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Mermaid Arts Centre presents PlaythingsMermaid Arts Centre presents Playthings
Wednesday, 19th July 2006

Art Galleries are normally places for adults, silence and a strict code of behaviour. From the 19 July for three weeks Mermaid Arts Centre invites children into the gallery to scream, run and touch everything they can get their hands on.

Playthings the interactive children’s exhibition which was a huge hit at last year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival opens on 19 July at 12.30pm with a children’s tea party.

The Playthings exhibition was originally created with the aim of widening the experience of art in the lives of children between the ages of 3 and 12 years. This exhibition gives children an opportunity to participate in and learn about visual art through focusing on works of art commissioned especially for them.

Children are naturally open-minded and curious about their surroundings and their expectations of “what art is” and how it should appear have not yet been defined or coded.

Three fine art and three craft artists from both Ireland and England were selected by Caroline McCarthy (Draíocht) and Angela O’Kelly (Crafts Council of Ireland) to create artworks in any material or format, which can be engaged with in a tactile, playful or interactive way by children in this age group. The exhibits on display encompass a wide range of styles and approaches to this idea and incorporate a variety of sensory experiences and interactive elements including aspects of light, touch, discovery, scale and movement.

Playthings opens with a free children’s tea party at 12.30pm on Wednesday

Playthings runs at the Mermaid Gallery from 19 July to 12 August. Playthings is a collaboration between Draiocht and the Crafts Council of Ireland. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm. Admission Free. Tel: 01-2724030.

Additional Notes
Angela O’Kelly

Angela O’Kelly is a designer maker who crosses boundaries of jewellery, textiles and sculpture. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1993-1997 and graduated with a BA Hons and Postgraduate Diploma in Design and Applied Arts – Jewellery. Since graduating she has exhibited extensively in international exhibitions and galleries. Her work can be seen in many private collections and the public collections of the British Crafts Council, London, the Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, the Museum of Art and Design, New York and the Cleveland International Jewellery Collection, UK.

Caroline McCarthy

Born in Dublin in 1971, Caroline graduated with a BA in Fine Art from NCAD, Dublin in 1994 and MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, London in 1998. She was recipient of the first AIB First Prize in 2001 and has exhibited extensively both in Ireland and internationally. Forthcoming work and exhibitions include, To Be Continued, Helsinki Kunsthalle, Finland; A Site specific artwork for Use the Kind of Sky, Keith Talent Gallery, London: a commissioned artwork for Variety, De La Warr Pavillion, UK; and a solo exhibition at Parker’s Box Gallery, New York, and Void Gallery, Derry.

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