Image: Glencairn House
Visiting somewhere for the first time is always an adventure, but particularly so when you’re heading to your destination to take part in something special. This February Kouamo was invited by the UKTI to showcase in ‘The Contemporary Collective - London Edition’ within Arnotts in Central Dublin. I made the most of my time in Ireland and discovered glimpses of Georgian splendour, colourful street art, some stylish shopping and more. Here are my highlights:
Street Art & Signage
Images: Just some of the colourful street art I photographed during the trip to Dublin
A picture speaks a thousand words and in Dublin the murals do some serious talking. From political statements to indi cafe’s - puppy dogs to literary figures - I was captivated by these hits of bold colour juxtaposed against the Dublin cityscape. In particular I loved the abstract use of colour on The Jazz Cafe wall - contemporary and free beside the grated windows and industrial brick.
Structure & Form
Image: City Hall Dome
Dublin is not all cute pubs and cobblestones. There is a sprawling metropolis along the Liffey River and quayside contrasted with the clean sculptural lines of the Samuel Beckett Bridge and the very moving Famine Memorial sculptures by Rowan Gillespie. As if transported to a different world, there is then the bookish romance and Georgian splendour of Trinity College - which made me want to pick up a satchel and go back to study.
Images clockwise from top: Samuel Beckett Bridge, Famine Memorial and Trinity College
Shops & Eats
The ratio of independent boutiques to Starbucks coffee shops - sways rather more in the favour of caffeine in Dublin - but there were a few indi places which really caught my eye.
Images: Avoca display and Avoca Store
The Irish family-run business Avoca is one of the world's oldest surviving manufacturing companies and now has a series of beautiful stores and cafes. I visited their whimsical 7-level mini department store in Suffolk Street and was drawn to the eclectic mix and quality of the work.
I was also a fan of Industry & Co on Drury St, a gorgeous lifestyle concept store and deli where I devoured this delicious chocolate brownie!
Image: Industry & Co store and Brownie from Industry & Co
Showcases & Receptions
Images from top: The Contemporary Collective: London Edition at Arnotts, Part of the Kouamo display at Arnotts, me and my work at the Ambassador's Reception at Glencairn House
It was wonderful to be part of the The Contemporary Collective at Arnotts and great to get to know the other artisans involved including fellow Cockpit makers Jen Rowland, Lucy McGrath of Marmor Paperie and Zoe Miller of Tangent Accessories. The showcase had a strong presence within the store and was celebrated with a visit from the British Ambassador. As exhibitors we were also invited to a glamorous reception at Glencairn House, which has been the official residence of successive British Ambassadors to Ireland since the 1950s. A grand finale to the Dublin experience.
Want to buy the products that went to Dublin? Click here