Did you, like me spend a sizeable chunk of your childhood hours creating cardboard houses and forts with drawbridges and windows for your private army of little green plastic soldiers or maybe just for yourself, all stuck together with huge amounts of Sellotape? It made for many a happy childhood. Well the chances are that those cardboard boxes were manufactured by an Irish company – Jefferson Smurfit. They have since merged with a Dutch company to become Smurfit Kappa.
Sales of approximately €8.1 billion
I got to spend some time out at their offices in Clonskeagh, Dublin photographing some of their extremely affable senior management team. Gary McGann has since announced his retirement as chief executive and is said to be interested in taking up a role at Paddy Power. Tony Smurfit is taking over the reins of the company that his grandfather started from scratch in the 1930’s. You can read an interview with his father, Michael Smurfit on the growth and progress of their operations here. The company has sales of approximately €8.1 billion, employs over 44,000 people in 33 countries and makes every possible kind of cardboard packaging – products that we handle every day. The strikingly impressive modernist building has recently had an interior makeover giving an instant feel of airy openness. At a glance it looks a little like Darth Vader’s helmet – in white. The portraits were done over 2 days and I have used relatively straightforward lighting throughout. There were 4 lights used for the formal portraits of Tony Smurfit, and just one for the at-the-desk shots. Ian Curley’s portrait involved two lights, one of which was rotated for the window shot to provide some fill.
Funnily enough Smurfit Kappa sponsor a Caine’s Arcade inspired project through the Irish Youth Foundation.
Tony Smurfit, Gary McCann, Ian Curley, Smurfit Kappa