‘Smithfield Utah’

by Alan Butler

Image: Smithfield Utah © Alan Butler
Watch this series of short videos by Alan Butler about the conception, design, production and installation of 'Smithfield Utah'.

In October 2021, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland unveiled ‘Smithfield Utah’ by Alan Butler. The sculpture, is a large bronze teapot with an obvious connection to Irish culture across generations. As a general symbol of warmth and connection, this teapot sculpture is designed as a journey marker for passers-by and a meeting place that references the rich history of congregation and trade at the Smithfield marketplace. 

But this is not just any teapot - it is a ‘Utah Teapot’. The ‘Utah Teapot’ is an iconic virtual teapot form, created by mathematician Martin Newell in 1975. Newell’s Utah Teapot was a page of computer code describing, numerically, this most common three dimensional object. The code was used to create and test 3D computer graphics and is an important milestone in the development of 3D computer graphics and software used by designers, architects, artists and engineers working in the Smithfield area and across the world.

Alan Butler is an artist living and working in Dublin. Educated at NCAD, Dublin and LaSalle College of the Arts, Singapore, he works across a range of media to primarily explore digital cultures and video games. His work has been exhibited widely in museums, galleries and arts festivals around the world, and is part of many collections, including The Irish Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Ireland, and the Arts Council of Ireland. He is part of the multi-disciplinary collective Annex, that represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2021. alanbutler.info

For more information about the commission and the commissioning process:


And local engagement activities: