In the Window 2021 – a craft and design call

This is an exciting opportunity for an Irish maker (emerging or established) to display their work, for one month In the Window at the Bluecoat Display Centre as part of Liverpool Irish Festival 2021 (aka #LIF2021).
This is a real opportunity to sell your work in to private collections, for which the Bluecoat Display Centre has a strong history and contacts list for.

We invite designers and applied artists to submit work related to the Festival theme of “exchange” (more here), to go on display at the Bluecoat Display Centre from 1-31 October 2021, supported by the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland.


This short film gives a 90 second overview.

More info

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 20k 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 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 (again, this isn’t essential, but we hope to help promote you and your work, so this would be beneficial).
All courier fees for the exhibit will be covered by the Design and Craft Council of Ireland.

Partnership and remit

For six 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 In the Window maker to link in to #LIF2020’s theme “exchange”. We invite submissions and designs from producers working in

  • ceramics
  • jewellery
  • new or old technologies
  • metal, wood, glass, paper and leather work
  • textiles
  • upcycling
  • weaving.

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 & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) again, who will support the call out and contribute towards transport costs. The selection panel is made up of senior representatives from

  • Bluecoat Display Centre
  • Liverpool Irish Festival and
  • DCCI.

Criteria and submission requirement

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 (see dimensions below)).

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 “exchange”, either in your process, output or user experience. Use this link 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 you must email: [email protected] with

  • a selection of 5 images (maximum size per image 2MB) with prices of your proposed submissions
  • a statement about your work and how it is relevant to the “exchange” theme (available here)
  • your current biography/CV.

The deadline for submission is Sun 27 June 2021, with announcement of the selection made within 6 weeks.

In the Window

The dimensions of the exhibition space your submission needs to fill are below. Click to expand.








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. Originated as one of this country’s earliest craft and design galleries (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!