Reflections at 150: M&E

Posted 11 months ago in More

BIMM January 2018
Bello Bar

Totally Dublin’s first issue hit the streets of our capital back in October 2004. It was a time of inflated rental prices, increasing consumer costs and erm, oh….

It was also a city with a proud creative spirit and in spite of challenges, this remains at the core of what excites us and fills these pages every month. Your passions, your projects, your hopes, your collaborations, your investigations.

Considering how best to celebrate this milestone for the publication proved quite the conundrum for as much as we like to look back, we’re also keen to move forward and not dwell upon past glories. As such we decided to dip into a few past issues and ask featured participants to revisit their associations with Totally Dublin and what’s unfolded in their lives since then.

We thank you for your support to date and sincerely hope you’ll stay pals with us as we continue to highlight the endeavours of people who brighten our days and nights.

We asked Matthew Bolger & Emelie Lidström (M&E) to illustrate our first cover of 2010 (issue #64). The couple consider that time and the intervening seven years in six paragraphs.

At the time of producing our Totally Dublin cover, we were in the process of settling into our new life in Malmö. We had been living here for just over a year, after leaving Dublin to find some new inspiration and set up M&E in the hopes of one day making it our full time job. Ireland had just entered the recession, and work was scarce.


Malmö’s low cost of living and rent allowed us to focus on M&E and gave us the time and freedom to experiment and create the visual style we have now. M&E would not have been able to endure if we had stayed in Dublin at that time. Although we both loved living in Dublin, we had to leave to be able to pursue M&E.

The photograph which makes the basis of this image, was taken beside our local supermarket. The building site is now a block of apartments. Malmö has grown so much over the last 8 years, and has transitioned from a small town to a large city. Many of our closest friends from Dublin also moved to Malmö since we’ve been here. Richie (TRM, Jape) and his wife Noomi, John (Goodtime John), Ian, Kristina and Cian. They all came here to focus on their careers, and raise families as Sweden is a good place to do both of these things. Especially the latter as there is a lot of support for new parents.

Malmö isn’t a total utopia, times were also very tough here for many years, but we never lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. A light in which we are lucky to stand now. We’ve have the opportunity to work on a lot of interesting projects since then, both cultural and commercial, and the company has been growing from year to year.


We have missed Dublin a lot but have been spending a lot of time here, especially over the last year working on a new whiskey brand from Midleton called METHOD AND MADNESS. We were given the task of designing the bottle, label, packaging and identity for this new company. It has been a great year, spending time in Dublin, and working on a project we love and which we are very proud of.

We have passed through the portal within our cover image and are now living in that valley of flowers and flamingos. Well, most days anyway.



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