Corporate Gift Market. The speakers included Cornelia McCarthy (Crafts Council of Ireland), Rachel Joynt (Sculptor), Tim O’Neill (Calligrapher), Lorraine O’Rahilly (Researcher), Angela Rolfe (Assistant Principal Architect at the Office of Public Works) and Gerry Crosbie (Designyard). I managed to get the graveyard shift at the very end of the morning and just before lunch. As we were over time I did a very speedy run through of my presentation which was about Professionalism in Answering a Brief. My brief was to give some pointers for crafts people who may be entering into the commissioning process in the public arena about how to approach the process from a professional perspective.
This is the first time I’ve given a presentation and avoided the bullet points – the feedback from people was pretty positive overall so it’s definitely something I need to think about doing again in the future.
The afternoon was taken up with a series of “clinics” (speed dating effectively!) where attendees spent short amounts of time with the speakers and additional experts who joined us. I’m hoping that some of what I was able to offer was useful (I was the only person who didn’t have money to spend purchasing or commissioning) and I promised several people there that I would upload my presentation, the notes that I worked from and also some useful links so here goes:
My presentation is here. (It’s a fairly large file so will take a while to download, you also shouldn’t need powerpoint to view it and it won’t make any sense to anyone who wasn’t at the seminar).
The following are some links which people who attended might find useful.
The Arts Council’s website has some useful information that people working in the craft area may find helpful. If you click on the Links and Resources page and then on the Arts Officers link (no direct hyperlink available unfortunately) then you get a list of all of the current Arts Officers in Ireland.
Each local authority in Ireland has a web site and all are mandated to produce a county development plan and arts plan. Both of these documents are essential reading for anyone considering applying for commissions from local authorities as they will give you the context and background out of which the commission is being generated.
Here is the link for Sligo County Council, their county development plan is available here and their last arts plan (which I wrote) is available here.
The Public Art Guidelines referred to by Angela Rolfe from the Office of Public Works are available here.
The two artists’ briefs that I referred to in my presentation are available here (In Context 3) and here (Breaking Ground).
Another useful resource is Visual Artists Ireland. Their website is a treasure trove of helpful information including contracts, commissioning opportunities, professional development programmes etc.
I had a most enjoyable day – the Crafts Council of Ireland looked after us really well and the conference centre in Kilkenny Castle was a superb location for this event. I hope that the material I’ve referred to here is useful for people who attended (and indeed others) and I’m looking forward to participating in more of these events in the future.
I should also mention the wonderful Liam at Butler House who, after I managed to miss my return train to Dublin (don’t ask), organised a room, pots of fresh tea, broadband access, a generous discount because I would be missing breakfast in the morning and a hearty welcome in out of the rain. My thanks!