The Hollywood Forest Story eBook is now available to download from the APPLE iBook Store.
This eBook is the cultural artefact (the evidence from my creative practice) and the critical introduction for my successful PhD by Practice – The Ecological Turn: Living Well with Forests to Articulate Eco-Social Art Practices Using a Guattari Ecosophy and Action Research Framework (2018).
The text, images and video material in this eBook reflects the central creative practice of blogging for this eco-social practice, from my blog http://www.hollywoodforest.com. My blog follows the ongoing (since 2008) transformation of a monoculture tree plantation into a permanent, mixed species forest following new-to-Ireland Close-to-Nature continuous cover forestry practices.
Please note the eBook is a formal text that was presented as part of my PhD by Practice submission. However, it gives a great introduction to Hollywood forest and my work to develop a straightforward theory-method framework to more simply understand how to develop and maintain effective eco-social art practices.
- If you have an iTunes account, The Hollywood Forest Story eBook is FREE AND available to download through the Apple iBook Store here
Note: if reading the print or PDF version, the videos from the eBook can be seen on Vimeo here
The full and accompanying written thesis
The Ecological Turn: Living Well with Forests to Articulate Eco-Social Art Practices Using a Guattari Ecosophy and Action Research Framework (2018)
is available to download here from https://ncad.academia.edu/CathyFitzgerald
education, practice, and appreciation of such practices’ value and, inevitably, understanding of the art and ecology field as an innovator of creative practice particularly suited to respond to 21stcentury eco-social concerns.
As a consequence, the central research objective of this enquiry is to model, through creative practice and theory analyses, why, and how, a selected theoretical-methodological framework may articulate a clearer understanding of eco-social art practice. This framework formulates a foundation to advance sophisticated transversal practiceresponses, and makes a contribution to knowledge for the art and ecology field in articulating an accessible, transferable framework for eco-social art practice.
The proposed framework builds on my ongoing Hollywood Forest Story eco-social art practice, ecological knowledge and actions, and criticalreview of a suitable theory and methodology. From 2008, this includes transforming Hollywood forest, the monoculture conifer plantation where I live in rural South County Carlow in Ireland, into a permanent forest.
This thesis is framed by critical reflection on and is an extension of new mappings of the emergent art and ecology field. Suzi Gablik (2004), Sacha Kagan (2011), David Haley (2011a; 2016), Linda Weintraub (2012) and others chiefly view transdisciplinarity as best describing long-term art practices that aim for a deeper understanding of sustainability in emergent eco-social contexts. While transdisciplinarity is evident in such practices, I propose a hybrid theoretical-methodological framework to fully articulate the overarching purpose and common methodology of transversal eco-social art practices. I apply Félix Guattari’s theoretical concept of ecosophy, which articulates transversality, with an action research methodological approach.
I thus define eco-social art practices as working creatively in an ecosophical-action research mode to develop ecoliteracy and agency for their practitioners, collaborators and audiences. Such practices encompass emergent transversal endeavours directed by innovative, yet recognisable pattern of social enquiry.
My research draws attention to recent advances in understanding the value of artful activities in action research for sustainability from Chris Seeley and Peter Reason (Seeley, 2011b; Seeley and Reason, 2008) and the usefulness, and under-explored potential of online social media to support the connected learning and sharing of eco-social art practice. The significance, challenges and transferability the eco-social art practice framework advances are characterised and evaluated in application to my practicand the exemplary eco-social art practice of Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison. From these studies, I conclude that the eco-social art practice framework has potential to advance understanding that transversal practices are as critical as scientific, economic and political responses to advance a life-sustaining, ecological turn.
Following an invitation to share my work at the 50th Conference of Irish Geographers (2018), I have been invited by Dr Nessa Cronin, NUIG to present material on art and sustainability policy for Ireland, in Galway, in Spring 2019. Please contact me, if you are interested in attending. More info here.
I’m contributing to the collaborative new book produced by the International Eco-Art Network provisionally titled: Provocations, Pedagogies and Other Strategies: Teaching Ecology Art, Guidance from the International Ecoart Network.
Contributing a chapter for the new Taylor and Francis Routledge handbook on Place-Making in 2020 (with sub-editor, Dr. Anita McKeown) – on increasing understanding of how place-making can develop ecoliteracy and micropolitical social power for social change.
Dr. Iain Biggs will be writing about The Hollywood Forest Story eco-social art practice for the new Routledge Companion to Art in the Public Realm, to be published in 2020.
I presented a paper and led a workshop at the 50th Conference of Irish Geographers at Maynooth University, Dublin, Thursday 10th of May to Saturday 12th of May 2018. The Art & Geogrpraphy panel theme is: “The Earth as Our Home”. My presentation, online, is available here:
I helped facilitate during the Cowhouse Studios 2018 How to Flatten a Mountain Artists Residency in Co. Wexford in April 2018. I will share ideas from science, environmental philosophy, and examples from effective and established eco-social art practices. The aim is to help the artists reflect on how they might more accurately read the environmental realities in rural Ireland during their residency, but also to equip the artists with new ways of thinking for their own home places, so they can create informed and engaging responses for their audiences.
I was invited to present my research and eco-social art practice at the “Art & Activism: Resilience Techniques in Times of Crisis”, conference, to be held in The Netherlands between December 13th and 15th 2017. At the Research Center for Material Culture within the Museum Volkenkunde (National Museum of World Cultures) in the city of Leiden. Keynote Speakers include Prof. T.J Demos, Centre for Creative Ecologies, UC Santa Cruz.
Presenting my research and practice at Feeding the Insatiable: A Creative Summit -real and imagined narratives of art and energy for a troubled planet. Organised by Dr. Richard Povall, Dartington Hall, Devon, England from November 9-11, 2016.
Presenting my research and practice at Being in Place, The Highs and Lows of Sited Practices, 24 and 25 Nov 2016, University of Dundee. Organised by Dr. Mary Modeen and Dr. Iain Biggs for PLaCE International.
Guest Lecturer, Burren College of Art, Ireland. ‘Developing a Transversal Eco-Social Art Practice’, November 23rd, 2016 from 11 am to 1pm, tutorial advice until 4:30pm.
Presented my research and practice, recent summary video for Dr. Karen Till’s symposia and curated exhibition, and contributed to Dr. Gerry Kearns summary keynote panel on ecocide for the :
Mapping Spectral Traces VIII: The Place of the Wound Symposia, St. Patricks College, Maynooth College, Dublin. International and Irish artists, activists and scholars explore spatial justice 16-19 October 2016.
19 October, Wednesday: Healing Place and Restorative Justice :
Attending to Lands and Waters: with Dr. Huhana Smith, Massey University (Aotearoa New Zealand); Cathy Fitzgerald, independent artist (NCAD, Ireland); Monica de Bath (Ireland), independent artist and others.
Exhibited as part of the Carlow 9 Stones Artists group, 2 July until 16 October 2016, at VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow, Ireland.
Presented my research and practice at OPEN FIELDS Conference and Exhibition
in the framework of RIXC Art Science Festival 2016
|Shared a poster of my practice research at the Teagasc and Galway County Council Farming and County Life 1916-2016 event, which seeks to commemorate the 100th year of Ireland’s Rising and to reflect on developments in farming and country life across Ireland over the last century. Read more here
Also at the AlterRurality 3 Conference, GMIT Letterfrack, June 6 – 9 2016.
| Invited panel participant for Dublin City Arts
Office ‘Towards an Environmentally
Sustainable Future’ seminar
The Lab, Dublin Wednesday 11th of March,
2015, from 18.00 – 19.30More info here:
|Shared the Hollywood story ‘live’ in
Hollywood during the 1st
Rural Blackstairs film festival
in South Carlow, Ireland. See more here
|Shared the ‘story of Hollywood’ at
Findhorn International New
Story Summit, Scotland, 26 Sept-3 Oct, 2014.
See more here My post on the summit is here:
Circles for change
Article about my work posted to Findhorn
International Network is here
| Presented my arftul eco-forestry work at Int. Geography
Conference (London) 29 Aug, 2014. Conference session
on ‘more-than-human participatory research’ see more here
|Presented artful eco work research to ASLE-UKI
postgraduate research conference
UCD (Dublin, Ireland) 30-31 July, 2014.See more info here
| Presented ‘it was misting’ (2013) and ‘the black space:
resilience of the Ash night’ (2013) filmworks with the
South Carlow 9 Stones Artists group, Borris 13-15
June, 2014See review here
|Article on ‘Ecopornography versus the deep art
of place’published in EarthLines, March 2014 (8)
“In my work I feel like Joy Williams when she was
quoted in an article about ‘Ecoporn’ as saying that
‘nature photographs have become something of a
problem. As a visual arts practitioner and art research-
er informed by an earlier career in science, I have
worked on understanding how visual representations
and the visual tools we use may inadvertently deny
and obscure the violence of ecocide”.
|I wrote an article ‘Toward an Ecology of Mind’ for the
PLaCE International 2013 Invisible Scotland
catalogue, after attending the symposia in Dundee
1-3 Aug 2013.
See catalogue article here
“It all looked so familiar. Looking out across rural
Scotland, and having live in Ireland these last 19
years, at the same dark blocks of monoculture
forests spreading out before us”.
|I was invited by Irish ecological artist Kathy Herbert
to lead a public talk with her about her new work
House Trees and other Tales at deAppendix,
at a fascinating art residency space at artist –
Dr Ciara McMahon’s doctors surgery in Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, 18 July 2013. Kathy described how she
“‘works with the idea of “sharing space”, joining
man-made and natural imagery to imply equal
occupancy of the same space. This work draws
on the idea of respect for other living beings –
animals, plants etc., and implies that we are
not the only important beings on this planet.
I draw from nature, giving every living thing
equal value in the hope that it will be reflected
in our way of living on Earth.”
|My two short films ‘burning bright’ and ‘the black
space:resilience of the ash night’ (2013) were
short-listed for the inaugural 2013 ForestEurope
‘Show off your Forest’ photography and film
competition, see more here
|Short film ‘the black space: resilience of the ash
night’ was selected for the UCD science expression
pop-up cinema event at Dublin’s Botanic
Gardens 1-3 Nov 2013. See more herepp–
Invited guest post for The EarthLines
|Launched Irish Green Party Forest policy that
has as its key point to move away from clearfell,
monoculture plantations toward Continuous
Cover forestry, May 11, 2013. This new ecological
forest model is the basis of my PhD inquiry that allows
me to examining deep sustainability through an art-led
practice-theory inquiry in the small conifer
plantation in which I am transforming to become
a permanent forest.
| Proposed political motion which was unanimously
accepted by the Green Party of Ireland and Northern
Ireland to support developing international law to
end corporate ecocide. Adopted 13 April,
2013 Green Party Convention, Galway. Ecocide is a
key term in my doctoral work. Vietnam was the first time
that ‘ecocide’ was established as a legal term to describe
longterm environmental destruction and I am a child of a
|My experimental Continuous Cover forest conifer
plantation transformation project is part of the Irish
COFORD forest institute research on Low Impact
Silviculture Systems (LISS). My forest was assessed in
|Presented my work ‘Seeing and Tending the forest’
and latest film at Conference of Irish Geography,
Galway Dance Days, Art & Geography seminars,
16-18 May, 2013. p
|Hollywood Diaries forest-art project was selected for
inclusion in Deep Ecologist, activist and educator
Joanna Macy’s inspired book,Stories from the Great
Turning for the ‘Great Turning Artful’ Chapter. Edited by
Peter Reason and Melanie Newman by VALA publishers, art
chapter by Dr. Chris Seeley, James Aldridge, Kathy Skerritt.
Publication 17 April 2013. Presented work at launch in Bristol
and showed my filmwork; the book has been since launched
in Sydney (by Deep Ecologist John Seed) and London and
turned into a musical event at Winchester Cathedral, 2014.
Presented my work on Deep sustainability and the art &
politics of forests with my film ‘the hollywood diaries
2008-12‘ on 14 Feb. at The Gallery, Bournemouth
As part of my presentation I showed a new film sketch
‘the black space (resilience) of the ash night.
|Presented work on deep sustainability and the art & politics
of forests with my film ‘the hollywood diaries 2008-12′ at
Univ. College Cork for new course on Society
and Sustainability 16 Oct 2012 in Ecology and
Philosophy session with Dr. Graham Parkes.
Presented my theory work ‘the ecocidal eye’ and my film ‘the
|Presented my work on Deep sustainability and the art & politics of
forests with my film ‘the hollywood diaries 2008-12‘ at inaugural
Red Stables Art & Ecology Summer School, Dublin, July 2012.
My work and theory was reviewed in The Red Stables Art & Ecology
Summer School book (ISBN 978-0-9554281-8-0) essay by
Dr. Karen Till. Film was screened during the 2 week festival.
Presented Hollywood diaries 2008-12 film installation with the
South Carlow 9 Stones Artists group, Deighton Hall,
Carlow, Carlow Arts Festival, June 2012.
| Presented my work with my film ‘the hollywood diaries
2008-12’ at ‘The Home and the World’ art & ecology
summit in Devon, June 2012. My conference article:
Deep Sustainability and the Art & Politics of Forests.
Also article was also published on the UK ‘Save our Woods’
|Regular contributor on art & ecology to the
international womens’ art and activism online
|Extract of this article (left) was published in the
Visual Ireland Artists Newsheet
Fitzgerald, C. (2011) ‘Networking the arts
to save the earth’.p.20.
| Attended the first UK Art and Forest conference,
organised by the UK RSA Art & Ecology Programme
and the UK Forest Commission, June 2009.
This was part of the 5 year UK RSA Art & Ecology
programme run over 2005-2010. I was involved in
initiating the online network for several hundred
eco art practitioners.
|Attended the first international Culture and Climate
conference, Culture|Futures (Copenhagen COP15
Climate Summit, 2009).I wrote a review of this
conference here. I later provided online web development
support for the global culture and climate change
initiative for Culturefutures.org (during 2011).
| Presented work and films at research conference Will Beauty
Save the World, Bristol, 2010.Since that conference I am an
Associate Member of the UK Land2 Art and Land network.