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Deirdre O’Mahony and VISUAL

Sustainment Experiments: Plot

10 May - 31 December 2023

SUSTAINMENT EXPERIMENTS: PLOT looks back to a technology, the potato ridge that was born out of the need for food security in Ireland’s past, and forward to future food security, biodiversity and resilience in the face of climate change.

The ridges’ design based on the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination system. Asked ‘what is the future of sustainable food production in Ireland’ the I-Ching produced a hexagram, reproduced by members of the Loy Association of Ireland in beautiful straight, potato ridges on VISUAL’s lawn. The hexagram gave the following reading:

Modesty creates success. Balance and adjust things by cutting through pride and complication. Reduce what is overdeveloped. Don’t try to advance yourself. Beware of conceit and arrogance. Be consistent and resilient. Don’t follow policy. Do the right thing.

Once the ground is cleared of grass by the potato crop, it will be planted in Spring 2022 with Sainfoin a crop that points a way to a possible future. This animal fodder has many beneficial attributes for livestock, soil and biodiversity and was once widely used in Europe until it fell out of use with the industrialisation of agriculture. It is loved by bees who make highly prized honey from the flowers. Sainfoin will produce for five years or more without re-planting or disturbing the fragile soil ecology.

PLOT is part of SUSTAINMENT EXPERIMENTS, a new project by artist Deirdre O’Mahony that considers what actions can be taken in the face of ecological and climate crises.


John Whyte (Chair), Gerry Mullins, Gerry Browne & Thomas Tiernan, representing the Loy Association of Ireland & VISUAL Production team Anthony Walsh, Derek Blanche and Keith Bowe. Manure courtesy Bryan O’Connell

The Plot is at the rear of VISUAL beside Loading Bay 1.