I am delighted to share that I am taking part in this important Irish Earth Writings Symposia and Exhibition at Maynooth University on 20th November 2019.

I and other creative Ireland-based workers will share how we invite diverse rural and urban communities to engage with eco-social topics arising in these urgent times. Cultural activity is currently not at the forefront of public discourse in Ireland about the ecological emergency, but overseas, culture is well recognised as the necessary 4th Pillar of Sustainability. This means there is research that confirms that amassed scientific facts of our degraded planet alone will not promote societal change. To address poor public engagement and low ecoliteracy, we need considerable cultural engagement, ‘an art of invitation’ to bring forth inclusive community knowledge and foster a community’s immeasurable creativity to reinvent how we can live well with the Earth and all its inhabitants.

From Left: Prof Karen Till, Prof Gerry Kearns, Cultural Geography, Maynooth University, Dr. Nessa Cronin, Irish Studies, NUIG, Dr. Iain Biggs, Bath Univ, UK and Dr. Cathy Fitzgerald, Moore Institute, NUIG, June 2019

From Left: Prof Karen Till, Prof Gerry Kearns, Cultural Geography, Maynooth University, Dr. Nessa Cronin, Irish Studies, NUIG, Dr. Iain Biggs, Bath Univ, UK and Dr. Cathy Fitzgerald at the  Moore Institute, NUIG, June 2019

My special thanks to curator, Prof. Karen Till, Prof. Gerry Kearns of Maynooth Univ and Dr. Ness Cronin, Irish Studies, NUI Galway, the Irish Research Council New Foundations STEAM Scheme, Creative Ireland, Kildare County Council Arts Service, Maynooth University Department of Geography, Maynooth University Library, and the Space&Place and Ómós Áite Research Collaboratives.

All welcome, details below.

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This multi-media group exhibition highlights eco-community engaged practices of four artists working with peoples/natures in peatlands, woodlands, fields and cities in Ireland.

Irish Creative Practitioners who ‘Stay with the Trouble’

Works include video, books, paintings, sketchings, grafted trees, blogs and other interventions by artists: Monica de Bath (Kildare County), Cathy Fitzgerald (County Carlow), Pauline O’Connell (County Kilkenny) and Seodín O’Sullivan (Dublin). Their creative-ecological practices call attention to the diversity of the ways that human societies are mutually constituted with and through their natural worlds and environments, rejecting dominant growth-based strategies of sustainable development. At times of ecological crisis, rapidly changing weather systems, and species extinctions, there is much to learn from these artists who ‘stay with the trouble’ (Haraway, 2016) to realise healthier environmental relations.

Taking place during national Science and GeoWeeks, the exhibition will be complemented by a symposium, launch, class visits, and future webpage and publication to invite a broader public to think differently about how we can begin caring for our wounded environments and create more sustainable futures. Curated by Karen E. Till.

The programme is generously supported by the Irish Research Council New Foundations STEAM Scheme, Creative Ireland, Kildare County Council Arts Service, Maynooth University Department of Geography, Maynooth University Library, and the Space&Place and Ómós Áite Research Collaboratives.

Exhibition Preview: 15 November, Friday (Part of National Science Week events at Maynooth University): Pauline O’Connell: You Cannot Climb a Hedge (2018), two-screen HDV, variable dimensions.

Exhibition Symposium:

20 November, 4:30-5pm, Tírdhreach Feasach: Irish Environments in Transition, Rocque Lab, Rhetoric House, South Campus.

Short conversations with artists Monica de Bath, Cathy Fitzgerald, Pauline O’Connell and Seodín O’Sullivan, and Nessa Cronin (NUI Galway Centre for Irish Studies), and Patrick Bresnihan, Gerry Kearns and Karen Till (Maynooth Geography).

Exhibition Launch: 20 November, 5:45-6:30pm, with short talks by artists starting at 6pm, Maynooth University Library Lobby.

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