artful eco action workings that cycle through: Close-to-Nature continuous cover forestry, experimental film-making, ecological philosophy (deep ecology, 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


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Mary White of will lead  Green Sod Ireland Earth Day WildAwake Blackstairs, Co. Carlow walk at 5.30 pm, Tuesday 22 April 2014. Photo: Green Sod Ireland

I’m really delighted to announce Hollywood will be open and celebrating Earth day 2014 with Green Sod Ireland as part of one of its fundraising WildAwake walks on Tuesday 22 April, 2014 at 5.30pm.

This has developed from a coincidental meeting I wrote about a few months ago when I meet members of Green Sod Ireland and Mary White ( who were walking right past Hollywood.

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Blackstairs Eco Trails – Carlow -Tuesday 22nd April 5.30pm

Meeting Point: Old Rectory Killedmond Borris, Co. Carlow 

A Walk on the Wild Side for Earth Day

Join for a slow walk at the foot of the Blackstairs. We will look at the gently rolling heather clad hills with their lichens and ferns. We will look for herbal delights and lovely Spring flowers to guide us on our way. We will discover stunning Spanish Chestnut Trees and marvel at stone paved streams running under small granite bridges.  A walk to look at the small natural wonders in our local environment.  Suitable for all ages and for children from 10 upwards. We leave no trace!

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Green Sod wildacres across Ireland

Guide: Mary White - Walk takes just over an hour

Collaborator/ Artist – Cathy Fitzgerald

Register/Donate – For GreenSod Ireland Wild-awake Earth Day 2014 guided walks (there are other walks in Carlow town, Dublin and Galway)

Green Sod Ireland’s vision is working to establish WildAcres in every county in Ireland; safe havens where species can thrive and flourish. Since The Trust works with local communities and encourages them to live in harmony with nature. It also works to advance education by promoting and encouraging public awareness of the importance of conserving land and protecting the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.


Hollywood and Green Sod Ireland – a small eco art conversation

Soon after I first met members of Green Sod Ireland they asked if I could develop an eco art residency. I’m a bit overwhelmed with the workload in my eco art phd but I offered to take photos and to bring Green Sod WildAwake walkers into Hollywood after Mary White’s guided walk (this seemed to tie in nicely as Mary was involved in the planting of Hollywood in the mid-1980s but you can hear more about that on the walk). Mary’s Green Sod walk (see above) is through lanes that circle the top of the valley under Mt Leinster. It ends on the lane that runs alongside Hollywood. (more…)

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By chance, on the way to a great conference last week I happened to meet Duncan Stewart – we were both taking public transport. Duncan is perhaps one of Ireland’s best known TV personalities, an award-winning architect, he hosts Ireland’s only environmental programme “EcoEye”. In fact, with the woeful reporting on environmental concerns in Ireland (see here for a recent discussion), its hard to imagine where we would be without Duncan’s popular programme. “EcoEye” often raises ideas and projects that people are working on despite the slowness of our government to really respond to key issues like fuel and food security and climate change.  Duncan’s “EcoEye” team have recently looked at communities getting on with developing their own community energy schemes, the future of farming and food production, climate change, the problems with water, and also, a vision for Ireland’s forests!

I was really delighted to see Duncan’s episode on forests and woodlands in January (see above). (more…)

image of article by cathy fitzgerald

We believe that the most interesting and necessary writing is emerging from a place that goes far beyond the traditional boundaries of nature writing or environmental writing. We believe that the kind of writing we need now is the kind of writing which delves deeply into the relationship between humans and the natural world, in these times of turmoil and ecocide. We need writing about authentic ways of living and being in a world whose systems and values are crumbling. Writing which inspires change, and which helps us to transform the stories we tell ourselves about the world and our place in it. Writing which gives us courage to defend a world in crisis. Writing which is fiery, feral, ferocious.

Sharon Blackie, Editor: EarthLines


I’m delighted to share that an article of mine has been published in the wonderful, soon to be, based-in-Ireland EarthLines magazine.EarthLines 8 200

My article ‘Ecopornography versus the slow, deep art of place’ evolved from a blog post on this site and I want to thank several readers who took the time to comment on this article back then too. I had noticed EarthLines as a new magazine some years ago and thought at the time it was for real writers. While I enjoy blogging and I’m having to write academically for my art practice-theory phd I really don’t consider myself a writer, although hopefully after this tortuous thesis writing there has been some improvement.

So I was startled (and of course delighted) when EarthLines editor Sharon Blackie wrote to inquire about my blog post on ecopornography and ecocide versus slower, deeper forms of art practices that try to relate more sensitively to environments. The article in the EarthLines magazine is an extended version of my blog post and reflects more where my artful eco practice is heading now. You can buy a copy or subscribe to a paper or digital edition of EarthLines here (please note orders for the current issue will be cheaper for Irish residents when EarthLines is fully based here in the next month).

I’d also like to welcome Sharon and her husband David Knowles to Donegal in Ireland as from the next issue EarthLines will be Irish based!! Both Sharon and her husband David are fantastic writers, with extraordinary knowledge from other fields (Sharon spent several years as an academic neuroscientist/ psychologist and has since studied narrative psychology, myth- and storytelling; David is a former RAF Tornado pilot and a poet!). They are establishing a network of people who are creating thought-provoking writings, poetry and visual arts that relate honestly and courageously to the troubling times we are in. I’ve been following Sharon through her own writings and through what she shares on social media. A recent post by Sharon on the value of stories I could really identify with, in creating my own story of new resiliencies from Hollywood:

And we can see it now: the chipping away at the old meta-narrative, the different stories that some of us choose to live. It’s happening now, that transformation in the meta-narrative, and we’re a part of it. Group after group is springing up around the world – the non-defeatists, the groups that speak positively for change, for action, for getting out there and doing it differently – groups like Transition, like the Occupy movement, like Peaceful Resistance … gosh, so very many, and growing all the time. It’s happening already. But note this: we don’t change the meta-narrative by sitting around thinking up new stories. We do it by getting out there. By not only seeing in new ways, but living in new ways. By being the subjects for those stories. More than that – by being the stories. We ARE the stories. That’s how it’s always been. It’s part of the dualism that we’ve forgotten it, that we see the transformative myths and stories as something separate from us, that we can create – simply conjure up. It makes me want to weep. It isn’t like that at all. If we approach it in that way, we’re still in the old paradigm. We’re not understanding how stories work.

EarthLines is open for ‘fiery, feral, ferocious’ submissions too so I hope you check it out


society of irish foresters logo

On another front, some of you might recall that a year ago Hollywood was inspected as it is contributing forest research data to the Irish COFORD- Forest Council LISS (Low Impact Silviculture Systems) research project on Irish conifer plantations that are being transformed to continuous cover, non clearfell forest management systems.



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