OFFSITE brings the work of the most creative designers into the streets, so we thought to transform windows of the shops in the OFFSITE design map into innovative installations; to do so we teamed up with a host of creatives and unique independent stores. We are thrilled to announce that set designer and prop stylist Ciara O’ Donovan, will be joining us to make this possible in collaboration with food stylist Johan Van Der Merwe.
Ciara is originally from West Cork, coming from a degree in Communications and French. Ciara took an unusual path, which brought her to be one of the most prominent set designers in Ireland. The list of her clients ranges from The Abbey Theatre to Showtime Networks, her portfolio is continuously growing and you only have to glance at it to get inspired.
Some of you might have gone to see Oedipus by Wayne Jordan at the Abbey Theatre, most of you probably noticed the compelling posters hanging all around Dublin, featuring a cryptic image of assembled chairs. So, those of you who asked yourselves how those chairs ended up there and had this doubt for months, as we did, have to blame Ciara as she designed the set for that poster.
Brown Thomas and Ciara shared a fruitful partnership in 2015, when Ciara was asked to work for the CREATE ID2015 and on the Spring Collection shoots.
Ciara teamed up with photographer Sarah Doyle to showcase the talent of Irish craftspeople, building a set, which is rich in texture and combines light with movement.
For the Spring/Summer Collection 2015, Ciara played with Brown Thomas’ floral prints in order to create a vibrant and modern set, balancing it, at the same time, with elegance and simplicity.
The call of nature is a theme that comes back in a number of Ciara’s sets as you can see in the photos she created with long time collaborator Sarah Doyle for Showcase 2016, or Danielle Romeril’s SS 2015 collection.
However, it is explicit in the January editorial of The Irish Tatler where she teamed up with OFFSET 2014 speaker, stylist Aisling Farinella, to create an astonishing botanic themed shoot.
Ciara’s botanical flair might also have been spotted by some of you at the Christchurch Cathedral when she was commissioned by the Dublin Garden Festival to create a fairy-tale meadow where visitors could move around and be invited to interact with. Ciara was inspired by Japanese fairy-tale animation “Princess Monoke” and she was able to capture the magic of the landscape at twilight.
Marvellous set design often comes through collaboration and for the OFFSITE window installation Ciara partnered up with Food Stylist Johan Van Der Merwe.
Johan has been working with the likes of Michelin-starred chef Michael Roux in London, brand managers of well-established restaurants such as Cafe Paradiso, and behind the scene of Home Cooking, BBC Television series with Rachel Allen.
We truly cannot wait to see what Ciara and Johan will be preparing for us in the OFFSITE window installations.