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Art installation made from used coffee pods — Crown

Made from used coffee pods, the art installation “Crown” brings hundreds of years of Lithuanian history closer to the current trends and daily habits of a modern person.

The idea came to me while looking at the shiny, beautifully colored aluminum pods that reminded me of the dazzle of precious metals. Unfortunately, these pods are single-use, so I wanted to give them a more profound meaning by creating a long-lasting installation. And if the shiny metal hinted to me that this work of art should look luxuriously, the final idea came from the Centennial of the Restored State of Lithuania, which was celebrated widely in 2018.

Even though we only had one king in Lithuanian history, there were more candidates. Vytautas was among them; however, his crowning was obstructed by a stolen crown. I decided to use the measurements of that particular crown to create the prototype for my project – even though the historians cannot be entirely sure, most of them believe that the crown is real and is exactly the one that was stolen.

Design of the coffee pods art installation

The installation “Crown” has a 2 meter diameter and is almost 2 meter tall, and creating it took me roughly a month. For the base of the crown, I used a composite plate. On top of it, I later composed 1898 used coffee pods, provided to me by “Nespresso” coffee boutique. Deep, rich, and metallic colors of the pods allowed me to recreate the impression of gemstones easily – the blue, of course, symbolizes sapphire, orange could represent amber (although we don’t know if Vytautas’ crown had any of it), green is for emerald and red for ruby.

This impressively sized installation was first exhibited at an event on a theater stage. Spectacular lighting made the “Crown” look even more opulent while simultaneously representing the great history of Lithuania.

The objective of my art installations

Trying to look at our daily consumption habits from a different angle frequently appears in my art, for which I often use secondary materials that would otherwise end up in the trash. However, I don’t think that we should try changing habits by scaring others – I believe that a visually appealing, aesthetically pleasing presentation can make an even bigger impact, encourage thinking more about consumption, and become more conscious and considerate.

I have been making art from secondary materials for a decade now, and every time I receive a new one, I look for ways to present it from an unexpected angle. Usually, I lean towards modern, contemporary art, but it was extremely interesting to go deeper into an unusual historical topic, research the situation, and look for sources. It is also interesting that my art is often dominated by feminine topics, portraits, and silhouettes, while this time, I went for a crown – a proof of authority of a male king. However, soft, round shapes of the installation, bright colors and gemstones, to me, are just as feminine, so I believe that the “Crown” encompasses not only history and modern times, but also femininity and masculinity.