The black space and Ash dieback news in Ireland


My experimental film ‘The black space (resilience) of the Ash night’ (2013) was recently selected for the 2013 UCD Science Expression film festival. The film was shown with others in a mobile pop-up cinema to celebrate and reflect on the natural world. It was held at the Botanic Gardens, Dublin 1-3 Nov. My thanks to Alex Boyd  and Laura Tobin  from UCD for selecting my work.

Unfortunately since I made this film in late January we have now had outbreaks of Ash Dieback disease in native Irish Ash trees. It is a very tricky situation as the fungus can be spread by the wind. See this recent Irish TV News report here  It is a worry for Hollywood as much of the new regeneration are Ash trees but many of the aspects and the severity of disease remain unknown (see UK Ash dieback link below). But it is also confirmation that we need to move to mixed species forestry urgently. We also need to reconsider the trafficking of monocultures across nations too and support instead own nurseries and species. This winter I will be adding other tree species to Hollywood to increase the diversity and resilience of Hollywood.

Anyone seeing any signs of this disease are to immediately call the Irish Forest Service. Some friends with Ash trees were asking me about felling trees in advance to prevent spread to their plantations but all tree-felling needs a tree license. In the first instance, the Irish Forest service needs to be contacted if you have any concerns.  Here is an information pdf issued by the Forest Service ashdiebackdisease pdf Continue reading

Standing up for forests, in Ireland, Nth. Ireland and Tasmania

The hottest day so far so the wood was the perfect place to be
Recent forest public protest walk at Jenkinstown Wood, Co. Kilkenny 8 June 2013, against the sale of public Irish Forests. Protest walks, talks, events were organised all over Ireland recently.


A stunning victory for people power and public protest.” Richard Boyd Barrett (June 19, 2013), Irish politician and one of the main organisers of protests around Ireland against the sale of the harvest rights of public Coillte Forests

Right around the world people today are celebrating the power of community action and what we have achieved for Tasmania’s forests” said Ms Miranda Gibson (tree sitter activist, on today’s announcement that areas of Tasmania’s forests achieved the status and protection as World Heritage Forests, 24 June 2013).

Last week I like so many of you would have heard the great news that the Irish government abandoned its plans to sell the harvesting rights of our public (Coillte) forests. A day later I heard that Northern Ireland has more protection for its woodlands and forests (felling licences were re-introduced for the first time in almost 45 years, following a very long campaign by the Woodland Trust). And now today, after 30 years of bitter struggle I heard that areas of Tasmania’s unique old growth forests have been given full World Heritage status (some of you following my work on my Facebook/ecoartnotes page will know I have been sharing the activities of Tasmanian Miranda Gibson who spent over a year in a tree in Tasmania to highlight this issue to the world – she blogged, gave interviews, from high up in a tall Eucalyptus tree to the world – it was her ObserverTree). What communities of courage have developed to stand up for forests, here and there.

So, many reasons to celebrate. Well done to the many thousands who signed petitions (over 48 000 for the Irish online petition), the thousands that came out on protests walks in our forests (and in previous years across the UK), the many groups, forest NGOs and politicians, journalists, who raised their voices! Continue reading

ecopornography and a review of the ecocinema enquiry over 2012

Screen Shot 2013-01-17 at 15.59.11

Still from Africa (2012) trailer

see Africa trailer here

‘Nobody, nobody, nobody (not even myself, my supervisors, and my assessor) is seriously going to want to read my thesis.’

Research blogger, ‘NottinghamFlorist’
Guardian Higher Education Network on Academic Blogging, Oct, 19, 2012

This website is hosted by WordPress, the largest online blogging platform and they recently sent out stats for the year on how well my site was working for me. I wasn’t that surprised to see my article on Ecopornography, slow violence and the slow deep art of place has been the most popular (the article is due to be published in a modified form later this summer in the Earthlines magazine).

The main reason of doing this blog was initially to serve as a journal for my own journey through these ideas and media and to host the various works I’m undertaking during a creative (practice and theory) PhD enquiry. To my surprise, I have developed a steadily growing audience for what I thought was quite a small, overly academic endeavour and it has led me to connect with leading peers in my field from afar (I’m now part of the Assoc. Study of Literature and Environment and Culture Australia-New Zealand ASLEC-ANZ committee) and equally important to me, develop a more general audience for this new topic.

Note: This is a long post, reviewing how I have use this site over the last year, so it might be only of interest to others undertaking a creative practice and theory PhD. Continue reading