Ireland’s hedgerow systems presently make up 327,258 km of land in Ireland. They are an important part of the cultural landscape and have been sites of resistance and change since human cultivation began. This new body of work combines a range of mediums that explores hedgerow systems as sites of resistance and change, contentious rogue habitats between ‘wild’ nature and systemic land use. Mackey reviews the significance of these endangered landscapes and their strategic importance and future potential in fostering spaces of biodiversity.
For this solo exhibition, Mackey’s playful installation builds from three main cyclical processes; ‘wild’ seeds collected from the hedgerows saved and grown out in her garden; a large-scale herbarium of these plants and thirdly the collection and distillation of plant pigments. These variable creative processes parallel the laboring activities of the ‘gardener’ pursued through the subject of the seed. Seeds are defined not as a thing, but as a set of social relations that must be continually reproduced to survive, grow, evolve and adapt.