Irish designers craft precious keepsakes for The Souvenir Project

Irish designers have crafted a range of contemporary products – whether playful, useful or simply curious – all born out of cultural curiosity (photo: ID2015).

Commissioned by ID2015 and curated by Jonathan Legge of Makers & Brothers, The Souvenir Project is a creative venture that has brought together Irish designers, crafts people and manufacturers to realise a collection of contemporary products born out of cultural curiosity.

The designers were posed with the challenge to question the very essence of a souvenir and the layers of meaning and memories that any one association might elicit. Jonathan Legge explains further: 'A souvenir is so much more than useful or beautiful; it is a loved object laced with emotional associations. This collection of new Irish souvenirs carefully explores this thinking, filtering it through the local context, embracing the subtleties of the land, weather, histories and people. It is a gathering of objects with meaning and depth that softly speak of a time and place.'

Nine diverse products have been realised to form a united whole, each connected by a thread running through and to the land that inspired them; whether it's the dry stone walls that stretch across the barren landscape of the west of the country, to the wild flowers and heather, to ancient traditions and momentous occasions.

Taking a journey is the first step towards picking up a souvenir to take home and cherish, and in this film we are given a glimpse of the landscape that offered inspiration for this project, and some of the workshops where the pieces were crafted. In the voiceover, Legge can be heard musing about the importance of each individual piece, 'that for its keeper, holds a memory, a moment, a ghost of a time past that ought not be forgotten. These objects live in our homes, overlooked daily but then, every so often, they catch our eye, and pull us inside out  to another time another place, an echoe re-echoed.'

First seen at London Design Festival 2015, The Souvenir Project next travels to Eindhoven for Dutch Design Week as part Liminal – the flagship exhibition from Irish Design 2015 (ID2015), a year long initiative backed by the Irish government promoting and celebrating Irish design in Ireland and internationally.

Images courtesy of Makers & Brothers.

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