Call to Makers: LIF 2022

Published 23/03/22

Call to Makers – ‘In the Window’ Exhibition Opportunity

Liverpool Irish Festival 2022

October 2022


This is an exciting opportunity for an Irish maker to display their work for one month ‘In the Window’ between 1 – 31 October 2022 as part of Liverpool Irish Festival 2022 (#LIF2022), supported by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.

Emerging and established designers, applied artists and makers – living and working in Ireland – are invited to submit work related to the Festival theme of ‘Hunger’. For more information about the theme for 2022, please visit the #LIF2022 website

The deadline for submission is 9am on Monday 27 June 2022, with announcement of the selection made within 6 weeks. Please see below for criteria and submission requirements.


This is an incredible chance to:

– receive an exhibition in an award-winning gallery (Bluecoat Display Centre), which is itself housed in the oldest combined arts centre in the country (Bluecoat) and in one of the busiest city centre shopping complexes in Britain (Liverpool One)

– feature in a 20-30k run of the Festival newspaper along with other Festival promotional materials

– involve new audiences in your work, via an online event during the Festival

– sell your work

– increase your profile with an active buying market

– expand your portfolio

Ideally, you will want to share your work, process and ‘brand’ and therefore you will be prepared to:

– take part in an online (or in-person, funds and chances allowing) studio event as part of the Festival, that allows the audience to meet you and your work (not critical, but desirable)

– answer questions about your work for an article (via email)

– have an online presence to promote, which you will share details of in your application (not essential, but we hope to help promote you and your work, so this would be beneficial).

The Design & Crafts Council Ireland will contribute up to €500 for transport costs.

Images: Sophie Longwill ‘In the Window’ display, LIF 2021 (Above) & ceramics by Mike Byrne, LIF 2020 (Below). Photography by Pam Seale.

Partnership & Remit


For seven years the Bluecoat Display Centre has partnered the Liverpool Irish Festival, selecting a contemporary Irish maker to exhibit ‘In the Window’ for the month of October. This year, we would like the selected maker to link in to #LIF2022’s theme ‘Hunger’. We invite submissions and designs from producers working in:

–  Ceramics

–  Jewellery

–  Glass

–  Textiles, including constructed textiles

–  Wood, including basketry

–  Metal, including precious metals

–  Paper, leatherwork and mixed media

–  Employing new technologies or traditional techniques

We are open to other applied forms, too, but reiterate: this is not a fine art call. Paintings, photography and other fine art forms will not be considered.

Bluecoat Display Centre and Liverpool Irish Festival are delighted to be working with the Design and Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI), who will support the call out and contribute towards transport costs. The selection panel is made up of senior representatives from the Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool Irish Festival and DCCI.

Images: Ceramics by Rory Shearer, LIF 2019 (Left, photography by Pam Seale) & jewellery by Berina Kelly, LIF 2018 (Right).

Criteria & Submission Requirements


Open to any professional Irish craft maker living and working in Ireland, in any discipline, although consideration should be given to suitability for display ‘In the Window’. To view a PDF with the window dimensions, please click here.

We welcome submissions from:

–  Black and other ethnic inheritance makers

–  LGBTQI+ creatives

–  Cis and non-binary gender producers

–  Neurodivergent, disabled and Deaf originators

Your statement must demonstrate how you believe your work connects with or exemplifies the Festival theme of ‘Hunger’, either in your process, output or user experience. Click here to read the full artstic statement and creative call. We expect you to reference this and be able to answer interview questions on this subject, if selected. The exhibition work does not have to be new (preferably made within 2 years), but will be available for sale. To submit a proposal please email with:

–  a selection of 5 images (maximum size per image 2MB)

–  prices of your proposed submissions

–  a statement about your work and how it is relevant to the “hunger” theme

–  your current biography / CV

The deadline for submission is 9am on Monday 27 June 2022, with announcement of the selection made within 6 weeks.



Bluecoat Display Centre (Bdc) is an independent, regional centre for artistic activity. It brings together craft makers and audiences, in an environment that encourages creativity, collaboration and the exchange of ideas. A registered charity since 2010, based in Liverpool city centre, Bdc runs a gallery; education and community outreach programmes. The Centre provides over 60 local and 300+ nationally selected contemporary craft makers and designers a retail platform, displaying and selling work.

Originating as one of this country’s earliest craft and design galleries in 1959, Bluecoat Display Centre was the first public gallery space within Bluecoat. We are an advocate, facilitator and audience maker for contemporary crafts.

The Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is the national agency for the commercial development of Irish designers and makers. DCCI stimulates innovation, champions design thinking and informs Government policy using funding from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation via Enterprise Ireland. It has over 60 member organisations and over 3,000 registered clients.

Liverpool Irish Festival (LIF) brings Liverpool and Ireland closer together using arts and culture. It is this use of arts and culture as an instrument for observing, learning, sharing and debating Irishness, in the particular context of Liverpool, which makes us unique. We represent Northern Ireland, the Republic and the Irish diaspora’s creativity throughout the festival. Our thematic approach to programming, critical-thought and curation develops depth, resonance and inclusion. In this context, we believe the Liverpool Irish Festival is the only Irish arts and culture led festival in the world. We can’t find another!