SPUD began in 2009, initiating a process of research that led to the development of collaborative projects, commissioned artworks, events and installations located internationally over a decade. The project has been fuelled by collaborations and research carried out by Deirdre, with the potato as the catalyst for thinking on Irish culture, food security and globalised food production, seed diversity and sovereignty, attitudes towards rurality, identity and otherness in Ireland, it became a potent image. By looking back to the Irish Famine, further back to the colonial violence that brought the potato to Europe, and connecting it to migration, famine and food security today, SPUD makes use of the potato to map controversies around these threads through the project’s various iterations.
About the Artist
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.
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