Níamh Grimes – In the Window, October 2023

October 2023

Part of the Liverpool Irish Festival 2023

Continuing our annual In the Window partnership, the Bluecoat Display Centre and Liverpool Irish Festival are delighted to announce that our featured Irish maker for 2023 is Níamh Grimes, a recent graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Níamh is an artist jeweller whose work explores ideas of folk history, tactile memory and ritual. Specialising in metal casting which she uses in conjunction with various other jewellery processes, Níamh creates wearable objects which celebrate the magical thinking of bygone days in an endeavor to nurture a sense of belonging and protection.

Níamh incorporates inherited and found objects into her, often, talismanic works as a vehicle to preserve and reimagine stories and customs of the past. Such objects have recently included salt crystals, quenched coal and vials of anointed oil which are then set into elements of cast brass in an exploration of the ways in which traditional, superstitious Irish folk customs surrounding the Otherworld can inspire the making of contemporary, ritual objects. These jewellery objects are intended to incite feelings of connectedness with ancestors through the act of reconceptualising the protective practices they used for generations.

Meet the Maker

Join us for a Meet the Maker event on Friday 20 October 2023 at 11am and have the chance to chat with Níamh about her work. Refreshments will be provided on arrival. Friends of the Bdc will receive a 10% discount on all purchases during the event.

Booking required – please call 0151 709 4014 to book your place or pop by the gallery and speak to a member of staff.

We are requesting a recommended donation in cash of £10 per ticket, which will enable a speaking fee for Níamh.

Artistic statement: Liverpool Irish Festival 2023 (#LIF2023) and theme

Each year the Liverpool Irish Festival (LIF) sets a programme theme. Past themes have included hunger, exchange, unique stories; creatively told, migration, the meaning of ‘Irishness’ and conviviality. To build the theme, LIF poses questions to help us interrogate and understand Irishness, its influence and its creative spirit.

The 2023 fesitval will take place between 19 – 29 October with the programme theme of ‘Anniversary’:

Anniversary is linked with memory and memory anchoring. Memory anchoring helps us to process our life using markers (new year’s eve, births, weddings, grief, relationships, etc). More broadly, history is connected by date markers, helping us to understand the process of change, progression and society.

Anniversary helps us to commemorate moments or actions that create change. Such anniversaries may be grand in scale -state funerals, Holocaust Remembrance Day, a general election- or intimate affairs, such as marking a year since a clear diagnosis, remembering your wedding day or reflecting on your graduation.

Read LIF’s full 2023 artistic statement and creative call via the Liverpool Irish Festival website.

Also watch out for an article from Níamh on their website during the festival.


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.

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!