Ciara promotes craft work in Romania

A BANBRIDGE artist has returned from a trip to Romania where tried to promote the cultural strengths of the craft sector.

Ciara Campbell, who currently is the resident artist at the Millennium Court Art Centre in Portadown, was in Bistrita where she showcased her work in the town’s largest outdoor craft event.

The project, named EU4US, is a two year project finishing in September 2012. There are four partner countries involved in the project namely Bistrita Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lawton School in Spain, the Tarsus Chamber of Commerce in Romania and

Castlereagh Enterprises, which is based in Dundonald.

The programme’s aim are to promote entrepreneurship and creativity among inhabitants of rural areas, to preserve cultural heritage by involving people from rural areas in good practice exchange in the fields of crafts and produce and to foster transnational examples of best practice in order to support life long learning for local development.

“The project is a chance to build relationships between the groups and also to promote crafts on an international scale,” said Ciara.

“Everyone brought and swapped gifts and we were also able to meet the Head of the Cultural Centre in Bistrita.”

Ciara said the trip was beneficial for the project as the Romanians were able to see how the local artists operated on econimic, social and cultural terms.

She added, “The Romanians’ quality of work would be of a lower standard than ours, however it was very traditional.

“They would buy cheap ceramics and paint them, whereas we would use material of a higher quality.”

Ciara has no immediate plans with the project in the immediate future but added that she will soon be opening a new studio close to Laurencetown.

Also involved in the project is another Banbridge artist, Rachel O’Neill, who fuses fine art with applied design creating limited edition pieces predominantly from Textiles.