Artwork: Renaissance of lreland’s heritage cereals
Led by Aine Macken-Walsh, the lrish partner in CERERE is the Rural Economy Development Programme (REDP) of Teagasc, lreland’s Agriculture and Food Development Authority. A central mission of Teagasc in CERERE is to broker innovation between diverse actors in how the renaissance of lreland’s heritage cereals is imagined and practiced.
In this context, artistic praxis is envisioned as a powerful tool in opening up CERERE to society. Teagasc has commissioned a public art project by Deirdre O’Mahony (2018-2019) and joins with The Domestic Godless for Tulca’s Syntonic State, 2018.
The CERERE Mind Meitheal assembled by artist/producer Deirdre O’Mahony, is a collective gathering of agronomists, farmers, social scientists, policy makers, heritage NGO representatives, historians, chefs, food processors, and artists. With members chosen from an interrogative process employed by O’Mahony among people passionate about heritage cereals, the Mind Meitheal approach serves to amplify the inspiration provided by The Domestic Godless during Tulca’s Syntonic State visual art festival, generating new, cross-sectoral imaginings for heritage cereals renaissance.
Responding to the need for space for farmers, scientists, food producers and others to exchange knowledge and information on heritage cereals, Deirdre O’Mahony realised two Mind Meitheal public engagement events.
With assistance from Fingal Public Art Office, the first Mind Meithea was held in a field in Portrane, Fingal, later sown with Einkorn and Emmer wheat.
The second Mind Meitheal was held in tandem with The Domestic Godless’ feast curated by Linda Shevlin for Tulca Visual Art Festival in 2018.
A short film was also made with farmer Kate Carmody on her farm in North Kerry.
A CERERE artwork by Sadhbh Gaston has also been commissioned. Grain 1 – 5 makes use of cross stitch to produce pixelated images of lrish landrace and heritage cereal seeds, varieties that until recently were considered irrelevant to modern farming. Each embroidered work is accompanied by a text that tells the story of the specific seed in relation to CERERE in lreland.