Art & ecology at the Red Stables Summer School, Dublin

deep sustainability: the art, ecology & politics of forests

Update 2021: I wrote the below post when I began my doctoral studies on experimental ecocinema. My studies changed to embrace broader developments in the art and ecology field and to specifically explain long term ecological art practices. I now teach a unique ONLINE course – the Haumea Essential Ecoliteracy 7-week course – to help creatives and art professionals across the world understand the ecology emergency and what it means for the creative sector- see more here: please note, course places fill quickly, but I do maintain a waitlist. Thank you!

Last week I was delighted to share my work at the Dublin Red Stables Summer School, which as I mentioned previously in my last post, has this year centered on art & ecology. I gave a very general talk about my art & ecology practice talking about how my background in science, the Irish tree group Crann and Green politics have contributed to my practice, as the audience was mixed. It included artists, botanists, local authority arts and parks people and interested members of the public, keen to think other ideas about engaging with St Anne’s Park, where Red Stables is located, and natural environments in general. I have put my talk up online for those interested here 

Many thanks to the excellent Dublin local authority arts staff at Red Stables for organising such an engaging day and summer school. I met a good number of people there who I had long wanted to meet as well. Also, the summer school, with further projects, talks and films (my Hollywood Diaries: screen reel 2008-12 film is been shown along with films by Seoidín O’Sullivan, Grace Weir, David Nash, Andy Goldsworthy, animations) continues for 2 weeks until 4th August, 2012. Short films will be screened in Studio 1 at The Red Stables. DOWNLOAD the full Summer School programme here

RSA Land Art bookSome people were interested in the RSA Art & Ecology book I mentioned in my talk; this textbook was a summary of some the key projects of the 5 year UK art & ecology programme that ended in 2010. Interestingly at that time, there was also a full-time post at the UK Arts Council for Art & Ecology so the UK saw a level of cultural policy development and programming in this area that was sophisticated and timely considering  ecological concerns. In the UK there was considerable interest in this area prior to the 2009 UN climate summit. Since that time, it seems the lack of political progress and the climategate affair, coupled with the recession have stymied activity in this area, even though the ecological concerns of the biosphere are rapidly accelerating and that there is a large role for culture to play in both understanding the cultural reasons for global ecocide to envisioning sustainability. The textbook, Land, Art: A Cultural Ecology Handbook has been very popular as there are very few comprehensive art & theory practice book in this area but it is no longer in print. I have seen copies for sale second hand but its now valued at ~€300! However you can purchase an online copy here. The RSA has also kept the whole programme online at

The Red Stables arts staff have recorded some of the events, so please contact them if you are interested in the programme. I know they are keen to develop this programme further.

Also check out  Field Work by  artist Seoidin O’ Sullivan. There is also a

Reading Group with Seoidín O’ Sullivan on the subject of art and ecology, Wednesday 25th July and 1st August from 10.30am – 12.30pm at The Red Stables Gallery.

The Red Stables Summer School : at the Red Stables Gallery, St Anne’s Park, 21st July – 4th August, 12 – 5pm

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