An independent curator, Brian Kennedy has curated acclaimed craft exhibitions all over the world, collaborating with museums, galleries and private collectors to develop strategies, organise exhibitions and build collections within the fields of craft and applied art. He is Artistic Director of TRESOR, the European fair for contemporary craft, and since 2012 he has also worked with Taste Contemporary. He has curated exhibitions for the Crafts Council of Ireland, Oliver Sears Gallery and Contemporary Applied Arts London. Many of the exhibitions curated by him have been held in noteworthy international cultural institutions such as the American Irish Historical Society, New York; Somerset House and the Royal Academy, London; National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny; and Fonderie Kugler, Geneva. With Taste Contemporary he has curated projects at Art Geneva, Miart and Art Monte Carlo.What does craftsmanship signify for you?
True craftsmanship is the knowledge of material and hand skill married to a personal vision or idea, culminating in an object that references the past but is relevant to the present and points to the future.How does it feature in your work and life?
Through my curation, I try to give a platform to work often overlooked or misunderstood. In my life I surround myself with objects that enhance and enrich my daily experience. Life is better when surrounded by things made by hand and with passion.Do you work with craftspeople and how?
I work with them to showcase and develop a bigger audience for their work. The dialogue involved in this process often leads to new and exciting pieces being made. The making public of this work brings life and meaning to them and completes the circle. An object only truly exists when it’s being seen.How would you define excellence?
The ability to understand the relevance of material and skill to an idea and to produce an object of meaning from this understanding. To originate rather than reproduce, to lead not follow.