The Exhibition Design
The Souvenir Project exhibition design emerged from thinking on how to gently contextualise the nine objects. The team wanted to softly sit the souvenirs in a modern Irish atmosphere that subtly alluded to where they were from and what they were for.
The backdrop is four high back settles or at least our version of a settle that we are using to frame the space. The seat (which opens to store the stock) is made from Irish oak and is causally covered in a sheepskin. The back is painted gloss white and functions as the canvas for a series of quotes that filter into the conversation around souvenirs.
The display tables have been designed to quietly hint at the iconic form of a market cart. The legs and wheel forks are in oak and the tabletop is upholstered in Irish linen. They have a slightly awkward elegance, which adds a nice dynamism to the space.
It is a market space contained within four settles and a Rowan. A rowan, a tree of protection.
“There is still much that’s hidden of what is often times deemed to be nondescript Ireland. It’s not particularly scenic or not perceived to be such and it gets lost in a kind of soup of the distillation of space by the people who deem to know... and they miss everything. It is like tourist coming to Ireland and ‘doing Ireland in a week’ and we who spend a lifetime here, we will never get Ireland done... it will always allude us.”
“Through narrative the souvenir substitutes a context of perpetual consumption for its context of origin. It represents the lived experience of its maker and the “secondhand” experience of its possessor/owner.”
“Irish Design 2015 marks a pivotal chapter in Irish design, helping to inspire, promote and develop Ireland’s design capacity and culture. This commissioned project, through a series of collaborations between designers, makers and manufacturers, demonstrates the power design has to create a future where designers make opportunities, and businesses have the opportunity to make it.”
“Wherever I turn there is the same grey obsession twining and wreathing itself among the narrow fields and the same wail from the wind that shrieks and whistles in the loose rubble of the walls.”
Images by Makers & Brothers
Quote by Dr. Patrick O’Connor, University of Limerick, What we Leave in our Wake
Quote by Susan Stewart, On Longing
Quote by Alex Milton Program, Director Irish Design 2015
Quote by J.M. Synge, The Aran Islands
Quote by Tim Robinson, Listening to the Wind
“Sometimes from my doorstep on a still night I become aware that the silence is set in a velvet background like the jewel in a display case. A hushing that, when attended to, becomes ineluctable. It is compounded of the crash of breakers along distant strands variously delayed, attenuated, echoed and re-echoed.”
Makers & Brothers