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The Letterpress Print Workshop at the National College of Art and Design

Crafting Type

(Jamie Murphy poster for Crafting Type)

Crafting Type: The Power of Language and the Hands That Craft it.

Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock is soon to be hit with Ireland’s only established creative festival, ‘OFFSET 2012’. To celebrate this bringing together of all things graphic and cutting edge, an exhibition curated by Orlaith Ross entitled ‘Crafting Type’, will cross the craft and design divide by exploring the creations of Ireland’s finest visual elite. Taking place in The Factory, Barrow Street, Dublin 4 from March 8 to 12 inclusive (entry free of charge, 10-5pm daily), ‘Crafting Type’, takes advantage of the creative and innovative hub that is The Dublin Startup Bootcamp run by Eoghan Jennings. An official launch will take place on Thursday the 8 of March, 2012 at The Factory at 6pm.
Ten inspirational artists, craftspeople and designers will be exhibiting in ‘Crafting Type’, all of whom conceive and interpret type and lettering in inventive ways. They display a range of processes that encompass the traditional, the handmade, the conceptual, the illustrative and the typographic. This diverse group of creative’s united by the exhibition ‘Crafting Type’; offer the viewer a number of different perspectives on the place of craftsmanship and type in our everyday lives. Intended to reveal the power of language and the hands that craft it, ‘Crafting Type’ marks the shift in the perceptions of design and craft as exemplified by the works on display. The intention of the display is to illustrate how craft is fundamental to the skill set of these creative visual communicators. Illustrating how the values of craftsmanship can enrich our daily lives.

On close inspection of the letterpress work by Mary Plunkett and Jamie Murphy, the reality of what it means to be a craftsperson is evident. The sheer accuracy and delicate style reveals their innate understanding of materials and appreciation of intricacies of letterpress. This too is seen in the work of designer and typographer, Naoise O’Conchubhair whose ‘Insular’ typeface displays his ability to craft and illustrate his love of Gaelic script, from its traditional form into a contemporary masterpiece. Naoise’s inspiration is found in the work of renowned stone letter carver and typographer, Michael Biggs, a mentor of Thomas Glendon, whose work is also featured in this exhibition. As a master craftsman who strives for perfection in his trade, Thomas’s work exudes an assurance and sensitivity that originates from the understanding of his materials combined with the breadth of his experience, which makes him one of the foremost stone carvers in the country.

The traditional calligraphic work of Gareth Colgan, demonstrates a meticulous understanding of the art of a scribe. His scrupulous attention to detail, invites the viewer to inspect the unique and fluid approach of his lettering more closely. These elements continue in the work of Logan McLain, who redirects traditional technique to achieve unconventional outcomes, many of which are at times unsettling and controversial. Using type, Logan’s visually rich messages raise his concerns on social and moral issues, often neglected by social commentary. Reminding us of the craft of type, and the need for clarity and simplicity in communication is the work of James Cullen. His dramatic use of type demonstrates his innate sense of space that creates abstract and contrasting textures in his compositions. Also pushing the boundary of contemporary design is Cian Corcoran of Designgoat, whose practice spans industrial design, sound engineering, furniture making and interactive design. His intuitive three-dimensional designs are driven by the simple goal of creating products that are complex in nature but simple and sustainable in form. Another inventive creator is Suzanne Murphy who creates typographical artworks that are painstakingly hand-produced to communicate with viewers in an engaging and poignant manner.
For further information, please contact: Orlaith Ross, NCAD
Curator, ‘Crafting Type’
Phone: 085 7464876
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