From Trees to Treasures: Exhibition Showcases Ireland’s Expertise in Furniture Making

19 May to 27 August 2023

Pine tree forest. Nature background. Green and healthy environment. Horizontal

Farmleigh Gallery will host the Trees to Treasures exhibition this summer, showcasing the exceptional quality of education being delivered by the National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design & Technology, School of Design & Creative Arts, Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Connemara.

The exhibition will run from 19th May to 27th of August at Farmleigh in Phoenix Park.   The Trees to Treasures exhibition highlights the remarkable work that is being produced by the students, staff and graduates of ATU. The exhibition focuses on the transition of trees into beautiful and treasured creations, drawing influence from numerous sources, including experience, aesthetics, functionality and the exceptional natural beauty of the campus’s location on the west coast of Ireland.

Over the last twenty years the Office of Public Works (OPW) has worked with ATU, initially with work placement students, advancing to collaborative projects and exhibitions for Government Departments, Historic Houses and Museums, to the most recent Circular Economy project with Farrell Furniture on sustainability and furniture reuse.

Paul Biesty, Chief Technical Officer at the OPW Furniture Branch highlighted the importance of this relationship with the OPW and the promotion of this Exhibition to showcase the dynamic skills on display and creativity of the students, staff and graduates. He said: “As a former student of ATU, we were always delighted to have the opportunity to work on live projects. This allowed us to gain exposure to a working environment, dealing directly with the client while receiving constructive feedback as part of our learning journey.”

Paul Leamy, Head of Department at the National Centre for Excellence in Furniture Design & Technology, spoke about the programmes that are delivered at the Connemara campus, saying: “Our programmes are renowned nationally and internationally for the exceptional quality of applied technological education in the fields of furniture and wood product design and manufacture, teacher education, development, origination and creativity, fine furniture making and focused research. These programmes are dynamic, alert and responsive to the needs of industry, society and to the ongoing development of the Irish economy.”

Dr Orla Flynn, President of Atlantic Technological University, said: “The Trees to Treasures exhibition is an opportunity for those who are interested in pursuing a career in furniture design, making, technology and initial teacher education to see the beautiful pieces on display. The exhibition demonstrates the innovative and creative ways in which the students, staff and graduates are using their skills and the materials to make a positive impact on the world.”

If you are interested in learning more about the programmes being delivered at the ATU Connemara campus, the public can visit the Trees to Treasures exhibition at Farmleigh Gallery at Farmleigh House, which will run until the 27th of August.  Further information is available at