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In The Open | Christine Mackey

Christine Mackey’s studio is based at the Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Ireland, Mackey graduated in 2012 with a PhD from the University of Ulster, Belfast and is currently a Fulbright Research Scholars Awardee (2017-2018) at the University of New Mexico. Participant on diverse international residency programmes including: MERL, ‘Livestock’ funded by the Wellcome Trust, University of Reading; Common Ground + Woodlands Trust, England; The Observatory, SPUD ArtsSway (2017); As Above So Below, ACA Allenheads/MigAA, Berlin (2016); Delfina Foundation, London; Agora Collective, Berlin and Utopiana Genève, Switzerland (2015). Recent solo exhibitions include Silent Needles Speaking Flowers, The Observatory, England (2017), Provisional AC Institute, New York (2015) and Seed Matter, Limerick City Gallery of Art (2013). She is a recipient of bursary awards from The Arts Council of Ireland (2013/12/10/08/07) and Culture Ireland (2015/14/09). Her work is held in a number of public institutions and collections in Ireland.

Christine Mackey’s practice investigates the historical, political and biodynamical and economic ecologies of plant life through the subject of the seed. Meticulously researched, her work pursues a narrative structure assembled from key research material, sites of interest and public participation.

Seed Matter produced by Christine Mackey utilizes the ‘historical pamphlet ’as the basis for the design and content of this work due to its association with ‘rogue literature’ considered as an alternative space for public debate, which Latour has as referred to as ‘voices of the collective’. In taking up these ideas, Mackey assembles a wide range of responses and engagements from people concerned with current debates on foods sovereignty, seed culture, land use and community gardening.  Development of the work stemmed from recorded conversations and interviews, photographic reportage, international and national archival research that included a research visit to the Svaldbard Seed Bank.

Contributions include: Roland von Bothmer - Svaldbard Global Seed Vault; Sarah Kleeger & Andrew Still - The Seed Ambassadors; Madeline McKeever - Brown Envelope Seed; Sanaa Abdul Wahab Al Sheick - Iraqi Gene Bank; Kate Corder - Artist & Allotment holder; Betty Geelan & Maureen Harrison; Dr. Vandana Shiva – NAVDANYA; Kultivator Artists and Farmers; Kerr Pink; Fidelma Mullane - Cultural Geographer; Mitch Dunne - Transition Town Group, Leitrim, Cluainin Garden Allotment Holders and Dr. Ollie Moore.