Click Here for 2019 CV
The parades may be cancelled but St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been the time to start planting potatoes. What better way to alleviate the anxiety and stress of this moment than to grow your own food. Here are some ways of growing potatoes. If you have seed potatoes great, if not, don't let it put you off trying - most potatoes will sprout and produce a crop.
There are several ways they can be grown depending on space. If you have a garden here is an animation by Cian Brennan produced for SPUD Morocco on how to make a lazy bed, a great way to convert lawns into vegetable plots. Once the potatoes are established they keep down weeds and clear the ground ready for planting with winter greens once harvested.
To download a pamphlet on ways of growing potatoes in Lazy Beds or ridges and how to store see HOW TO GROW POTATOES PAMPHLET Pdf
If space is limited containers are easy - anything that holds soil, from shopping bags to large white containers can be used. Container Planting Pdf.
A potato crop takes between 90 - 120 days from planting, depending on the weather
POST_ is a newly commissioned audio-based artwork designed to allow patients and the wider public to imaginatively travel to familiar parts of the West of Ireland. Using a scripted voiceover and ambient recordings from regions served by the Saolta University Health Care Group, POST_ evokes the particular character of the West of Ireland and interior associations with place, memory and home. Its seven ‘chapters’ are inspired by objects found in a former post office which the artist re-opened as a public art project in Killinaboy, County Clare. The former postmaster's books, essays, photographs and language tapes serve as prompts to immerse the listener in the social, cultural, and natural sound of a year’s turning.
The artwork will be launched and available online from July 2nd 2020.
X-PO 2017 photograph Deirdre O'Mahony
X-PO started life in 2007 as a public art project in the former post office in Killinaboy, County Clare. It was initiated by Deirdre O’Mahony as a social, cultural and community exchange where different forms of knowledge - farming, artistic, local, place-based - could make unexpected creative connections. In the first year working with different groups and individuals the artist collaborated on a series of archival exhibitions that reflected different aspects of rural life today. Beginning at the most local level X-PO showed how collaborative exhibition-making can give a voice to, and make visible often disregarded, tacit, local knowledge. The Mattie Rynne Archive, Rinnamona Research Group, Killinaboy Mapping Group and the The Peter Rees Archive all took place in the first year of the project. Subsequent exhibitions include Wise Ways Kilnaboy, Penning the Mart by Megs Morley, Senan Kileen's An Clochán and Deirdre’s SPUD and Abandoned Clare projects. It is tempting to include former postmaster Mattie Rynne as a co-collaborator in this process; the archive of his belongings exhibited at f X-PO signposted a way of being-together that, like the post office building, faces both inwards and outwards, looking at the local and the global.
Since 2008 X-PO has been run by a team who have further developed, funded and managed the project. There are weekly clubs in singing, mapping and Irish, regular talks on local history and archaeology as well as film screenings and occasional exhibitions. Drawing from a broad constituency, X-PO lays no claim to be representative - it is rather the act of participation that is at the core of the project, providing a public space in which to discuss, agree, disagree, and challenge the changes underway in what are increasingly socially fragmented, rural communities. It has been a catalyst for further projects by O'Mahony such as First Citizens Speak a film about North Clare residents who grew up as the first citizens of the Irish State, and the home for weekly gatherings by the Kilnaboy Mapping group who have named the occupants of the houses of Killinaboy Parish going back to the earliest records and traced the roads, bothereens and paths, many of which have long fallen into disuse. The project has since been recognised as an important socially-engaged artwork and named as the artwork for 2007 in the RIA/Irish Times centenary publication Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks. X-PO remains open and running from the end of September to June every year.
In 2019, X-PO took a new turn. A public art project, Folk Radio, an artist-led radio station based at X-PO was commissioned through Clare County Council’s Gaining Ground programme. Led by artist Tom Flanagan and curated by Anne Mullee with curatorial advisor Deirdre O'Mahony, individuals and groups are making sound recordings, audio works and programmes exploring the hinterlands of North Clare. Tom has recorded interviews with people who have been active at X-PO over the past decade, and podcasts of these and further original sound works will be added to the Folk Radio website. Folk Radio will go live with analogue FM radio broadcasts in February 2020 over a set period of 14 days. To celebrate the launch of the station, a live broadcast event will be hosted by Folk Radio at X-PO, inviting local artists, community groups, politicians and policy makers to a series of talks and a discussion forum on the potential of radio and creative practices, and the challenges of rural life in North Clare. Here is a link to Deirdre's interview with Tom Flanagan for Folk Radio.
Rinnamona Research Group at X-PO. Left to Right: Sean Roach, Mary Moroney, Deirdre O'Mahony, Francis Whelan, Anne Byrne absent John Ruane. Photograph Ben Geoghegan 2008.
A Space for Lismore. St. Carthage Hall 2020
The Forest Culture: Tangeled Web exhibition at St Carthage Hall in early March 2020 was the culmination of four months of research and engagement by participants with the complex woodland ecology of forests in and around Lismore.
OverWinter 2019 and Spring 2020 Deirdre engaged with different groups and individuals through a series of talks, walks and workshops. The walks were led by different foresters and a naturalist, reflecting on different approaches to managing forestry highlighting different perspectives and opinions on the role and importance of forests to human and non-human health, natural biodiversity and the economic future of the region. On the investigative walks participants engaged in a deep mapping of the plant life, animals, insect life, flora and fungi. This, in turn, fed into workshops on botanical drawing and other ways of recording the forest ecosystem.
The group met weekly producing a large map, A Model Forest, as a way of capturing their hopes for forestry in the area for the future. Individual interests - the forest floor, bat colonies, prehistoric natural forest traces, forest policy research, visual notebooks and material responses in clay can be seen in the different works produced for the exhibition.
Thanks to all who participated in workshops, Andrew Boyle artist, and foresters Tom Kent, Paddy Dwan, Ray Foley and Padraig O’Tuama who led the walks.
Sadhbh Gaston TGC 101 Rye, Embroidered cross stitch on linen (detail) 2018.
Responding to the need for space for farmers, scientists, food producers and others to exchange knowledge and information on heritage cereals, Deirdre produced a project for Teagasc Ireland’s Agricultural Research Agency, devising two Mind Meitheal public engagement events. With assistance from Fingal Public Art Office, the first was held in a field in Portrane, Fingal, later sown with Einkorn and Emmer wheat. The second Mind Meitheal was held in tandem with The Domestic Godless' feast curated by Linda Shevlin for Tulca Visual Art Festival in 2018.
A pamphlet including a Social Network Analysis diagram was especially designed for this event and different perspectives on heritage cereal production were shared. Sadhbh Gaston’s commissioned work, Grain 1 – 5 was commissioned for the project and exhibited during Tulca, referencing heritage and forms of knowledge considered obsolete through her use of labour- intensive embroidery techniques accompanied by text panels detailing the seed’s cultivation and relevance in Ireland today.
Download project description HERE
CERERE Pamphlet designed by Kaye Toland Download HERE
Mind Meitheal in Fingal September 2018 Photograph Tom Flannagan courtesy of Teagasc
Supported by the Irish Partner in CERERE, Teagasc Rural Economy Development Programme, led by Dr. Áine Macken-Walsh. Funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program under Grant Agreement n° 727848
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
Deirdre O’Mahony began the SPUD project in 2009, initiating a research process that led to collaborative projects, commissioned artworks, events and installations in Ireland, Europe and the USA from 2011- 19. A publication on the project with texts by Catherine Marshall, Sinead Phelan and Deirdre O'Mahony will be published in 2020.
The potato is a potent image to evoke in relation to food and food security in Ireland, exposing, as it does, conscious and unconscious attitudes to land and alterity within and beyond the nation state. SPUD was initiated in order to present a more nuanced understanding of the potato’s role in Irish culture, in relation to food security and globalised food production. SPUD research follows four strands; indicating unconscious attitudes towards rurality, the land, identity and otherness in Ireland; re-imagining the relevance and use-value of tacit agricultural knowledge to food production today; tracing the potatoes’ importance to global food security; reflecting on new seed developments, seed diversity, seed sovereignty and cultural rights. By looking back to the Irish Famine, further back to the colonial violence that brought the potato to Europe, and connecting it to migration, famine and food security today, SPUD makes use of the potato to map controversies around these threads, providing an understandable and accessible entry point for a public discourse on sustainability, food security and tacit cultivation knowledge.
Trial + Error Exhibition and archival installation.
The Persistent Return supported with a project award from the Arts Council exhibited Ireland and the Netherlands 2018
X-PO SPUD Pamphlet and Potato Cakes Grizedale Arts' Coliseum of the Consumed project for Frieze Artfair 2012
SPUD: London with artist Nadege Meriau
SPUD X: Irish National Irish Famine Museum. Curated Linda Shevlin.
SPUD Workhouse Union: Research residency and project Curated By Hollie Kears and Rosie Lynch, Workhouse Union.
A Village Plot Irish Museum of Modern Art, part of the Grizedale Arts A Fair Land Residency Programme;
Potato/Batata: A Pan-Atlantic Parmentier Exchange with artist Frances Whitehead.
SPUD Morocco Exhibition and food event with the Anna Lindh Foundation nominated by EVA International.
SPUD Jiwar Research residency with Jiwar Creation and Society Barcelona.
SPUD Learning Space Occupy Space, Limerick.
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