Cara Murphy trained as a silversmith at Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. Since the early 1990's Cara has run her own silversmithing practice in Northern Ireland creating silverware for both private and public commission.
Her silver tableware is represented in many national and international public and private collections including: The Silver Trust Collection at Downing Street; the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; the Ulster Museum; the National Museum of Ireland; the Shipley Art Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne; Aberdeen Art Gallery; the Arts Council an Chomhairle Ealaoin; the Irish Embassy Collection and the Royal College of Art, London.
Cara works mainly to commission and exhibits her silverware internationally. Her award winning silver tableware has been showcased in numerous high profile applied art and silversmithing exhibitions. During her career Cara has also created many prestigious awards, which have been presented by prominent dignitaries.
Cara, who is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, has her work represented and promoted by both the Crafts Council of Ireland's Irish Craft Portfolio: Critical Selection and Craft NI's C3 (Collecting Contemporary Craft). She is a selected member of the Contemporary British Silversmiths and of Who's Who in Gold and Silver.
In addition to her practice Cara leads research in contemporary silversmithing at the University of Ulster where she is an Associate Lecturer in Silversmithing and Jewellery.
- 2012 - RDS Award of Excellence and California Gold Medal
- 2011 - Arts Council of Northern Ireland Individual Arts Award
- 2010 - Present - Selected for C3 (Collecting Contemporary Craft) Craft NI
- 2009 - Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
- 2009 - Freeman of the City of London
- 2008 - Major Individual Award (£15,000) Arts Council of Northern Ireland
- 2006 - Present - Selected for Irish Craft Portfolio, Crafts Council of Ireland
- 2005 - Arts Council of Northern Ireland Individual Arts Award
- 2004/2005 - Research Leave from the University of Ulster
- 2003 - Arts Council of Northern Ireland Individual Arts Award
- 2002 - Arts Council of Northern Ireland Individual Arts Award
- 1997 - Winner of the Kilkenny Beer 'Cream of Irish Awards', Craft and Design Section
- 1996 - Arts Council of Northern Ireland Creative Arts Award
- 1994 - Present - Continued Annual Support from the University of Ulster School Research Committee
- 1994 - Awarded the Crafts Council of Ireland Quality Mark
- 1994 - Selfridge Prize, Highly Commended, Royal College of Art
- 1993 - 1994 - Precious Metal Bursary, Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London
- 1993 - Eurocraft participant Copenhagen / Belfast
- 1992 - Winner of Cutlery Design Award, Royal College of Art
- 1992 - Richard Hubbard Arroll Memorial Prize, Glasgow School of Art
- 1992 - Winner of the British Stainless Steel Student Design Awards
Since 1992 Cara's work has featured in numerous exhibitions worldwide. For a full CV download Cara's Curriculum Vitae.
Future Beauty? National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny
Curated by Amanda Game this exhibition showcases the 26 makers in Irish Craft Portfolio: Critical Selection. http://www.irishcraftportfolio.ie
Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, Ulster Museum, Belfast
'Spring' was selected to be exhibited at the Ulster Museum in the 131st RUA show http://royalulsteracademy.org
'Fit for Purpose', Victoria and Albert Museum, London
'Fit for Purpose' was a Contemporary British Silversmith exhibition at the V&A to compliment the 'British Design 1948-2012' exhibition. All items exhibited were hallmarked with the Queen Jubillee mark and had a purpose in mind during their creation. Cara designed and created 'Infuse', a silver teapot to infuse green tea. http://www.contemporarybritishsilversmiths.org/2012/03/fit-for-purpose-v-and-a/
National Crafts Exhibition, RDS, Dublin
'Disperse' was awarded the Award of Excellence and California Gold Medal at the National Crafts Competition. The silver bowl subsequently toured Ireland in the Award winner's exhibition. http://www.rds.ie/crafts
'My Place', Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool
An exhibition reflecting the importance of an artist's physical working space and environment, and featured selected artists from the Craft Council of Ireland's Craft Portfolio.
26 Treasures, Ulster Museum, Belfast
Working in collaboration with writer Bernard MacLaverty Cara created 'Salt Cellar' as a visual response to Bernard's text and the ceramic artifact in the Ulster Museum titled 'Irishman' http://www.bernardmaclaverty.com http://www.26treasures.com
Arts Council Collection, Parliament Buildings, Stormont, Belfast
Arts Council of Northern Ireland exhibited works from their Permanent Collection. 'Growing Reflections' was included in this exhibition.
'Thirty', Flowerfield Arts Centre, Portstewart
Invited to show work to celebrate 30 years of Flowerfield Arts Centre.
Irish Craft Portfolio: National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny & Farmleigh Gallery, Dublin
Cara's work was included in the Irish craft Portfolio exhibitions at both the National Craft Gallery and Farmleigh Gallery in 2010 and 2011. Irish Craft Portfolio showcases contemporary craftwork created by Irish makers that combines the highest quality craftsmanship with a consideration of material and technique that sits comfortably on the international stage.
This exhibition showcased contemporary objects from Ireland at the American Irish Historical Society in New York. Cara showed three pieces of silverware in the exhibition and also gave a talk at the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in New York.
Objects of Light: Danish Museum of Art and Design, Copenhagen
"Objects of Light' was an international silversmithing exhibition at the Danish Museum of Art and Design to coincide with the 8th International Hammerclub gathering of silversmiths. In addition to showing a piece of work in the exhibition Cara also gave a talk at the museum about her work.
Cara's work was selected as one of five applied artists from Ireland to represent the National Craft Gallery at Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects at The Saatchi Gallery 14-17th May 2009.
A Pinch of Salt
Cara was invited to exhibit 'Furrows' at a major exhibition entitled 'A Pinch of Salt' at Goldsmiths Hall, London.
Object, National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny
Cara's piece 'Meniscus' was exhibited in the exhibition 'Object', a Crafts Council of Ireland exhibition pairing contemporary Irish craft with abstract work from the Arts Council Collection. 'Meniscus' was paired with Fergus Martin's work titled 'Double'.
Side x Side – Edge > Edge: Hame Castle, Finland and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and The Capstone, Liverpool Hope University
A Contemporary British Silversmiths touring exhibition at Häme Castle, Finland, which was subsequently shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum for British Design Week and the Capstone, Liverpool Hope University.
British Silver Week
Cara's work was showcased at the Gowan Gallery, England. Cara's work represented Northern Ireland silver in this exhibition alongside a silversmith from Scotland, England and Wales.
Designers and Makers: F.E.McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge
Cara showed several pieces of silverware at the F.E. McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge, N. Ireland, an exhibition that showcased a collection of fine craft and design featuring the work over 40 well-established and up-and-coming talented craftspeople from Ireland and the UK.
This award winning permanent exhibition at Queens University, Belfast relaunched Queen's extensive silver collection to the public. Working in partnership with Fällt, Sonic Arts Research Centre and Cara Murphy this exhibition merges sounds with the silver in a contemporary context. Cara's centerpiece 'Seed Heads' forms an integral part of the exhibition and is the first piece Queens has commissioned for their collection. For more info go to www.naughtongallery.org/silversounds.
Connect: Eat and Drink
This exhibition, where Cara showcased 'Swaying Reflections', toured to a number of venues in the UK. It was shown in Hillsborough Courthouse, in Northern Ireland, as part of Craft Month.
University of Ulster
Celebrating the work of five internationally renowned silversmiths, all with a connection to the University of Ulster, this exhibition was shown as part of Craft Month in Hillsborough Courthouse alongside Connect.
You'll Never Walk Alone
At the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny. A selected exhibition jointly organized by the Crafts Council of Ireland and the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool.
Irish Craft Portfolio
At the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool. A selected exhibition jointly organized by the Crafts Council of Ireland and the Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool.
Made in Northern Ireland
In 2007 Cara's work was selected as part of a showcase for Northern Ireland for the Smithsonian exhibition in Washington DC and additional exhibitions in the Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast and the Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown.
Cara was invited to create a piece for the 'Connect' exhibition, Birmingham. The exhibition will be launched at the Association of British Designer Silversmiths 'Connect' conference in July before touring the UK. The silver for this piece was sponsored by Cookson Precious Metals.
Moments of Indulgence
'Moments of Indulgence' was an ABDS exhibition at Sheffield Millenium Galleries and Museums August-October. Cara created 'Seed Drills' for the exhibition, designed to hold Malteasers, this piece creates a landscape of 'growing' chocolate for the table.
Three applied artists, two generations and one hundred years of experience. 'Silver Connections' was a major Crafts Council of Ireland National Touring Exhibition showcasing new work of Cara and her parents, Michael and Deirdre McCrory.
Download Cara's Curriculum Vitae.