Matthew Sexton with the chair he designed.

Take a seat folks

A unique chair by Cork artist Matthew Sexton has just finished a very successful stint on display at the National Museum of Ireland (NMI), as part of the exhibition ‘Our Irish Chair: Tradition Revisited’.

Matthew, from Clonakility, designed and crafted a 3 legged chair that was chosen for display by a panel of adjudicators from the National Museum of Ireland, ATU Connemara and the Office of Public Works.

It then went on display at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar in County Mayo, from October 2021-October 2022.

Matthew's unique take on the chair brings a modern flair to an ancient piece of furniture with strong, angular features running throughout.

The work is a result of a partnership initiative by the National Museum of Ireland and ATU Connemara, which challenged furniture design students to respond to examples of chairs in the national collections and design a piece of furniture for the modern home.

The students were inspired by a particular Irish chair type known as the Tuam or Sligo chair.

The National Museum of Ireland recently hosted a special event to celebrate the significant contribution of ATU Connemara to the ‘Our Irish Chair’ exhibition, which was originally launched during difficult circumstances when strict Covid-19 public health restrictions were in place.

Speaking at the event at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Paul Leamy, Head of Centre for ATU Connemara, National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design and Technology, said: “We were delighted to work with the National Museum of Ireland on this exciting project. Our students were challenged to respond to a stimulating design brief.

“The final chair designs are impressive contemporary interpretations of the original Tuam/Sligo chairs, yet are thoughtful in paying respect to the masters of the past,” Mr Leamy added. ‘Our Irish Chair: Tradition Revisited’ is on display at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life, Turlough Park, Castlebar, until March 2023.

Admission to the event is free.