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Kilkenny Sculpture Trail – Connected

Connected Kilkenny Sculpture Trail

Join The National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny to explore over 30 incredible works by 20 artists, designers and craftspeople. Design & Crafts Council Ireland’s (DCCI) National Design & Craft Gallery is using multiple sites along Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile to create a unique outdoor exhibition experience and sculpture trail. The opening of CONNECTED is the first step in what DCCI and partners across Kilkenny City and County plan to develop as a permanent fixture. Kilkenny is renowned for the range of cultural offerings marked by a packed calendar of festivals throughout the year. CONNECTED builds on existing cultural gravitas and provides a platform to highlight the craftsmanship involved in developing large-and small-scale works suited to the great outdoors.

Connected Kilkenny Sculpture Trail

Located in the Castle Park, Alan Meredith’s ‘The Fold’ stretches over eight metres providing plenty of space for socially distanced gatherings. James Horan’s ‘Figures on a Pedestal’ in Butler House Gardens are carved from white Italian marble with one male figure, carved from Butlers Grove limestone quarried just outside Kilkenny city. Saidhbhín Gibson’s ‘40 Assorted Dressings for the Prickly Pear’ is a playful piece whereby dressings have been specially made for injured parts of a plant, akin to buying a packet of 40 assorted plasters for cuts and bruises.

There is a poignant undercurrent to much of the works on display. ‘One Million Stars‘ at the Medieval Mile Museum is a project born from the Amber Women’s Refuge to raise awareness of domestic violence. Rajinder Singh’s ‘Un-migrant-ing’ features five caged birdhouses reflecting Direct Provision Centres in Ireland.

Kilkenny sculpture trail

The opening of CONNECTED coincides with the launch of Kilkenny Arts Festival and the opening of the new Butler Gallery at Evans Home. A range of self-directed activities are planned for the trail along with behind-the-scenes chats with makers.

Whether you choose to meander through the city or actively engage, CONNECTED will demonstrate the power and beauty of artistic expression in revealing the extent of our inter dependency and connection. The trail invites locals and visitors to discover Kilkenny through fresh eyes and to re-connect with culture outside of a gallery setting. CONNECTED runs until October 2020.

CONNECTED reminds us of the importance and fragility of our human connections, with family, friends and wider global society. It also reflects on our deep interconnection with the natural world which each generation holds in trust for the next.


Venues include: Kilkenny Castle, Castle Yard, Butler House Garden, Medieval Mile Museum, Rothe House, Butler Gallery and sites throughout Kilkenny City.


Click below to view Trail Map 

Connected Kilkenny Sculpture Trail Map

Kilkenny Sculpture Trail

We live in an age in which it is easy to feel disconnected...

The uncertainty and confinement of recent months has made many of us feel more isolated. Others have felt a strong need to ground themselves, to spend time in nature, to grow, bake or make. It is often in these simple ways that we reconnect with the natural world and what matters most. While individually we stand two meters apart, we are far from alone; each of us is a family member, a friend, a neighbour. We have begun to realise that we are part of a complex web of people across the globe – each vulnerable to illness or catastrophe. We also hold responsibility, to ensure what we do will not negatively impact others. While individual, we are not separate.

small spaces of silence in between borrowed breaths arms tighten at the whisper of a name

― Eileen Carney Hulme ‘Belonging’

Kilkenny Sculpture Trail

Connection is possibly the deepest need of human beings...

 For most of our evolutionary history, humans lived very differently than we do now. People lived collectively within a community; it was uncommon to live alone. People hunted, foraged, or grew most of their food, giving them an understanding of natural cycles. These closer relationships weren’t perfect, but people had a sense of interdependence, community, and belonging.

Kilkenny Sculpture Trail

Connection with the Natural World

As we emerge from our homes into a changed world, this project celebrates our collective solidarity, connectivity, resilience and creativity. CONNECTED reminds us of the importance and fragility of our human connections, with family, friends and wider global society. It also reflects on our deep interconnection with the natural world which each generation holds in trust for the next.

Kilkenny Sculpture Trail

An external exhibition

Designed as an external exhibition CONNECTED allows audiences to re-connect with culture and craft, outside of a museum setting. Recognised as the home of craft and design in Ireland, this new sculpture trail opens up heritage gardens at the heart of Kilkenny city, and encourages us to rediscover our city through fresh eyes. Beginning from the courtyard of Castle Yard and lush Butler House Gardens, the exhibition trail leads you through the cities key cultural and historic sites from Kilkenny Castle Park to Medieval Mile, Butler Gallery at Evan’s Home to Rothe House. The exhibition will be accompanied by self-directed workshops and activities for all ages.

Education & Outreach

Words of Isolation | Words of Connection  – Click Here

Culture Night Programme 2020Click Here

Liz’s Mobile Discovery StudioTo Register Click Here

Culture Night Live Online Workshop: Paper BlossomsClick Here

Culture Night Live Online Workshop: Gestural Papercuts with Paul BokslagClick Here

Guided tours of the National Design & Craft GalleryBook Now


Find out More about Kilkenny Sculpture Trail – Click Here