Residency Update: Åsa Sonjasdotter

Visual artist Åsa Sonjasdotter is currently finishing off her research trip around Ireland organised by Project’s Curator of Visual Arts, Lívia Páldi. Over the course of her stay she has visited experts, sites and organisations, all in preparation for her artistic project, Cultivating Stories, a work that investigates questions and and stories of local, cultivated plants.

Along the way she has learnt about methods for analysing 6000 year old grains found on archaeological sites thanks to the generous introduction by archeologist Dr Meriel McClatchie at the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, she has received hundreds of leftover oak tree seedlings from the None-So-Hardy forestry nursery in Co. Wexford, and she has learnt about the two year process of kale seeds propagation in the Bridgefoot Street Community Garden in Dublin.

The journey continued with a stay hosted by the Callan Workhouse Union, visual artist Deirdre O’Mahony and Fennelly’s of Callan, followed by a visit to the Irish Seed Savers in Scarriff, Co. Clare. Her research concludes in Co. Mayo where she is currently meeting with curators at the Museum of Country Life in Turlough Village, the archaeological site of the Céide Fields in Ballycastle, containing the oldest known field system in the world, before she investigates further places and sites in Mayo and Roscommon.


    • Åsa Sonjasdotter in the Bridgefoot Street Community Garden in Dublin, photo by Robert Moss.
    • Åsa Sonjasdotter and archaeologist Anthony Borgan at Ceide Fields, photo: Lívia Páldi
    • A charred Emmer grain in the laboratory at the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, photo by Åsa Sonjasdotter.
    • Åsa Sonjasdotter and Rosie Lynch in the library of the Callan Workhouse Union, photo by Lívia Páldi.
    • Åsa Sonjasdotter and Lívia Páldi in Callan, photo by Nat Schastneva
    • Åsa Sonjasdotter with Deirdre O’Mahony, Selia Fernandez Arconada, and Eilís Lavelle at the Camphill celebration of St John’s day with performance, bonfire and barbecue in Callan, photo by Eva Lavelle
    • Åsa Sonjasdotter at the None-So-Hardy forestry nursery.

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