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She'll Give You All She Has

Orla Barry, Laura Fitzgerald and Chloe McKeown.

Co-curated with Helena Tobin for South Tipperary Arts Centre

The female relationship with agriculture, the family farm and the division of labour has become more visible in recent years, both in the growing visibility of women farmers and as an area of research for women artists.

The idea of ‘the rural’, here variously understood as issues relating to farming, the countryside and animal husbandry, is the focus of these three artists, Orla Barry, Laura Fitzgerald and Chloe Mc Keown.

Each connects to the landscape in different ways. Barry has experience of both being an artist and a shepherd (she has bred pedigree Llyen sheep), Fitzgerald was brought up by a farmer, and Mc Keown lives in (relatively) rural Co Meath. Yet the research and focus of each is very different, extending from the anxieties and challenges of balancing careers as shepherd-artist (Barry), an occasionally fraught relationship with the countryside (Fitzgerald), and the often callous nature of breeding cattle (Mc Keown).

In She’ll Give You All She Has the artists tackle these concerns through a mixture of objects, sound, print, writing and video. The works are woven through with absurdity, tragedy, humour and the kind of emotional detachment familiar to readers of contemporary farming manuals. 

Lisa Freeman


Photography by Louis Haugh
Curated by Anne Mullee
Presented by Mermaid Arts Centre
Performers; Biaina Ryan, Niamh McPhillips,Tadhg O’Rourke (Actors) Andrea Jones (Saxophone).

With thanks to; Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Padraig Cunningham, Emma Conway, Jenny Sherwin, Julie Kelleher, Gerlanda Maniglia, Dennis McNulty, Astrid Newman, Claire Walsh, Dan Reidy, Lana May Fleming, Lauren Conway, Vera Ryklova.


Kindly supported by an Arts Council of Ireland Project Award, Wicklow County Council and Mermaid Arts Centre.

Slipped, Fell and Smacked my Face off the Dance Floor

This live site-specific performance took place on 10th, 11th, 17th, 18th June 2022. A 20 minute performance on a loop between 1-4pm each day.

Naylor’s Cove, Bray, Co. Wicklow.

Lisa Freeman’s new scripted performance work features actors, a saxophone player and a significant location: the once-busy sea bathing pool at Naylor’s Cove, Bray.

Drawing on the town’s history as a site of leisure and respite, this work positions the human body in this now-defunct site of relaxation. The actors create intimate moments of dialogue in this public space, where the script touches on ideas of therapeutic infrastructures, tourism and the body as an archive. These moments are woven through this site of failed architecture, set to a live musical score performed by a saxophone player.

RTÉ Culture, In The Picture: Lisa Freeman's Slipped, Fell and Smacked My Face off The Dance Floor, November 2022

A Collaborative Drawing Project by Michael Geddis and Joanna Kidney 2016-2021

Artist Biographies

Northern Irish visual artist and retired veterinary surgeon Dr Michael Geddis specialises in very finely detailed drawing. He delights in the elegance of natural forms and patterns and finds microscopic structures particularly inspirational for his intuitive work. Following his 2013 graduate exhibition he received the James White Prize for Drawing at the RDS Annual Student Awards

Joanna Kidney is an Irish Visual Artist. Her practice considers the sensory, temporal, interconnected and holistic aspects of being human. It is concerned with the non-material, that which is not visible and concrete. Using a language of abstraction, her work is an enquiry of the mark and the line through drawing, painting and physical space.

This project has been kindly funded by Arts Council of Northern Ireland; Wicklow County Council Ards and North Down Borough Council and supported by Mermaid Arts Centre, Co. Wicklow, Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Co. Mayo and Outpost Studios Residency Programme, Co. Wicklow.

This project began as a purely visual conversation by way of a series of small drawings posted back and forth between two artists. What emerged from this silent contemplation is a grand expression of the convergences and divergences in the work of Michael Geddis and Joanna Kidney.


After meeting during a Residency at Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Co. Mayo, their collaboration began in 2016 in response to the shared similarities of their work. As the collaboration has evolved over five years, the tensions arising from the differences in their approaches to drawing have come to energise their work. Taking cues from patterns and forms from science and the natural world, they passed drawings back and forth, adding a part-drawing to each one sequentially.

Their joint drawings grew organically until each one reached its conclusion. What has emerged from their combined memory, intuition and imagination are intertwined otherworlds...worlds which speak of the minutiae, connectivity and slowness.

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