August Craft Month Exhibition 2023

We are pleased to invite applications to take part in Craft NI’s August Craft Month exhibition 2023. This exhibition will have a number of prizes aimed at supporting makers at different stages of their careers. And in 2023, we are delighted to welcome guest curator Annie Cattrell, artist, lecturer at the Royal College of art and maker in glass [pictured to the right]. Find out more about Annie here.

The exhibition will take place during August and into September, as part of August Craft Month celebrations, held in the Craft NI Gallery, Belfast’s only dedicated crafts venue. All exhibitors will benefit from the promotional activity around August Craft Month, the support of Craft NI communications and Gallery staff and profile on Craft NI’s exhibition website 


Exhibition Brief 

Since 2006 August Craft Month has been an annual celebration of Craft in Northern Ireland and since 2022, we have seen this grow through a partnership with the Design and Crafts Council Ireland’s August Craft Month and Cork Craft and Design’s Cork Craft Month, allowing us to grow and share audiences across the island.  

For the 2023 August Craft Month Exhibition, we therefore ask applicants to respond to the theme of Pathways. Whether you interpret this as a series of connections, reflections of your travels or environment, experiences or actions, a personal journey or a journey in making or in your practice, the theme Pathways should be clearly shown in your submitted work and description (please see Submission below). 

We’re excited to see what Pathways means to you. 


Guild Prizes

We are particularly grateful to the former Guild of Northern Ireland Designer Makers (The Guild) who have given us a legacy gift for the development and promotion of the craft sector in Northern Ireland.

We use these funds for awards for work in the annual exhibition highlighting the work of both emerging and established makers. There will be five prizes in all: 

1st prize: £500

2 x commended: £250 each

2 x Emerging Maker prizes: £500 each for makers who have been practicing for five years or less.


Find out more about the 2022 Exhibition Prize Winners here.






Important Dates



Makers should be working in one of the recognised craft disciplines listed here;

All work should be the original design of the Maker and should also be made by the Maker;

All work must evidence the skill of the Maker and must be a unique object, coming from the vision of that Maker.

  • Demonstrate distinctive design and significant accomplishment in product construction and presentation;
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the material with which they are working;
    Shows high level skill in the techniques used;
  • Demonstrate the individual creative signature of the maker;
  • Demonstrate creativity or create design and innovation in the use of materials;
  • Reflect appropriate standards in the products’ durability, size, weight and materials.


Submitted work can be:

  • work taking your craft practice in a new direction; or
  • existing work you would like to showcase as part of August Craft Month 2023
  • All work must have been made within the last three years
  • Submissions must respond to the exhibition theme and this should be made clear in your work description



To ensure the exhibition reaches the widest possible audience, we are delighted to announce that all work chosen for the exhibition will be viewable online on our website’s dedicated exhibitions section on  All the pieces will be photographed and available digitally as a series of 360’ rotational images. The work can be made available for sale in our Craft NI Gallery as well as directly from our website, increasing the opportunity for craft enthusiasts, buyers and collectors.



Selection will be made by Craft NI’s Quality Group, led by Board Members Kim Mawhinney, Senior Curator at National Museums NI, Dr Christopher McHugh, Lecturer in Ceramics at Belfast School of Art, and Patricia Flanagan, specialist facilitator of design thinking/creative problem solving.

For August Craft Month 2023, we are delighted to welcome special guest curator Annie Cattrell.


Guest Curator

Glasgow born, London based Annie Cattrell, has studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art, and completed MA’s at the University of Ulster and at the Royal College of Art. Her practice is often informed by working with specialists in neuroscience, meteorology, engineering, psychiatry and the history of science and her works have been shown widely nationally and internationally, in locations throughout the UK, Europe, America and Asia. 

Annie Cattrell has been a tutor at the Royal College of Art since 2000 and has lectured in many art colleges including at: Edinburgh School of Art, University of the Arts, University of Ulster, University of Southern Australia, Alfred University USA and Goldsmith University. She is a Royal Scottish Academician and Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors. You can find out more about Annie’s experience here. 



To apply, you will need :

  • Up-to-date CV
  • Max 3 high res images (3-5 MB) of the work
  • Description of your work and what motivated you to make it, reflecting on the exhibition theme Pathways (100-300 words)

Please email your submission(s) through to by Friday 30th June.

Applicants notified by: Monday 10th July


Important Dates

All applicants will be notified of the results of their submission via email. If selected, responsibility for the delivery and collection of work is the maker’s own. Work must be:

  • Delivered to the Craft NI Gallery between: Monday 17th, Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th July 
  • The 2023 August Craft Month exhibition will take place from Thursday 4th August – Friday 15th September.
  • Collected, if unsold between:  Monday 18th, Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th September.

Upon notification of your successful application, you will be prompted to select a time/date for drop off and collection dates to avoid overcrowding at the gallery.

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