The Quickening


A new major commissioned artwork for The Douglas Hyde Gallery of Contemporary Art at The Douglas Hyde in Trinity College Dublin, opening on 29th March and running until 10th June 2024

Bringing together urgent conversations, original music and moving image, The Quickening responds to issues facing farming, food production and consumption, in the face of present ecological and climate crises. A nationwide project, the culmination of over three years of research, it opens in an ambitious exhibition at The Douglas Hyde on March 29th with a Walls & Halls Tour in community spaces and farms in Carlow, Waterford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Wicklow, and Wexford, from April 18th to May 4th 2024. More

The Quickening emerged from gathering together and conversations. O’Mahony’s ‘Sustainment Experiment’ feasts generated open and frank discussions between between farmers, scientists and politicians which transcribed, have become a libretto for this impactful new work. Voices are central. The libretto was developed by the artist and writer Joanna Walsh. The music was composed and voiced by Branwen Kavanagh, Michelle Doyle, Siobhán Kavanagh, Ultan O’ Brien and Eoghan Ó’Ceannabhan, each with a distinctive pitch, style, pace and vocabulary. Together they communicate the reality of farming life and the importance of soil to our lives; as they deliberate over sowing and harvesting, extreme weather, volatile demands of the market, food regulation, and anxious, increasingly polarised discourses around food. All the while, other voices insist on being heard; breathing animals, the movements of insect and soil creatures. The viewer is made aware of the assembled, complex and collective roots that unsettle opposition between human and more than human.

The Quickening is supported by The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon through a Project Award (2021/2023) and The Douglas Hyde.