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Karla Sánchez Zepeda
Deirdre O'Mahony "The Quickening"

Walls & Halls Tour

The Quickening by Deirdre O’Mahony

Screening & Conversation

Saturday 4 May 2024, 11am-12.30pm

Join us for a special screening of The Quickening, a powerful new artwork by ground-breaking 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 “Farming for Nature” Ambassador Suzanna Crampton to Blackbird Cultur-Lab to respond to The Quickening in relation to regenerative farming, the importance of dung beetles, amongst other soil creatures, and what makes a healthy soil ecological soil biome. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Quickening is presented at six rural locations, including Blackbird Cultur-Lab, 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.

All are welcome to this free event, but booking is required thequickeningatblackbirdeventbrite.

Hosted by Karla Sánchez & Oisín O’Connell and supported by Wexford Arts Centre.

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.




Photo credit: Deirdre O’Mahony, The Quickening (Production Still), 2024. Commissioned by The Douglas Hyde Gallery of Contemporary Art, Dublin. Photography: Tom Flanagan.

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