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Liverpool Irish Festival 2020 – In the Window Call Out

Liverpool Irish Festival 2020 – In the Window Call Out / Tuesday 31st March 2020 - Monday 6th July 2020

For five years the Bluecoat Display Centre has partnered the Liverpool Irish Festival, selecting a contemporary Irish craft maker to exhibit here – In the Window– for the month of October.

For October 2020 we would like the In the Window maker to link in to #LIF2020’s theme “exchange”, inviting submissions from makers across crafts and the applied arts.

Bluecoat Display Centre and Liverpool Irish Festival are delighted to be working with the Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) again, who will support the call out and contribute towards transport costs. The selection panel will be made up of representatives from the Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool Irish Festival and Design & Crafts Council Ireland.

Note: We understand Coronavirus/Covid-19 *may* affect dates and timings for this exhibit, but presently we are living in the hope that lock-downs will have passed for October. Consequently, we are pursuing the commission until such a time as we cannot. At that point, if we cannot make Oct 2020 dates work, we will postpone the exhibit, agreeing dates as we proceed.

Images Left Rory Shearer LIF2019 In the Window selection, Right Berina Kelly LIF2018

Criteria and submission requirement

Deadline 6th July 2020 (extended from 1st June)

Open to any professional Irish craft maker living and working in Ireland, working in any discipline (although consideration should be given to suitability for display In the Window (window dimensions attached). Work does not have to be new but all work should be available for sale.

Send by email to: crafts@bluecoatdisplaycentre.com

  • A current biography/CV
  • A relevant selection of 5 images (maximum size per image 2MB) with prices
  • A statement about your work and how it is relevant to the LIF theme (available here).

The selected maker will be announced by 30th July 2020


Bluecoat Display Centre (BDC) is an independent, regional centre for artistic activity that brings together craft makers and the public in an environment that encourages creativity, collaboration and the exchange of ideas.

A registered charity since 2010, based in Liverpool City Centre, BDC runs a gallery, education and community outreach programmes, and provides over 60 local and 300+ nationally selected contemporary craft makers and designers a retail platform to display and sell their work.

BDC originated as one of this country’s earliest craft and design galleries in 1959, the first public gallery space within the Bluecoat; who are our landlords.

We are an advocate, facilitator and audience maker for contemporary crafts.

Liverpool Irish Festival (LIF) brings Liverpool and Ireland closer together using arts and culture.

It is this use of arts and culture as an instrument for observing, learning, sharing and debating Irishness, in the particular context of Liverpool, which makes us unique. We represent Northern Ireland, the Republic and the Irish diaspora’s creativity throughout the festival. Our thematic approach to programming, critical-thought and curation develops depth, resonance and inclusion. In this context, we believe the Liverpool Irish Festival is the only Irish arts and culture led Irish festival in the world. We can’t find another!

Liverpool Irish Festival 2020 (#LIF2020) and theme: ‘Exchange’

Each year the Liverpool Irish Festival sets a programme theme. Past themes have included, ‘unique stories, creatively told’, migration, the meaning of ‘Irishness’ and conviviality. To build the theme, we pose questions to help us question and learn about Irishness, its influence and its creative spirit.

#LIF20120 theme is “exchange”. Questions we have posed include:

  • Where and how are today’s Irish stories being told/exchanged and how are we protecting them for tomorrow?
  • Where are diasporic exchanges reflected in Irish creativity and how?
  • What significant exchanges, if any, has Irish culture traded or created (from around the world) and how are they depicted? What stories do they tell?
  • How reflective of a modern Ireland is Irish creative culture Ireland today and is it being imported or exported via exchange?
  • Does ‘Irishness’ reflect the whole of Ireland or only certain parts and how is it perceived in non-Irish communities? How is Irishness traded, understood and exchanged in this context?
  • What do the exchanges caused by Irish migration owe to its culture, identity and network and how does this affect Irish storytelling?
  • In considering dual-heritage lives, can we learn about exchanges and knowledge transfer between cultures that can help everyone consider their own identity.

We are interested in hearing the unique and incredible stories of Irish people and the creative ways they are told. We want to share individual creative paths and how artists use their medium(s) to locate, interrogate and convey their identity, or other motivations that lay at the heart of what they do.

For further LIF information visit https://www.liverpoolirishfestival.com

About the Design & Crafts Council Ireland

The Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers, stimulating innovation, championing design thinking and informing Government policy. DCCI’s activities are funded by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. DCCI currently has over 60 member organisations and more than 3,000 registered clients.

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