Sustainment Experiments

2020 - 2024

Sustainment Experiments is a new 5 year artwork and public engagement project that considers our actions as we face ecological and climate crises; reaching a desired future means adapting habits, routines and attitudes now. Humanity’s approach has so far been about moving forward- faster, harder and better- rather than sustainability. Projects already in train include The PLOT at VISUAL Carlow, The PLOT 11 Gangwon Triennale 2021 Korea, and a dinner service in progress made at Fire Station Artist’s Studios through their 2021 Sculpture Workshop Award. Further research is currently underway with farmers in the Kilkenny, Carlow, Tipperary and Wexford regions and starting with scientists at the Earth Institute at UCD as Parity Studios artist-in-residence 2021/22.

In 2022, three feasts will bring together farmers, cultural producers, scientists and policymakers. Deirdre will collaborate with chefs in each location, using the affective power of the meal to encourage participants to think beyond fixed, habitual positions and collectively share knowledge and experience to address the question of sustainable food production. Meals will take place at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, the Butler Gallery Kilkenny and in Dublin. The feasts draw on the actions of 18th-century French scientist Antoine Augustin Parmentier who held a potato dinner designed to change public perceptions of food in France.

This research is generously supported by Kilkenny Arts Office 2020, a Visual Arts Bursary (2021) The Arts Council of Ireland, the a UCD Parity Studios Earth Institute residency 2021 – 2022 and 2021 Fire Station Artists’ Studios Sculpture Award