Deirdre O'Mahony Biography

Deirdre O’Mahony is a visual artist whose practice is informed by a deep interest in rural sustainability, farming, food security and rural/urban relationships. For more than two decades she has investigated the political ecology of rural places through public engagement, archival and moving image installation, critical writing and cultural production.

Forthcoming projects include POST_  a commissioned audio work for Saolta Galway Hospital Arts Trust and Galway 2020, FOREST CULTURE for Lismore Castle Arts’ A Space for Lismore, a book on the SPUD project and an Asketon Contemporary Arts publication, UNTITLED, all in 2020.

Previous projects include “X-PO”, a former rural post-office revived as a social and cultural exchange space that has since been recognised as an exceptional socially-engaged artwork. SPUD a project on food security, seed sovereignty and mêtis, tacit knowledge, concluded with The Persistent Return a moving image installation at VISUAL Carlow and exhibited with an archive and film installation Trial+Error, in the Natuurmuseum Fryslan, for the EU Capital Culture Leeuwarden (2018). She produced and curated a Horizon 2020 project, CERERE for Teagasc, the Irish agricultural research agency in 2018 and in 2017 made  Groundworks for Grasslands, as part of Aarhus ECOC.

Selected residencies include the Kilkenny Arts office residency award at the Irish Cultural Centre, Paris (2020); research award from Leitrim Sculpture Centre (2019). She produced a film, Speculative Optimism from research conducted on the inaugural Wellcome Trust foundation residency at the Museum of English Rural Life (2017) later exhibited at Galway International Art Festival (2018). In 2016 she was part of Grizedale Arts' A Fair Land residency at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Fingal Arts Office's Resort Residency. Askeaton Contemporary Arts Welcome to the Neighbourhood international residency and Workhouse Union Callan Residency were both completed in 2015.

Awards and fellowships include the Irish American Cultural Institute O’Malley Award (2018), Arts Council bursaries (2018, 2010, 2006, 2001, 1997) project and travel awards, and an international Pollock-Krasner Award (1996).

Deirdre was born in Ireland and attended St Martins School of Art, London (BA), the Crawford College Cork (MA) and the University of Brighton (PhD). She was a lecturer in contemporary art at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (1999 – 2018) and lived and worked in Clare until 2017. She has published and been written about extensively and is now based in Callan, County Kilkenny.