"One day I was showing the sea to a girl who was seeing it for the first time;

she declared that she thought a field of potatoes was a far more impressive sight."

Francis Picabia, Yes No: Poems and Sayings, translated by Remy Hal,l Hanuman Book #39 2001

Poster image

Blue Danube  Photograph Deirdre O'Mahony, 2014

Research for SPUD began in 2009 beginning a process of enquiry that led to collaborative projects, commissioned artworks, events and installations in Ireland, Europe and north Africa from 2011- 15. A film, The Persistent Return marks the concluding phase of the project and will tour in 2018 starting at Visual Carlow.

SPUD is a multifaceted public art project that has emerged through artistic research and collaborative processes to produce space for a public discourse on food production and climate change.  Three issues are reflexively considered through the lens of SPUD: Unconscious attitudes towards rurality, the land, identity and otherness in Ireland; the relevance and use-value of tacit agricultural knowledge to food production today and the potato’s importance to global food security in the face of climate change.  By making use of the potato to map controversies around these threads, SPUD points to the complex history and legacy of the potato both in Ireland and within the economic and political dynamics of global food production today. This cartographic process is particularly relevant given the history of the Famine in Ireland.


To view projects please click the links below:

Research residency with  Callan Workhouse Union  and a film project,The Persistent Return, commissioned for the Callan Workhouse Guild and supported with a project award from the Arts Council 2016.


A Village Plot Irish Museum of Modern Art, part of Grizedale Arts' A Fair Land Residency Programme;


Potato/Batata: A Pan-Atlantic Parmentier Exchange with artist Frances Whitehead.


SPUD X-PO with artist Frances Whitehead.


SPUD: London with artist Nadege Meriau


X-SPUD at the national Irish Famine Museum curated by Linda Shevlin.


SPUD Learning Space Occupy Space, Limerick


Exhibition and food event in SPUD Morocco with the Anna Lindh Foundation nominated by EVA International.


Research residency with Jiwar Creation and Society Barcelona.


X-PO SPUD Pamphlet and Potato Cakes part of Grizedale Arts' Coliseum of the Consumed project for Frieze Artfair 2012


Dromoher, Kilnaboy, Co. Clare, Ireland