Deirdre O’Mahony: Sustainment Experiments
Opening Event: Saturday 15 October, 4 – 5pm • Curated by Hollie Kearns
Sustainment Experiments is an exhibition and public engagement project at Butler Gallery that responds to the urgent need for a multidisciplinary approach to food production, farming and climate crisis. The exhibition takes place in the aftermath of a feast for an invited audience of farmers, scientists and policymakers which takes place in the gallery in early October. A handmade dinner service and provocative menu encourages diners to think about soil health and food production. The feast is modelled on an 18th century feast hosted by French scientist, Antoine Augustin Parmentier who worked to address food security and public health problems by changing public attitudes towards the potato, believed at the time to be unfit for human consumption.
The gallery will be installed with the dinner service, wall hangings by Deirdre O’Mahony, costumes made by Bog Cottage Collective, and embroidered texts by Sadhbh Gaston.
Feeder in the Learning Centre at Butler Gallery gives viewers a chance to read about soil health and food production. This exhibition is accompanied by a screening of Speculative Optimism at the Digital Gallery, a film which tells the story of sainfoin, a sustainable alternative to rye grass for animal fodder.
The exhibition is part of The Soil Project, an annual artists commission at Butler Gallery.
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.
- Gerry Kearns in conversation with Deirdre O’Mahony
14th October, 1pm
Feeder at the Learning Centre
- Deirdre O’Mahony in conversation with Suzanna Crampton
15th October, 3pm
- Sustainment Experiments Opening Event
15th October, 4-5pm
Events Schedule at Savour Kilkenny:
Saturday 29 October
- 11am: Sainfoin, A Sustainable Crop for the Future
Join artist Deirdre O’Mahony and farmer Pat Fitzgerald to discuss Sainfoin, a fodder crop with multiple benefits for ruminants and soil health.
- 12pm: Tour of Sustainment Experiments
Project curator Hollie Kearns will walk visitors through the exhibition, discussing Sustainment Experiments feast, the handmade dinner service and artworks made by Deirdre O’Mahony and The Soil Project, an annual artists commission at Butler Gallery that connects audiences to the earth beneath our feet through creative actions.
- 2pm: Chef Clare-Anne O’Keefe and artist Deirdre O’Mahony in conversation
Sustainment Experiments is a feast with a mission! Join chef Clare-Anne and artist Deirdre as they talk through a menu with dishes that reflect soil health – fungi, seaweed, ground manure crops, fermented foods, and sustainably produced beef – and which are designed to directly influence the subconscious, for diners to think towards a world shared equally by humans and more-than-humans in the not so distant future.
Sunday 30 October
- 11.30am – 12.45pm: Family Workshop Edible Soils: Sustainment Experiments at Savour Kilkenny with Chef Clare Anne O’Keefe
€15 per family Children must be supervised by an adult. Minimum recommended age 4.
This fun, interactive workshop is family friendly way to discover and taste the environment, the world around us and (kind-of) the soil beneath our feet. Housed in the wonderful environment of Butler Gallery’s The Soil Project we will mix and blend our own edible soil. Using native and non-native ingredients we will whip up a delicious, versitile powder that can be used to make pancakes, smoothies, hot drinks cake pops, chocolate truffles, yoghurt toppers and porridge. We will chat about design the perfect soil while creating a yummy Granola Dust that represents your experience of Savour Kilkenny.
- 2.30 – 4.40pm: Parmentier Cookalong: Sustainment Experiments at Savour Kilkenny with Chef Clare Anne O’Keefe
This informal workshop is a hybrid thought experiment/cooking class/ potato feast. It is lead by Food Designer and Cook Clare Anne O’Keefe who has collaborated with Artist Deirdre O’Mahony on a feast for Sustainment Experiments, an exhibition and engagement project at the Butler Gallery with artist that responds to the urgent need for a multidisciplinary approach to food production, farming, and climate crisis.