Deirdre O’Mahony

The central aim of my practice is to reflect and acknowledge the complexity of ecological dimensions; social, psychological, economic and natural, affecting place, space and landscape in the West of Ireland. The research has focused on the underlying subjectivities governing polarised perspectives on place, space and landscape and to make visible some of the reasons behind recurring conflicts about land use and regulation.

Viscqueux/Surfacing Is a body of paintings, photographs and material objects that reflect upon natural resource management and water quality of the karst landscape of Burren in the West of Ireland. A public art project, Cross Land, explores the consequences of changes in landscape regulation, farming practices and the rapid spread of Hazel scrub in the region. The work takes the form of a coppiced ‘X’, cut by hand from the scrub and documented using Kite Aerial Photography. This process led to questions about how best to effectively engage different stakeholders in an extended process of collective, and potentially agonistic, reflection on a sustainable future. The former post-office in Kilnaboy, North Clare provided a location for this enquiry. Reopened and reframed as a intersticial space, it became a locus for a collective re-examination and articulation of place-based knowledge. These projects were undertaken for my doctoral research titled New Ecologies Between Rural Life and Visual Culture in the West of Ireland: History, Context, Position and Practice at the University of Brighton.

A new work, Abridged 0 – 20: Abandoned Clare was completed in 2011. This project documented contemporary rural abandonment through a visual exploration of the recent economic and social changes in County Clare and was curated by Gregory McCartney


  • 2005 –
    • PhD (Part-Time), Faculty Of Arts, the University Of Brighton.
  • 2003 – 5
    • MA Fine Art Crawford College, Cork, Ireland.
  • 1976 – 9
    • BA (Hons) – St Martins School of Art, London, UK.

Current Teaching

Lecturer in Painting, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland.

Current Research

Thought Dwellings Time and Space in Painting, Photography and Video (PhD Study)
Dialogue in Place II – beyond medium specificity, Exhibition project with Joyce Lyon (University of Minnesota)
European Identities, Touring Group exhibition of European women artists, Exhibitions in Germany, Poland, Spain, Italy.

Published Works And Conference Presentations

  • 2011
    • Family and Community: (Re)Telling Our Own Story, Paper Co-Written with Dr Anne Byrne (NUIG) for Family Relations Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies. SAGE, 2011.
    • Conference presentation Cultivating Relations: Reconnecting Culture and Agriculture in Rural Ireland. Applied Rural Research (ARR) working group, 24th European Society of Rural Sociology Congress, Chania, Greece.
    • New Ecologies Between Rural Life and Visual Culture in the West of Ireland: History, Context, Position, and Art Practice.
      Conference presentation for Public Art Dialogue session From the Ground Up: Public Art and Community, for the College Art Association Conference New York,
  • 2009
    • Ecology of Art in Everyday Life, Public Participative Art Practices, International symposium, KUVA, the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, with Jay Koh, Grant Kester, Ray Langenbach, Anne Douglas and Chris Freemantle.
    • The X-PO: Being Singular Plural. Irish Rural Studies Symposium, Teagasc, Athenry.
    • Towards a new Ecology between Rural Life and Visual Culture in the West of Ireland. Paper presented at the CampusEngage Conference Croke Park Dublin.
  • 2006
    • Re-negotiating Relationships – Public Artworks in the Rural Sphere. Joint presentation with Fiona Woods Shifting Ground Conference.
    • The Trouble with Beauty; Ethics, Aesthetics and Ecology and the landscape of the West of Ireland. Shifting Ground Seminar, also published by VAI Newsletter July/August 2006
  • 2005
    • Davis, Tim, John Langan, Anne Mulrooney and Deirdre O’Mahony. Love It or Leave It. Another Monumental Metaphor, Edited/Curated Alan Phelan for 51st Venice Biennale.
    • Printed Project: Issue 5, Sculptors Society of Ireland/Visual Artists Ireland, 2005.

Awards (selected):

  • 2011
    • Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíonn. Project Funding for Abridged 0 – 20: Abandoned Clare.
    • University of Brighton Faculty of Arts and Architecture CRD Student Support Award.
  • 2010
    • Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíonn. Visual Arts Bursary.
    • University of Brighton Faculty of Arts and Architecture CRD Student Support Award.
  • 2007
    • Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíonn. Project Funding €22,000 for X-PO.
    • University of Brighton Faculty of Arts and Architecture CRD Student Support Award.
    • Grizedale Arts Collaborative Research Residency, Grizedale, Cumbria UK.
    • University of Brighton Faculty of Arts and Architecture CRD Student Support Award.
  • 2006
    • The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíonn Professional Development and Training Bursary.
    • Public Art Commission for Ground Up 2, Cross Land, Clare County Council/the Arts Council/.
  • 2005
    • Clare County Council, Residency Award Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ireland.
  • 2001
    • Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíonn, Ireland, Visual Arts Bursary.
    • The Great Book, Residency Visual Research Centre, Dundee Contemporary Arts Scotland.
    • The Cultural Relations Committee, Dept. of Foreign Affairs, Ireland.
    • The Humanities Institute, Fairfield University, USA.
    • Ballinglen Art Foundation, Fellowship, Ireland.
  • 2000
    • Clare County Council, Visual Arts Award, Ireland
    • Ballinglen Arts Foundation Fellowship, Ireland
  • 1999
    • Arts Council /An Chomhairle Ealaíonn Arts Flight Ireland.
  • 1997
    • The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíonn, Visual Arts Bursary, Ireland.
    • Cultural Relations Committee, Dept of Foreign Affairs, Ireland.
    • Arts Council /An Chomhairle Ealaíonn Arts Flight. Ireland.
  • 1996
    • Fellowship Award, Pollock-Krasner Foundation Inc. USA.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2011
    • Abridged 0 – 20: Abandoned Clare, Curated by Gregory McCartney, X-PO Co Clare.
  • 2009
    • Re-presentations, Burren Collage of Art Gallery, Ireland.
    • Local News. Siamsa Tíre Gallery, Tralee, Co Kerry, Ireland.*
  • 2008
    • X-PO Public Art Project Kilnaboy Co Clare Ireland.*
  • 2007
    • Cross Land Public Art Commission Co Clare Ireland.*
  • 2006
    • ViISQUEUX Site-specific installation Galway Arts Festival.
  • 2004
    • BLOOM Tulca Visual Arts Festival, Galway.
  • 2002
    • WALL Limerick City Gallery of Art*
  • 2001
    • WALL installation, Context Gallery N. Ireland.*
    • WRAP Lukacs Gallery, Fairfield University, CT., USA.*
  • 2000
    • WRAP Galway Arts Centre, Ireland.
  • 1997
    • ERRATICS, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick, Context Gallery, Derry, Model Arts Centre, Sligo.
  • 1996
    • ERRATICS Guinness Hopstore Dublin.

Selected Group Exhibitions

Individual / two person

  • 2010
    • CRDS Curated by Helen Carey, RDS Dublin.
  • 2009
    • Ballinglen to Cork Selected Works from the Ballinglen Fellowship Artists, Lavitt Gallery Cork.*
  • 2008
    • 10,000 to 50. Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin.*
  • 2007
    • Not What You’d Expect; Irish Painting 1919 – 2007. Courthouse Gallery, Co Clare*
  • 2005
    • EV+A 05 Curated by Dan Cameron LCGA, Limerick.*
  • 2003
    • Eire/Land, The McMullen Museum, Boston College, USA.*
    • An Leabhar Mór/The Great Book Glasgow Museum of modern Art.*
  • 2000
    • Kingdom of Heaven Selections from the collection of LCGA, RHA Gallagher Gallery, Dublin, Ireland.*
    • EV+A (Reduced) Curated by Jeanne Rohatyn Greenberg. LCGA, Limerick, Ireland.*
    • Norgespakker 10 Kg. Galleri III, Oslo, Norway.

*denotes publication.

Deirdre O’Mahony
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