The Quickening by Deirdre O’Mahony

Screening & Conversation

Coolydoody Farm, Ballyduff, Co. Waterford, P51 X084

19 Apr, 2024

19 Apr, 2024

Fri, 7pm to 8:30pm

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Hosted by: Clodagh & James Foley (Coolydoody Farm) and supported by Lismore Castle Arts.

Join us for a special screening of The Quickening, a new artwork by artist Deirdre O’Mahony which responds to urgent issues facing farming, food production and the environment. Developed over three years, this unique work gathers voices which together communicate the reality of farming life and the centrality of soil to human, animal and insect life.

We are delighted to welcome chef, food writer and founder of Balllymaloe Organic Farm, Darina Allen, to Coolydoody Farm for the screening. Darina will share her thoughts on what a sustainable future for farming and agriculture might look like. Many of these ideas are voiced in The Quickening, evolving from conversations at feasts held by O’Mahony in Dublin and Kilkenny. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Quickening is presented at six rural locations, including Coolydoody Farm, as part of a Walls & Halls tour. This tour sparks conversation about the local environment in recognition of the multiple voices and perspectives at play in our communities. It coincides with an ambitious exhibition at The Douglas Hyde Gallery of Contemporary Art, Trinity College, Dublin, from March 29 to June 23, 2024.

FREE but booking essential, limited places. Book Here

Deirdre O’Mahony previously worked with Lismore Castle Arts, from 2019 - 2021, engaging collaboratively with groups and individuals from across Lismore in a series of talks, walks and workshops as part of A Space for Lismore. Using St Carthage Hall as a base, the group made investigative trips to produce a deep mapping process of the complex human, natural and social ecology of the forests around the Lismore region.

The information gathered during the physical experience of the forest was further informed by discussions led by individuals with different experiences of the forest- history, commercial use, plant life, animals, insect life, flora, fungi and mushrooms.

In 2021, Deirdre further developed her research by meeting with participants to reflect on the outcomes of the project and their own research interests in relation to the process of mapping Lismore town, the rivers and surrounding forests.

More about The Quickening

Artist Deirdre O’Mahony’s The Quickening is a sound and moving image work, commissioned by The Douglas Hyde, that has emerged from a series of gatherings to talk about the issues faced in food production and farming today. O’Mahony’s Sustainment Experiments feasts held in Kilkenny and Dublin generated open and frank discussions between farmers, scientists and politicians which, transcribed, have become a libretto for this impactful new work. Developed by O’Mahony and writer Joanna Walsh, the libretto is voiced by singers and musicians, Branwen Kavanagh, Michelle Doyle, Siobhán Kavanagh, Ultan O’ Brien and Eoghan Ó Ceannabháin, each with a distinctive pitch, style and pace. This aural feast is accompanied by moving imagery captured across rural Ireland, showing varied viewpoints of the land and its many inhabitants affected by the unseasonal droughts, floods, and erosion, brought on by accelerating climate change. As O’Mahony states, “The Quickening represents a polyvocal response to the most urgent questions affecting land and its inhabitants, giving voice to the invisible protagonists that shape our earth’s future and an idea of being-in-common that encompasses all earthly inhabitants.”

More about Deirdre O’Mahony

Deirdre O’Mahony has an impressive 30-year track record in making work across sculpture, painting, installation and participatory projects. At the centre of this work is her interest in the politics of landscape, rural/urban relationships, rural sustainability and food security. She has investigated the political ecology of rural places through public engagement, exhibitions, critical writing, and cultural production. From setting up community spaces amongst a charged local conflict to her large-scale paintings produced by tracing the shadows of boulders on Mullaghmore Mountain in the Burren National Park, she deftly considers the role of art in bringing together diverse communities, forming alternate forms of knowledge, and embraces art as a critical space to help us see things differently.

Image: Deirdre O’Mahony. The Quickening, film still multispecies swards. Photograph Tom Flannagan, 2023

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