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Deirdre O’Mahony’s A Village Plot was installed in IMMA from March – July 2016. It was marked with two short talks on the intersections between art, communities, agriculture, rural public spheres and the economy. Exploring the multiple ways artists work and challenging cultural attitudes to what art is, participants invite you to experience a hands on approach to making ‘art useful’.

Moderated by Adam Sutherland, Director, Grizedale Arts, speakers include; Benoit Antille (Creative Village, Switzerland)and Deirdre O’ Mahony (A Village Plot).

This once-off gathering of artists and cultural practitioners showcase the humble pleasures of sustainable foods and urban gardening, as it relates to A Fair Land project and IMMA’s residency programme.

Participants (in order of speaking)

Adam Sutherland is currently the director of Grizedale arts a public art agency in the Lake District of England. Trained as an artist with an early career being principally working with communities and collectives before moving into more formally constituted organisations as creative and executive director his work has always been centred on the use of creativity in everyday life, problem solving and enhancement of the day to day.

Benoit Antille is a researcher at the Cantonal School of Art of Valais, Switzerland and project manager of ‘Creative Village’. This is a pilot arts programme supported by the Cantonal School of Art and is based in the ancient church of Leytron but operating throughout the territory of the municipality. The artistic programme includes an artists’ residence, round tables, workshops, exhibitions, projects in the public sphere, and even a newspaper.

Deirdre O’Mahony is an artist, academic and lecturer at the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, GMIT, Galway. She completed a PhD through practice-based research in 2012 and her research is focused on the relationship between politics, ecology and activism within the rural public sphere.

This talk took place on 28 July at IMMA.

Image credit: A Village Plot, part of SPUD project research by Deirdre O’Mahony, IMMA and Grizedale Arts residency programme. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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