The Quickening by Deirdre O’Mahony
Screening & Conversation

  • Arrow Wednesday 24th April 2024
Book your ticket here

Hosted and supported by Butler Gallery as part of the Walls and Halls Tour.

Please note the venue for this screening is the Powerhouse, Callan.

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

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 writer and academic Patrick Doyle to The Powerhouse to respond to The Quickening. His discussion of the film will be informed by research for his book, Civilising Rural Ireland: The co-operative movement, development and the nation-state, which explores the history of the co-operative and the role played by farmers in shaping everyday life across rural communities. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Quickening is presented at six rural locations, including The Powerhouse, 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.

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.”

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.

Deirdre O’Mahony was Butler Gallery's commissioned artist for The Soil Project in 2022. Learn more here.

Deirdre O'Mahony The Quickening Venues
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