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PLASTIC – can’t live with it can’t live without it

29 Jan 2021 - 29 May 2021

In partnership with the Science Gallery

This spring, we present a touring exhibition that interrogates our current and future relationship with this material.

Plastic has great power, and with great power comes great responsibility. It has changed our daily lives and our environment more than any other material. Its use has revolutionised industrial design, and more essentially, modern medicine relies on plastic so heavily that even the most basic medical procedures would be unimaginable without it.

The unsustainability of our relationship with plastic is well documented, but to stop using plastic is not an option.

The question is, can we utilise this wonderful, terrible material, while fundamentally changing our approach to living with plastic?

The exhibition features the work of over thirty national and international artists, designers and scientists, as well as a newly commissioned work facilitated by artists Patrick Mulvihill,  Heather Griffin and Ciarán Bonner, with the local community in Drogheda in a co-creation process, the artwork – A Giant Leap – reflecting the cultural history, place and relationship between the people and their environment.

PLASTIC is produced with the support of Science Foundation Ireland, and is Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin’s first national touring exhibition.

Ahead of the exhibition’s presentation in Drogheda, in early 2020, a Special Primary School Programme took place where two classes from Marymount N.S. & artist Claire Halpin visited the original exhibition in Dublin and following a series of workshop sessions created a range of 3D and written work in response. This will be presented online during the run of the exhibition.

A Giant Leap

Heather Griffin, Patrick Mulvihill & Ciarán Bonner


Life-saving, polluting, flexible, toxic and resilient. Plastic is a material riddled with contractions symbolic of our modern world. What will Drogheda look like in the future if we continue on a growth fuelled business-as-usual trajectory? What new industries, customs and cultures will emerge?

A Giant Leap is a window into this near future world.

It’s 2069, the city of Drogheda has prospered as the home of Ireland’s first spaceport and the world renowned guild of polymer technologies. Destiny Corporations ‘BeInfinite’ life extension programme is at its infancy. Eleanor – Pioneer 001, the first transcendence candidate, has just completed phase one of her life extension journey. This immersive installation invites you to step into Eleanor’s world and experience her story through uploaded memory fragments. What has compelled Eleanor to take this giant leap of techno-faith and transcend the limitations of humanity? This story forms part of a future scenario conceptualized and designed through a place-based co-creation workshop, with local participants, in Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda. Listen to Eleanor’s full story on or search for “A Giant Leap” on your favourite podcast app.


Artists – Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill
Video Production – Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill
Model Maker – Ciarán Bonner
3D Sculptor – Julian King
Set Constructor – Eamon Griffin
Model – Amy Griffin


Written & Directed – Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill
Music Composition – Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill
Sound Design – Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill

Aoife – Amy Griffin
Eleanor – Heather Griffin
Husband – Jack O’Shea
Newscaster – Tommy Griffin
Preacher Daniels – Patrick Mulvihill

With special thanks to Science Gallery Dublin, Highlanes Gallery, Phil Smyth, Bill Mulvihill, Mary Mulvihill, Rose Griffin, Tara Mulvihill, John McCartan & all the Drogheda workshop participants.

Additional Information

PLASTIC Opening Event

Join exhibiting artists, the Science Gallery Team & special guests for a 30 minute opening talk with contributions on the themes, artworks and ideas.

Chaired by Philip Smyth, National Project Coordinator, PLASTIC

Friday 29th January at 12noon – Eventbrite Tickets

PLASTIC Guided Tours – Family

In early February, parents, take a break from home-schooling and join Erin one of the Science Gallery’s Mediator Team for a (free) educational and thought-provoking guided tour of PLASTIC.

Dates and Times:

Wednesday 3rd February at 12noon – Eventbrite Tickets
Wednesday 10th February at 12noon – Eventbrite Tickets

PLASTIC Guided Tours & Zine Making – Second Level

Teachers, book ahead for March guided online tours of PLASTIC. You can avail of two options, the tour & zine-making session as three sessions, over three weeks, or a once-off tour. The gallery is open to matching your class schedule so simply email Aoife Ruane,

PLASTIC A Giant Leap – Dynamic Workshop for Young People

Hosted by artists Heather Griffin & Patrick Mulvihill, A Giant Leap is a three-hour exploration workshop of Drogheda, past, and present, to co-create a future scenario based around the materiality of plastic in partnership with Science Gallery Dublin and Highlanes Gallery.

Dates and Times:

Tuesday 23rd February at 12noon – Eventbrite Tickets

A Giant Leap – Destiny Corp Promo

  • Date: 29 Jan 2021 - 29 May 2021
  • Artist(s):Patrick Mulvihill, Heather Griffin and Ciarán Bonner