If OFFSET is about anything, it’s about inspiration.
We’re looking forward enormously to this year’s event, but we thought it would be fun to look back at what has gone before. After all, with 95 Main Stage speakers and over 160 hours of presentations already in the bag, there’s a lot to look back over!
We asked some of the best creatives in our great city to choose a quote from a previous OFFSET speaker, and create a new piece of work inspired by it, and then share it in some way as a gift to Dublin.
We love the results. They’re even more inventive, clever and inspiring than we expected.
Here they are…
Sean & Yvette
chose Tomer Hanuka
“We all have an internal brief.”
We picked Tomer Hanuka because we liked his message; that creative work is always driven by a need for self-expression, whether consciously or not. We had just read an article on Susan Sarandon’s ping pong clubs so thought it would be interesting to use them to spell out our quote. We spent an afternoon drilling holes in over 300 balls and then strung them onto red washing lines. The next step was wiring it to a clothes rail to make a giant abacus. We dragged it down to a carpark one night and we have to say that the security staff at Tesco were very understanding.
chose Richard Gilligan
“I love creating a portrait that’s true.”
As Richard’s main passion is portrait photography, I felt it was fitting to create a painted portrait of the man himself. The contour lines that make up his features mimic the skate ramp bowls in his latest photography book DIY.
Thanks to Steven Ryan for the photo that I referenced for the piece.
“Some day it will all make sense.”
chose Jessica Hische
“Make things you wish existed.”
This piece is quite a literal reflection of the quote, “make things you wish existed”. It includes illustrations of things I wish existed, such as: a printable and edible burger; a window that you can change what you are looking out at; a radiator coat… And so on.
I pasted it up in Dublin city centre on an empty hoarding site. Over the last number
of years there have been many empty sites and shops in Dublin. I think this quote is a perfectly positive message, which encourages people to dream big and to occupy these spaces with their ideas and hopes of what they’d like to exist in this city of ours.
Cian Brennan & Aishling Costello
chose Friends With You
“Dream gigantic, because you can make it happen.”
Thanks to Leigh Ellis for all of the help in building the sandwich. And Moses Rowen for the giant copper spike holding it all together.
Ground (Gary Boylan & Ciarán Murphy)
chose Gary Baseman
“All I want to do now is walk through walls.”
Gary Baseman’s quote was machine carved into a wood and hand- painted to look like a metal Dublin street name sign. It was installed on Hatch Lane in the early hours of a cold Dublin Thursday.
Thanks to Art from Artisan for carving the sign.
chose Seymour Chwast
“If you dig a hole, and it’s in the wrong place, digging it deeper isn’t going to help.”
Possibly a really obvious solution to a great quote – but I really wanted to draw a digger :)
Detail. Design Studio & Matthew Thompson
chose Nik Roope, Poke London
“It’s the bit you don’t see…”
The focus of Nik’s talk — the unseen work involved in realising every project — is something that we can relate to. We also liked its dual meaning when located in an less familiar Dublin environment. Big thanks to John Dunne / Neonfix.
chose Erik Kessels / Kesselskramer
“Sometime ideas are there you just need to pick them up and use them.”
From Erik Kessels OFFSET talk, we drew inspiration from his belief that “the idea” should be the most important thing in what designers do. We chose the quote, “Ideas are there, you just need to pick them up and use them,” and created a modular typeface which we printed on canvas bags. Each bag is hand-painted and individually numbered. They’ll be available soon on the streets of Dublin, so we can reduce the use of plastic bags and save the planet a little bit.
Photography by Eoin Holland.
chose Martin Haake
“It’s nice to go to the supermarket and then you find people are buying your soups.”
For my piece, I took some items from Oxfam Home on Francis Street, did some illustrations on them and then donated them back to the shop. I made two cushion covers, risographed two prints, and painted a pot and a fishbowl. The decoration for each piece is loosely based on an RTÉ documentary about two Dublin kids who snuck off to New York in the 80s, and a concrete Stonehenge on Achill Island.
Recording: Little Beast, expert sewing: Laura Gilsenan
chose Massimo Vignelli
“If you can’t find it, design it.”
The long Irish winter could only be enhanced by the addition of this coat to anyone’s wardrobe.
Materials – Hot water bottle, boiling water. Thank you – Clíona O’Flaherty for the photography
chose Shepard Fairey
Shepard Fairey explained how, in art, an image can be created and repeated over and over again to great effect like his first André the Giant OBEY sticker.
My interpretation as a writer is that a word, phrase or characterisation can also be repeated to success in literature. Searching within myself for something worth repeating, I often feel like Jack Nicholson’s character Jack Torrance in The Shining. I repeatedly visit the book shop Hodges Figgis, my favourite place in Dublin for inspiration, when I’m creatively stuck – hence my typewriter and its location.
Thank you to Hodges Figgis.
Aisling Farinella & Brian Kenny
chose Paula Scher
“The more you make, the more you want to do. The more you do, the more you realise everything is possible.’’
I was blown away by Paula Scher at her OFFSET presentation. I used the opportunity of creating a piece for OFFSET to collaborate with projection mapping designer Brian Kenny, as I was excited about the possibilities of combining projection mapping and fashion film.
We projection mapped a piece on a large-scale structure combing hand painted type, a contrast of maximalist and geometric fashion designs and music with positive vibes, as a way to pay homage to Scher. The project became an amazing collaboration with a super-talented group of people.
Stylist, Creative Direction : Aisling Farinella Projection Mapping, Animation : Brian Kenny
Custom Lettering : Chrissie Abbott Cinematographer : Jamie Delaney Fashion : Helen Steele, Mary Callan, Sinead Lawlor Music : Los Rapidos by Orquesta Model : Aisling Redden, Morgan the Agency Hair : David Cashman, Morgan The Agency Make Up : Jennifer Quinn for ana-lee Location : The Laundry Room, South Studios
chose Stefan Sagmeister
“I’m trying to be guttsier.”
In a homage to Stefan Sagmeister’s Aiga poster we scratched our chosen quote into a male torso, filmed it and projected it onto the offices of MG, Camden Street.
Thanks to Chris, Rob, Ken & John
chose Daniel Eatock
“I’m interested in circular logic – projects where it’s difficult to find the beginning or the end, something that’s complete.”
The piece is an animated sequence of drawings of a bird taking flight, then falling, dying and taking flight again. It moves in a constant, looping, circular motion making it difficult to tell where it begins or ends. On a basic level it’s about the circle of life but it’s also about exploring circular form and movement. The piece was also inspired by Daniel Eatock’s circle drawings.
Thanks to John Mahon at The Bernard Shaw and Hazel Coonagh for photographing the piece.
chose David Shrigley
“One can go too far.”
Shrigley was discussing how his fans often ask him for sketches to be used as tattoos, but remarked that “sometimes, things can be taken too far”. As a lover of all things inky, I saw this as an opportunity to go too far and get this piece of advice permanently engraved on my arm. It’s good to remember
that the simplest solution is often the best, and to save going overboard for a special occasion.
Credit where it’s due to my wonderful tattoo artist Paul Aherne of Spilled Ink for humouring me and doing such a brilliant job as always. Thanks to the lovely Eoin Holland for photography. And thanks in advance to David Shrigley for not committing any heinous crimes that will make me regret having your name on me.
chose Linda Brownlee
“What you leave in and what you leave out.”
During her OFFSET talk in 2010 Linda Brownlee spoke about the importance of being selective as a photographer – choosing how a photograph is framed to include some objects and omit others, selecting some pictures from a shoot to show, and holding others back. Linda also spoke about the importance of creating ‘space’ within her portrait work and using this space to frame her subjects. As a textile designer, I was drawn to all of these ideas as the use of space, particularly negative space, is hugely important in textile design. Sometimes, deleting parts of pattern to create more negative space within the design often results in a more balanced and successful print. In order to illustrate the idea, I created an animated pattern using sections of Linda’s work juxtaposed with a positive/negative damask pattern which gradually fills the screen through a series of blocks.
Thanks to Linda Brownlee, Alan Butler and Stewart Lambert.
chose Kyle Cooper
“The more you give away, the more you get back.”
Instead of enduring bureaucratic headaches, a bunch of friends got together and put their own blood sweat and cash into a DIY skatepark.
Thanks to Rob, John, Steve, Al and everyone who worked on this place. No thanks to the lads who stole all our tools!
Mr & Mrs Stevens
chose Friends With You
“Dive In” & “Wing It”
We just love the work of Friends with You. We love the bright, joyful naivety of their awesome inflatables. The simple wonder of their site-specific installations. As we listened to Sam & Tury speak at OFFSET2012, two phrases jumped out: “Dive in” and “wing it”. Made sense to us because, you know, fear is the enemy of creativity. Initially shot down by ‘the man’ at the Office of Public Works, we decided to go guerrilla on its ass… So, armed with our own lilliputian flotilla of not-particularly-awesome inflatables, we quite literally took it to the bridge and hoodwinked a couple of gullible art-types to document the fun.
It’s our little tribute to the joys of flying by the seat of your pants, a buoyancy aid for the age we live in. Be not afraid.
Photographed by Tristan Hutchinson. Filmed by Paul Mahon.
chose Steve ‘Espo’ Powers
“Let’s go smoke a million dollars”
Recounting a story about two guys he knew in New York who had said they’d smoked a million dollars worth of drugs, Steve wondered what it would be like to actually say, “let’s go smoke a million dollars”. The quote was incorporated into one of his paintings. My take on it is acrylic, transfered on to this old fire extinguisher that I found in my basement.
Thanks to The Little Green for letting me install it.
chose ‘Alan Clarke’
Thank you most kindly for your invitation to take part in this magnificent Offset Creative Project. Your threat to, “visit one-thousand unmentionable horrors upon my house,” if I declined to submit, was entirely unnecessary; I am delighted to take part.
As per your suggestion, I reviewed the presentations made by many of Offsets wonderful past-speakers, with a mind to finding a quote to use as a starting point for a my piece. During this process, I decided on a whim to view my own presentation, which I had allegedly made during Offset 2010. Imagine my horror and bewilderment – imagine it! – when I discovered that my presentation had not , in fact, been delivered by me at all. Although I have my suspicions,
I cannot say for certain who the charlatan purporting to be me actually was. Despite the fact that the sinister imposter said little of interest and his delivery was amateurish and buffoon-like, here and there, amongst the clap-trap and quasi-philosophical carnage, were sprinkled a few unexpected nuggetoids of semi-precious wisdom.
“God cannot see through pasta,” pronounced the rascal.
“One must not leave appliances plugged in at night, electricity might leak out and stain the carpet,” he advised, the shuffler.
“Darkness is merely bruised light,” he opined. However, it was the following morsel that really piqued my interest: “Wise men learn by ham, fools by broccoli.”
So, with this insight echoing in my hindbrain, I decided to quote ‘myself ’, whoever he was! I therefore retired to my atelier to create an image that might do justice to that scrap of delicate lucidity.
Regrettably, I have not been able to include any photos of the work in progress. My atelier is located in a tree, and unfortunately there is insufficient space for a photographer. My atelier wasn’t always in a tree of course; that would be foolish. However, when I originally chose its location, I failed to notice a small sapling growing underneath my desk. Then suddenly, over the next sixty years,
it grew into a majestic, adult oak, marooning my atelier in the lofty vault of its boughs. When required, I myself am transmitted to the upper portions of the tree by marching ants. I have not trained them, they go that way anyway. Other solid items such as paints, paper, brushes, etc., are also thus ferried aloft. Liquid provisions, such as inks and gin, are poured on the ground around the base of the tree and transported upwards by capillary action in the tree’s xylem.
I hope you like my picture, I lost most of the third finger on my left hand during its production, leaving me with only seven.
Yours sincerely, Alan Clarke
Havas Worldwide Dublin
chose Wooster Collective
“Our ultimate goal is nothing short of a personal and singular billboard for each citizen.”
The quote we picked is in reference to Wooster Collective talking about the Billboard Liberation Front, whose manifesto states: “Our ultimate goal is nothing short of a personal and singular billboard for each citizen.” This interpretation of the quote was programmed onto an LED road safety sign. For the installation, we drove the sign around Dublin all night, finally stopping to display it outside the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.
chose David Shrigley
“The thing for me is that I’m not really hindered by craft…”
I drew my inspiration from a comment David Shrigley made at the very start of his OFFSET talk. He stood beneath an image of a very crudely-made set of salt and pepper cellars, bearing the words “cocaine” and “heroin”. And after the chuckling had subsided he said: “The thing for me is that I’m not really hindered by craft…”
I have always felt professionally obliged to refine my craft to my utmost ability, using work by revered craftsmen as benchmarks.
But recently I’ve become fascinated with 3D printing. It’s still very much in its infancy but it’s an amazing production tool to be able to experiment with. All my results are a little amateurish but I like their charm. The resulting 3D pieces look more like rough sketches than products.
I wondered if it was possible to take David’s hilarious salt and pepper cellars, transpose them to Dublin, replacing his signature handiwork with 3D printed architectural landmarks, tightly-kerned Helvetica and still still retain the humour. What do you think? I think they’re pretty funny. I’d love to see them in Reads of Nassau St. or Carroll’s Irish gifts. I think they’d make nice over gloves too.
3D Models by 3D Dave
chose Chip Kidd
“And then I made it red so that people would buy it.”
Chip Kidd spoke at the very first OFFSET and it has remained one of my favourite talks over the past four years of the conference. I loved his attitude and the humour he has towards his work. For some reason this one line always stayed with me. Chip used it very effectively and flippantly over the course of his talk, so I wanted to do something lighthearted to match the humour of the quote.
I made a trip to Talbot Street to pick up some fetching red footwear and roped my unsuspecting father into modelling them for me.
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