Over the last decade, I have developed an art-led transversal eco-social art practice. In my practice, this means I weave diverse lifeworld and disciplinary experiences together 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.
My transversal practice, developed from my recent art practice-led doctoral research at the National College of Art & Design, Ireland, grows from various life experience in art, science, alternative forestry and Green politics and involves: exploring, learning about new-to-Ireland, Close-to-Nature continuous cover forestry (an alternative to monoculture, clearfell forestry), experimental film-making, writing, eco-philosophy and eco-criticism reflections, national forest policy development and ecocide law advocacy (I succeeded in getting continuous cover forestry as the key point in the new Irish Green Party Forest policy (2012) and that the Green Party of Ireland and Northern Ireland recognise that a crime of ecocide (the long term destruction of ecosystems by man) be supported in international law (2013).
I employ blogging as a creative method for my ongoing eco-social art practice. This approach enables me to collate diverse activities and information as a motivating ‘connected learning’ form. My blog www.hollywoodforest.com has also created a narrative for this long-term project, allowing a means to communicate transversally to diverse local and online audiences.
Overall, my ongoing eco-social art practice envisions a way to ‘softly subvert’* the stranglehold of industrial forestry. I see my practice as a meme for the Symbiocene (Albrecht, 2016**) rather than the ecocide of the Anthropocene, as it emphasises ideas and practices to enhance the mutual flourishing of all life.