The SPUD Learning Space was part of a group exhibition Common Ground by artists who were part of the Ground Up Artist Collective – an ad hoc group that emerged from the Ground Up series of temporary commissioned artworks for Clare County Council and was a presentation of research into investigated forms of potato cultivation.
The installation on display resembled an ‘educational shrine’. Copies of whitewashed pages from literature on the potato, tacked up on the walls, accommodated drawings. The drawings illustrated in minute detail how to grow and harvest potatoes – resembling encyclopedic excerpts. A bookshelf with various books on the potato outlined the vegetable’s historical relevance. This project was developed in conjunction with local farmers who have farmed using traditional methods. A rhythmic accompanying soundscape conjured up images of labourers digging. This project had artistic, social and even economic merit. O’Mahony’s SPUD emphasises the value of generations of knowledge versus modernisation, as global resources are coming under severe pressure.
Roisin Russell Visual Artists Newsletter Critique Suppliment, Jan Feb. 2014.