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:
Recent posts/news are below:
- Help Hold Our Breath for 2040: Call to Global Creative Community to Envision Earth as Forest February 23, 2021
- New ecosocial art practice book–: ‘Creative Engagements with Ecologies of Place’ and guest talk by Iain Biggs February 11, 2021
- Earth Writings: Irish ecosocial art practices with Bogs, Forest, Fields, Gardens February 9, 2021
- South Carlow schools’ ‘An Fraughan’ Drummin Bog book celebrates World Wetland Day and UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration February 8, 2021
- Whose Woods These Are: Wendell Berry’s A Good Forest economy–with Cathy Fitzgerald December 18, 2020
- ‘Reflecting again on Wendell Berry’s– ‘the forest is the basis of a culture’ December 17, 2020
- Speaking with Megan Best Dublin City FM on Why Ecoliteracy Matters for the Creative Sector November 15, 2020
- Further steps in Ireland to help end ecocide October 9, 2020
- Exploring Eco-Social Art Strategies in Qualitative Research and EcoArt – Scandinavia June 29, 2020
- Plasticity of the Planet: Environmental Challenge for Art and Its Institutions–for the Symbiocene June 14, 2020
- ‘The Battle of Moytura Or The Battle for the Soul of Ireland’:- why ecoliteracy for the arts is essential now May 13, 2020
- The Hollywood Forest Story in Ireland, Aotearoa New Zealand and The Irish Times April 15, 2020
- The first decade of The Hollywood Forest Story January 31, 2020
- “A revolution in how we live? An interdisciplinary workshop on creative approaches to education for environmental understanding and responsibility” on peatlands. December 6, 2019
- My first Essential Ecoliteracy for Creative Workers and Educators Workshop in Co. Carlow, with Lyric FM November 13, 2019
- The Hollywood Forest Story—Eco-Social Art Practice for the Symbiocene: a new article for US Minding Nature journal November 11, 2019
- #FridayArt4Emergency: The Carole Nelson Trio – ‘Arboreal’ -the Album! October 11, 2019
- Good-Bye Anthropocene – Hello Symbiocene! May 10, 2019
- Cultural Climates: Fostering Art for Sustainability – Time for a New Cultural Policy? Moore Institute, Galway May 3, 2019
- Art.Earth artist of the month Cathy Fitzgerald and The Hollywood Forest Story: an ongoing eco-social art practice for permanent forestry in Ireland and elsewhere May 1, 2019