About Cupán Cré – Clay Cup

The CUPÁN CRÉ – CLAY CUP is a creative multidisciplinary project that combines the symbol of the Clay Vessel with information on Ecology, Biology, Psychology and Mythology in an endeavour to acknowledge and celebrates our interrelatedness with the living world.

The project is comprised of a collection of 43 ceramic pots. These are made from clay gathered from every county in Ireland. There is one pot for every county, one for each province: Connacht, Leinster, Munster, Ulster (North & South), Ulster (South) and Ulster (North). There are three pots made from a combination of clays from every county on the island biome of Ireland that represent Ireland as a country, and one large pot called the Cupán Cré- Clay Cup.

The Cupán Cré- Clay Cup is a contemporary re-visioning of the Irish mythological Vessel of Everlasting Abundance. This vessel symbol resides in ancient stories and so the deep ecological roots of the Irish psyche. By pulling clay out of the land and forming it into a vessel made from the earth of Ireland this ancient vessel is re-imagined as an Earthen container a – Clay Cup. This offers an immediate connection to the land and invokes a sense of place and ecological identity. The Clay Cup is a physical and symbolic representation of Ireland while also being symbolic of the Earth as a whole. We are contained within a complex matrix of ecological systems and process that provides both physical and psychological nourishment. The Earth is a container from which we derive all our necessary requirements for life; it is a Vessel of Everlasting Abundance that gives everything – life.

Our modern worldview is destroying our planet, our cup of abundance. It separates one thing from another and has eroded sensibilities of interconnectedness and wholeness. Our understanding that everything is interrelated has diminished. I conceptualise our modern world as a fragmented, broken Earthen Vessel; a vessel that is not whole but in disparate parts. By utilising the ancient Irish vessel symbol in combination with clay from every county I conceptually bring the various county clays, the parts, back together again to reform and reinvigorate a sensibility of wholeness, to symbolically re-member that everything is interconnected with everything else.

This project is a response to the humanitarian, ecological and climate challenges we face in our times. It is offered as an aid as we endeavour to cultivate new positive narratives and discourse of wholeness, and re-imagine and re-invigorate our relationship with the living world. As a species we all drink, eat and sip from the same Earthen cup. We do this in relationship with the wider community of living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) aspects of nature that holds us. The Cupán Cré – Clay Cup is a symbol and worldview that shows care, consideration and reverence for the mutually beneficial reciprocal relationship between humans and the planet.                                                                 Cupán Cré – Clay Cup ®