Offaly Local Development and Westmeath Community Development proudly presented Murmuration, an exhibition featuring work collaboratively created by 16 talented designers, makers, and artists from Offaly, Westmeath, and Finland on Friday 12th January. The exhibition ran until March 2nd, 2024 at Esker Arts Centre in Tullamore, Co Offaly. Eddie Shanahan, Business & Product Development Consultant who officially launched the exhibition.

Murmuration emerged from the Craftlink programme, which provided the creators with opportunities to meet in both Ireland and Finland. The participating artists were captivated by the idea of working together creatively, forming pairs that engaged in the exchange of ideas, experiences, skills, and personal creative journeys. The collaboration inspired most of the creators to choose to work with pure natural materials, connecting them more strongly, despite their geographic distance.

Murmuration serves as a beautiful reminder of the immense power of community, connectivity, and trust. The pieces within the exhibition are deeply intertwined with the rich mythology of both Ireland and Finland, reflecting a deep personal connection to self, a reverence for nature, and a celebration of cultural heritage. This collection is a testament to the fact that, regardless of our cultural differences, we are all profoundly influenced by folklore, stories, our individual journeys, our well-being, and the profound inspiration we draw from the natural world and our creative expression.

Craftlink is a cultural exchange programme that explores heritage and culture, with a focus on developing new techniques and product development. Developed by Offaly Local Development Company, Westmeath Community Development, Rieska & Keskipiste Leader (Finland), and funded through the LEADER Rural Development Programme. Craftlink seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of the creative sector to our national economy and the support required for sustainable growth.

Design Teams 

  • John Farrell(Esker Design) & Tero Mäkelä (Mäkelän Puukonttori) -The Barren table and Karu Cabinet
  • Hazel Greene & Pauliina Yliniitty – My Enchanted World 
  • Helen Conneely(Celtic Roots Studio) & Marika Saarela – Selkie 
  • Aisling Muller (Life’s Changing Landscape) & Juha Peltola (Pieni Puusepänverstas) – Kirstu Sláinte
  • Rosemarie Langtry & Johanna Smed (Lempiverstas) – Let her Bee
  • Claire Guinan & Johanna Riepula  – The Circling- Kaarrella Collection
  • Jane Walsh (Button Studio) & Jaana Vähäsöyrinki –  Momentum
  • Teresa Doyle Bespoke Dolls & Craft & Jaana Öljymäki (Design JaanaÖ) – Figure Dance