Artist’s statement for my eco-social art practice: The Hollywood Forest Story

Hollywood, a Close-to-Nature continuous cover forest growing under the Blackstairs Mountains, South County Carlow, Ireland. It is also the muse and site of my long-term (since 2008), transversal eco-social art practice.

Hollywood, a Close-to-Nature continuous cover forest growing under the Blackstairs Mountains, South County Carlow, Ireland. It is the muse and site of my long-term (since 2008), transversal ecosocial art practice.

Over the last decade, I have developed a creative practice-led ecosocial art practice. This means I weave diverse lifeworld experiences and disciplinary knowledge to re-think alternatives to extractive, unsustainable industrial land practices.

Since 2008, my ‘slow art’ practice, the Hollywood forest project, is inspired by the small conifer plantation community that I live with, in County Carlow, Ireland. In this project, I undertake actions to transform this monoculture conifer plantation to co-create a flourishing and permanent, mixed-species forest. The Hollywood Forest Story was featured in the Irish Times, March 2020 – see the post below).

My ecosocial practice, with my ecological art practice-led doctoral research at the National College of Art & Design, Ireland (The Ecological Turn: Living Well with Forests… to explain ecosocial art practice, Fitzgerald 2018), arose from various life experience in art, science, alternative forestry and Green politics. My practice involves and is informed by: exploring, learning and implement new-to-Ireland, Close-to-Nature continuous cover forestry management (an alternative to monoculture, clearfell forestry) with professional foresters and other landowners, experimental film-making, writing, eco-philosophy and ecocriticism reflections, national forest policy development and ecocide law advocacy (I helped get ‘continuous cover forestry’ introduced as the key point in the new Irish Green Party Forest policy (2012), and have promoted successful motions supported by the members of the Green Party of Ireland and Northern Ireland that the crime of ecocide (the long term destruction of ecosystems by man) be supported in international law (2013, 2020).

I employ blogging as a creative method and means to curate my ongoing ecosocial art practice. This approach enables me to collate diverse activities and information as a motivating story on www.hollywoodforest.com  to communicate to diverse local and online audiences.

Overall, my ongoing ecosocial art practice envisions a way to ‘softly subvert’* the stranglehold of industrial forestry so that we can envision ways to live well with forests in perpetuity. Therefore, I see my practice as a meme for the Symbiocene (Albrecht, 2016, 2019**) rather than the ecocide of the Anthropocene, as it emphasises ideas and practices to enhance the mutual flourishing of all life.

In 2019, recognising the lack of access to ecological knowledge in the creative sector, I and collaborators, have developed a worldfirst online ecoliteracy course for art professionals at https://haumea.ie

In 2021, I began a cohosted podcast series The Haumea ecoculture podcast, which is available on leading podcast directories.

See my work since 2008 on The Hollywood Forest Story here:

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Recent posts/news are below:

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*A term used by Felix Guattari
** Albrecht, Glenn (2016) ‘Exiting the Anthropocene and Entering the Symbiocene.’ Minding Nature, 9 (2), 12-16.

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