18 Aug 2022

Aoife is on a mission to bring work of Tipperary Food Producers to life


Aoife is on a missin to bring work of Tipperary Food Producers to life

Tipperary food Producer Nuala Hickey with artist Aoife Barrett

A Cashel artist has taken on an interesting project engaging with members of Tipperary Food Producers and their communities.
Printmaker Aoife Barrett has been invited by Applefest to take up a travelling residency as part of a collaborative project between Applefest and the Tipperary Food Producers.
Aoife will be spending time in seven different locations meeting the people behind some of the incredible stories associated with the Tipperary Food Producers.
The Galway-based artist will present her work and engage in participatory printmaking with members of the public on Saturday, September 3 (from 12 to 3pm) in Clonmel’s Mick Delahunty Square in partnership with the Tipperary Museum of Hidden Histories.
The final art piece will then go on show in the Tipperary Museum among the permanent collection from September 6.
Aoife said the project with the Tipperary Food Producers was appropriate for Applefest as it was a festival with a theme of the harvesting of food and promoting sustainability.
“I want to respond to that theme that is associated with Applefest. I want to act as the tool about opening up discussions about what food means and engage with a wider audience,” said Aoife, who is taking on a roving Applefest residency of Tipperary as a result of this project. It follows on from working in a residency with South Tipperary Arts Centre and with Making Connections, a social inclusion group in Wilderness Grove in recent years.

Aoife set up her own travelling print studio which allows her to go into communities rather than have them come to her.
“It is perfect in that it allows me to go into so many different communities and engage on the ground with them in their own environment,” said Aoife.
She said the Tipperary Food Producers project was a perfect fit for her as it involved visiting seven different places and getting to know the families and the people behind the now familiar food brands being produced in Tipperary.
“For me it is all about exploring and engaging with communities, not operating out of the normal fixed art space in one location but going out to the people,” said Aoife.
Aoife said she was thoroughly enjoying visiting the seven locations and listening to the people involved talking about their craft and their relationships with the communities.
“I am looking forward to the creative engagement with all of the producers involved and sharing the outcomes in September as part of Applefest,” said Aoife.
The seven producers that Aoife will be engaging with are the Apple Farm outside Cahir, Hickey’s Bakery in Clonmel, Galtee Honey in Glengarra, Irish Hedgrows outside Cahir, Cashel Farmhouse and in Littleton with Magners Egg Farm and Blackcastle Farm.
“They are amazing people involved. Part of the appeal is that they are family run and they remind me of being in my own grandmothers kitchen growing up. This relationship between family, food and community is deeply ingrained in us all. My first impression on visiting the people where they established their family business is the great sense of community around each place,” said Aoife.
“Each one I visit does remind me of my grandmother’s kitchen because very one of them have all been very loyal to those core values those core values which makes them all so special.
“This is very much about engaging with the people , exploring where our food comes from and re-connecting with that,” said Aoife.
Aoife said she had met amazing people on her journey though Tipperary.
“They all take great pride of where they have come from and where they are now with their food product. They all take great care and attention about what they do and it was wonderful to see them create the food,” she said.
Aoife said she is delighted to be working on the project and it was her belief that food brings people together.
“All the rituals of the kitchen, the sharing and the talking. In these places the families producing the food all have a special relationship with their communities. Food brings us together and in each of the seven places there is a wonderful web of relationships going on between the families, staff and the local communities where they live and work.
“Meeting them has been an education for me. I am listening to the message each one of them has about our food, about caring for the soil and the cycle of nature involved for each one of them,” said Aoife.

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