Kunstverein Aughrim is working with artist Deirdre O’Mahony throughout 2023, supporting generative events, such as Eat Food Policy: Feast, that will inform the development of new work.
O’Mahony works urgently to give voice to the invisible protagonists that shape our earth's future. From casting a series of root systems into porcelain tableware, to enacting an adaptation of Antoine-Augustin Parmentier's 18th century potato feast, O'Mahony is committed to uncovering and encouraging conversations about rural sustainability, food security, political ecologies and the future of farming. The groundwork for her major new film work The Quickening has been laid with the artist's ongoing project The Sustainment Experiments, for which she planted crops (The Plot), shared sources (FEEDER), and devised a series of feasts, among other actions.
An excerpt of the artist's expansive practice is currently on view at Kunstverein Aughrim. Eat Food Policy: Exhibition runs throughout Spring/Summer 2023 and includes the artist’s research library of over 200 publications on farming, food production, soil health and sustainability in Ireland; a single image from the 2018 photographic series Trial + Error, documenting the rise and fall of JJ Silke’s seed potato industry; and a feeding trough featuring ware from a series of generative feasts including a handcrafted ceramic table-setting for one, and performance props by Bog Cottage commissioned by the artist and worn by performers/friends Bridget O’Gorman and Etaoin Holohan.
A Summer Preview of the artist’s work will be held at Kunstverein Aughrim over the weekend of 10 & 11 June 2023.
Deirdre O’Mahony is a visual artist whose practice is informed by a deep interest in rural sustainability, farming, food security and rural/urban relationships. For more than three decades she has investigated the political ecology of rural places through public engagement, archival and moving image installation, critical writing and cultural production. Exhibitions and projects in 2022 include Model Plot for Field Exchange Creative Ireland climate call project, Feeder RHA Gallery, Dublin and Meat and Potatoes, Crawford Gallery, Cork. In 2021, her work was included in Little did they know, EVA Biennale Guest Programme curated by Merve Elvern, Cooking Channel: Critical Recipes for PhotoIreland 2021, Sustainment Experiments: The PLOT at VISUAL Carlow, and a publication, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE, with ACA Public. Other projects include X-PO, a former rural post-office in the west of Ireland revived as a social space that has since been recognised as an exceptional socially engaged artwork and SPUD 2009 – 2019, developed through collaborative public events to facilitate discourse on agricultural issues and tacit knowledge. SPUD included The Persistent Return, a moving image installation at VISUAL Carlow that toured to the European Capital of Culture Leeuwarden (2018).
Recent awards include Visual Arts Bursary (2022/2021) Arts Council of Ireland, Fire Station Artist Studios Residency and Sculpture Award (2022/2021), Kilkenny Arts Office Residency Award at Centre Culturel Irlandais (2020), the Irish American Cultural Institute O’Malley Award (2018), Wellcome Trust Livestock residency at the Museum of English Rural Life (2017) and an international Pollock-Krasner Award (1995). She has been selected for residencies at Centre Culturel Irlandais, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Museum of English Rural Life, UK, and Askeaton Contemporary Arts. Academic qualifications include a BA (Fine Art) St Martins School of Art, London (1979), MRes. Crawford College Cork, CIT, (2005) and PhD from the University of Brighton (2012).
Kunstverein Aughrim’s ongoing collaboration with Deirdre O’Mahony is made possible with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland.