Tending the wild – lessons from the forest toward deep sustainability at TheGallery, Bournemouth Arts University

As part of my presentation at The Gallery, Bournemouth Arts University I showed my film 'the Hollywood Diaries 200-12' and a new film sketch 'the black space (resilience) of the ash night

As part of my presentation at The Gallery, Bournemouth Arts University last week, I showed my film ‘The Hollywood Diaries 2008-12‘ and a new film sketch ‘the black space (resilience) of the ash night‘ (2013)

Last week I gave a talk about my work at TheGallery, Bournemouth Arts University, UK. I was delighted to have the opportunity to share my work with a new audience and get valuable feedback too. My thanks to Stephanie James, Violet McClean and The Gallery interns for inviting me and making my visit so enjoyable.

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 12.56.45I presented a general talk covering the many aspects of my ongoing long term art & ecology forest transformation project and presented my film ‘The Hollywood Diaries 2008-12‘ and a new film sketch ‘The Black Space (resilience) of the Ash night (2013). I’ve since created an audio slideshow of the presentation as I know my biggest audience is online – its also a good way to share my work for those who couldn’t attend (click on the image below to see the slideshow if you are interested or if you go to this post online, you will see the audio slideshow there too). Do please feel free to share this presentation too – Slideshare is an open access platform. These are the two films I showed

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Creating these presentations in the first place takes some time – I have spent quite a lot of effort in trying to briefly convey the science in a manner that is understandable and which gives insights on why we need to think urgently about our relations to our lands and waterways, why just responding to the rhetoric of climate change, which dominates environmental media, overshadows the understanding that industrial growth society is inherently unsustainable and why many technological advances will not deliver long term sustainability. I also have thought hard how to present my theory work and thread in my film/forest practices. Responses seem to suggest that its quite intelligible and engaging (thanks be!).

In some ways these presentations are like mini-theses for me, coming up with engaging ways to present the science – the premises that my work rests on, introducing the theory, my artistic and forest actions, and most importantly, not losing sight of the forest either. I do also enjoy seeing my film-work up large too – but I can’t ignore online audiences and how my work can travel afar through social media. In truth my forest transformation ‘is my ongoing exhibition’ and not all can travel to see it so the internet helps facilitate my rural based project. The internet for me is also both a creative media and a means to document and share my work and ideas (incidentally since April, my little phd blog has had close to 12 000 visits, not bad for a rather obscure art forest project).

Gallery notes:

Cathy Fitzgerald, creative practice-thesis doctoral scholar from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin, was invited by TheGallery, Bournemouth Arts University, UK to take part in a ‘Text+Work’ public talk on 14 Feb 2013. TheGallery’s ‘Text+Work’ talks are designed to further developed the conversation and narrative surrounding exhibitions at TheGallery. Currently the exhibition is Jane Wilbraham’s wood sculptures. Cathy’s talk was described as an  ‘Art in Context session on Land management‘ at TheGallery.

With a background in biological research and visual culture, Cathy reviewed the growing ecological crisis; discussed contemporary art & ecology practice, ecocriticism of cultural works (visual culture and nature cinema), radical permanent forest management and new national forest policy in Ireland that is moving towards permanent, non clearfell forestry. Cathy’s background in these areas, have fed her arts practice that is resulting in a long term art & ecology forest project based in her immediate environment, a small woodland in rural Ireland. From this work Cathy is developing an applied, transferable philosophy of deep sustainability, rooted in actions, theory and the many lessons from the forest in which she lives.

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