Coffee, Contemporary art and Community

So some of you might’ve seen the piece below before, but I’m showing it again because it’s going to feature in my new solo exhibition in the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Port Laoise, during the months of March and April, 2014.

Art installation made from used coffee cups

Now don’t worry – I’ll be sending you an invitation to the official opening soon, at least to those of you who live in Ireland, but we’re still finalising some of the details.  I do know that there will be plenty of sambos and tea and coffee provided for those of you who have to travel from afar to the opening. 

But speaking of coffee, the installation above is made from over 500 empty, used coffee cups. I’ve been collecting these from friends and relations over the last few years. My main supplier/donator is my sister who works in a big office in Dublin – many workers, many coffee drinkers, much stress…

During the era of the ‘Celtic Tiger’, the coffee cup became a symbol for me of the boom economy. We didn’t know ourselves with all the fancy coffees we could choose from – the Lattes, the Mochas, the Mocha Lattes, the Cappucinos, the Babyccinos, the Babyccinos with marshmallows – mmmm, wasn’t it just coffee heaven! But then at the end of the day, the empty paper cups were being used by the homeless to beg on the street.

But you know, the people who come to my exhibitions – they’re not the ones ‘who lost the run of themselves’ during the Celtic Tiger. No, we weren’t “all at it”, as some punters have suggested. Some people believe that there’s more to life than making a quick profit, and perhaps, that art may encourage a deeper and more enduring understanding of our lives and our world than we get from the newsmedia.

We’re in this art community together – and let me say that it’s really nice for me to see the same people coming back again and again to see the art. I hope to see you all again soon. Except for during the rush hour, the Dunamaise Arts Centre is about one hour’s drive from Dublin. Check out



  1. Great piece Eoin. I imagine these columns of “celtic tigerism” are suspended with a very fine line and it could all come crashing down. An apt metaphor for the unstable conditions that it was all built upon.


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