artful eco workings that cycle through: Close-to-Nature continuous cover forestry, experimental film-making, the eco-humanities field (deep ecology, ecocriticism, ecosophy, ecofeminism), writing & forest policy development; by cathy fitzgerald, visual culture, ncad, ireland

Featured video: hollywood diaries screen reel: 2008-2012... SD & HD 8:54
notes on a small conifer plantation being transformed to a mixed species, permanent forest

Cathy Fitzgerald:

I’ve just been standing outside watching visiting birds from the continent enjoying the seeds from one of our Alder trees. They work in a chattery team. Some at the top of the tree knock the tiny pine cones to the ground; other birds in the team on the ground have their turn in getting the seeds from the dropped cones. My ecologist friend Faith was telling me we have more birdsong in Ireland at this time of year (in Wintery February) due to all these overseas visitors.

I came inside to find Pete’s blog post below. Peter is a fellow art and ecology artist and educator I met a few years ago. I thought you all might enjoy this post about ‘birdsong’, the ‘little flower’ and ‘small, little ways’ we can introduce change. Pete’s drawings are all made from natural local materials; he grinds his own charcoal and pigments to sensitively reflect on the area in which he lives with others, birds included.

Update if you are in the Devon area:

11th – 25th march 2015 -an exploration into non-plastic painting mediums

with Victoria (BC) based artist Clare Thomas (
residency, workshop and artist’s talk @ eARTh

Originally posted on expressions of an intimate ecology:

This morning I awoke to the sound of birdsong drifting through dawn-lit windows

The small, humble things in life offering sustenance in this big, big world

Spring hath sprung…

birdsong, compressed charcoal on paper © p ward 2015birdsong, compressed charcoal on paper © p ward 2015

“Curiously in amongst this plethora of Buddhism there was one token of Christianity – the autobiography of St Teresa of Lisieux. In spite of Tenzin Palmo’s antipathy to the Christian religion in general, she was drawn to the French saint who had entered a Carmelite nunnery when she was just fifteen and who had died at the age of twenty-four. She read her story several times and could quote from it at will.

‘The ironic thing is that the “little way” that she wrote about had nothing to do with the Way that I practiced. What I liked about her, however, was that she was very sensible. She sometimes slept through the…

View original 232 more words

Sun powering up Hollywood Blackstairs Co. Carlow, February 2015

What timing! Hollywood #divests from fossil fuels on the international global weekend of “Go fossil fuel free – Divestment Day” 13-14 Feb 2015. Photo: Martin Lyttle

Global #Divestment Logo feb 13-14 2015

Today is the kind of day you seize with both hands.
Right now, the fossil fuel industry is on the defensive and fighting back — that’s because our Fossil Free movement has truly hit its stride.

Thousands of us across the planet are taking a stand today and tomorrow to end the age of fossil fuels — because that’s what it really means to solve the climate crisis.

Join in Global Divestment Day where you live:

The Hollywood forest transformation project shapes not only my long term eco art project. It influences how we live with the forest here and how we think about wider eco-social issues.

From our 2.5 acres we get an astonishing 70 tonnes of firewood every three years - Hollywood is such a clever young forest!!

From our 2.5 acres we get an astonishing 70 tonnes of firewood every three years – Hollywood is such a clever young forest!!

We’ve long wanted to move away from oil that heats our home; for the misery it causes people and other species in countries far away and because of the unfolding and accelerating calamity that is climate change. It is easier said than done in Ireland, where we are only re-establishing our forests and where most homes rely on imported heating oil from war-torn countries.

So over the last number of years we’ve been slowly saving and got a shed built to dry our timber (another masterpiece of wood working by Albert). This slatted wooden shed

has a small separate room to house a wood burner (gasifier). The latter item took more saving but it is being installed today.

Bernt from installing our blue wood gasifier today

Bernt from installing our blue wood gasifier today

And just by sheer coincidence Hollywood has timed the installation with the worldwide global weekend of action to raise awareness that the world needs to #divest from supporting fossil fuel companies. People, many of them courageous young students from all around the world are taking action to raise awareness this Valentines weekend to show their love for the Earth. See

Everyone is coming to terms with the necessity of “breaking-up” with fossil fuels!! So enjoy the wonderfully humorous video made by students below.

PS: If you don’t think #divestment is a powerful civil action consider this -

“Harvard’s endowment is the largest of any school in the world, at $36.4 billion. The students launched their sit-in (today) inside a building housing the offices of school administrators, including President Drew Fast. Hundreds of actions are expected around the world today and Saturday as part of Global Divestment Day.” (source: 13 Feb 2015)


Hollywood soaking up the winter mist. Photo: Martin Lyttle, January 2015.

Hollywood soaking up the winter mist (near Blackstairs, County Carlow). Photo: Martin Lyttle, January 2015.

“The issue of sustainability spans science, politics, policy development, society, culture, industry and many other areas of human interest. In light of this, for this event representatives from science, environmental policy development, art curation, arts practice and NGOS will come together to share their perspectives and experiences on how they are attending, in their own unique ways, to this central topic. The intention is to capture a picture of the work being carried out by these different agents independently of each other, in order to achieve similar goals in preserving a functioning biosphere for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Recent talk in Hollywood November, 2014

Click to see recent talk in Hollywood November, 2014

It’s been interesting since my talk in Hollywood last November to reflect on the conversations the Hollywood project is enabling. I’ve had heartening news that one of the local people who attended was so inspired that he is in discussions with a forester to have some of his land planted with trees! Another person, a long time visitor to Hollywood, who planted trees shortly after I started the project in 2008 is now using leaves from her quickly growing oak trees in innovative textile work. I’ll post some of these outcomes shortly but a key feature of the work I do lies in the conversations this project brings forth.

So I am delighted to announce that I’ve been asked to talk about the Hollywood project next month as part of the ongoing UCD Art in Science initiative. The talk is part of a series to accompany the current exhibition “Welcome Disturbances” and as an extension of the collaboration between artist Meadhbh O’Connor and Dr Tamara Hochstasser.


Pathways Towards Sustainability. A Collective Conversation.
Description: Presentations with panel discussion and Q&A
March 11th 2015: 6 – 7.30pm

This panel discussion will map the ways in which individuals working in different fields are driving and implementing change towards a more environmentally sustainable future.

Rapid developments in earth system sciences over the 20th and 21st centuries have advanced our knowledge of the complex and interconnected nature of earth’s living and non-living systems. This has lead to a better understanding of our inextricable link to and dependence on highly complex biosystems, and of the impact of human activity on these. The collective goal-setting of sustainability is our expression of concern that humans ultimately will suffer the consequences of our impact on our fellow species and on the environment upon which they depend.

The event take place at the LAB (Dublin, Foley St), unless otherwise stated. All events are free but places are limited, please book at


UCD Art In Science is a hub through which connections and partnerships amongst individuals working in different disciplines can be initiated.

This event aims to adhere to that principle in the hope of generating cross-disciplinary discussion and the possibility of future continued interaction amongst all in attendance. The event will follow a format of brief presentations by each panelist, followed by a lively and chaired discussion with audience participation.

Panel members will include Conall O’Connor, Assistant principal for the Marine Strategy Directive, Dept. of Environment, visual artists Cathy Fitzgerald and Meadhbh OConnor, Dr. Tamara Hochstrasser UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science.

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 20.05.33

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,667 other followers