Keep an eye out this weekend for our pavilion outside the Crawford

Shane O’Driscoll talks late nights, creative outlets, travel and food.
Keep an eye out this weekend for our pavilion outside the Crawford
Shane O'Driscoll

Design POP is merging the very best in design and food for an unforgettable festival taking place in Cork city from May 17 to 19. Here, Shane O’Driscoll, one of the participants talks about his life and work.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m from Bandon and studied Graphic Design in CIT before moving to Dublin for nearly ten years, then moved back to Cork last year. I initially moved up to Dublin to run an art exhibition with a friend, but stayed as there is a great creative scene up there. I worked as a designer and art director in a creative agency in the city centre and really enjoyed the work I was making, but felt it was time to move back to Cork and change things up. While working I also practised fine art printmaking on the side. I joined Cork Printmakers in final year college as a hobby and am lucky enough to sell my work in galleries in Ireland and the UK and that kept me busy as a personal creative outlet.

I’ve been lucky enough to focus on my own personal work full time the past few months, as the last year has been busy with great projects. I have designed a window for Brown Thomas on Grafton Street, had one of my prints acquired by the National Gallery of Ireland, painted a building for Waterford Walls festival and have made commissioned works for hotels.

Each job can be a new challenge and I enjoy making fine art prints in the studio as much as I do painting a building or working for an exhibition.

I am currently working on designing a pavilion for Design POP festival, which is taking place in Cork city centre from May 17 to 19. Six designers have collaborated with six food producers to highlight the wealth of design and food we have here in Cork. There is a diverse mix of artists and architects involved, so it’s looking to be a goodie! I am paired with Suzanna Melinn of Banana Melon Kitchen and we’ve been working on a nice concept that will tie in our design with the surrounding area outside the Crawford Gallery.

Shane O'Driscoll's work.
Shane O'Driscoll's work.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

I’m a big music fan, always have music on when I work, so a gig would be an ideal Friday night. You can’t beat a good live show! There’s great spots for live music in the city and beyond. I have been to see White Lies and Therapy? recently in Cyprus Avenue and they have done a great job in there on upgrading it. Levis’ pub in Ballydehob is also a unique live music spot and a gem of a pub.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Lie-ins 100%! I’m a night owl. I’ve always been a late night person and I love a good lie-in.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

I think creatives never switch off, we’re always thinking about what we are working on, so work creeps into weekends. I have a solo exhibition coming up soon, so I’ll work through weekends. I like to work intensely when making new artwork, long days and nights, but I enjoy it. There is a great crew in the studio in Cork Printmakers, so it’s always a pleasure to be in there.

If money was no object where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

I would pack my bags and bring my wife to Porto, it’s an awesome city! We were there a few years ago and I can’t wait to go back. It reminded me of the first time I went to Barcelona, full of creative spaces, amazing architecture and near a beach. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site and we were there in June for a festival that involved the whole city. There was an amazing fireworks display on the river. Everybody ate out in the streets and was partying til dawn.

Shane O'Driscoll's work.
Shane O'Driscoll's work.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

My wife is from West Cork, so we head down there to recharge. Barleycove beach is a favourite or Inchydoney beach if we don’t venture too far west. The sea is a big influence on me and a wander on a beach is always welcome. A visit to an art gallery is also good. The Glucksman in UCC or the Crawford Gallery are nice spots to go see to take a break.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Since moving back to Cork I’ve been catching up with old friends which has been good. Cork is like a village, so I keep bumping into people from years ago. We’ll drop into family in Bandon when going to West Cork every other weekend.

Do you get to indulge in any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I’d love to do a bit more mountain biking. I went on a few mountain bike trails with a mate and damaged a rib and bashed my nose in one session over Christmas, which had me out of action for a few weeks. Hopefully I’ll get back on the bike soon.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

I enjoy a bit of both, but always enjoy being entertained. I can make a mean Guacamole and great homemade sausage rolls!

Shane O'Driscoll's work.
Shane O'Driscoll's work.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

For a coffee I go to SOMA, as it’s around the corner from the studio, Filter is also great. Lunch would be between the sandwich stall in the English Market or the French bakery on Washington Street, they make amazing Gubeen baguettes. Brackens for the best door-step sandwich in town is also highly recommended. If I’m treating myself I’ll go to Miyazaki, I could eat there every day! For a special meal, we venture out of the city; Pilgrims in Rosscarbery is amazing and all local produce in a great setting. We’ve been there a few times with family for a Sunday afternoon meal.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

Relaxing and planning for what’s coming up the following week. Generally watch something on Netflix, nothing too crazy!

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

It goes off at 7:30, but I’ll keep pressing the “snooze” button for about 45 mins. I’m only 10 mins from the studio, so can zip down there on the bike.


Six top designers will collaborate with six local food producers to create six pop-up installations across Cork City throughout the festival weekend along with events, talks, discussions and exhibitions - most of which are free of charge to access and enjoy.
Social Media: @DesignPOPCork

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