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

Holly, Hollywood and Cathy Fitzgerald - bringing Resiliencies: stories of transformation from a small Irish forest to Findhorn in late September

Holly, Hollywood and me – we’ll be sharing  Resiliencies: stories of transformation from within a small Irish forest at the Findhorn International Summit on New Stories in late September 2014. Photo: Jan Alexander

“For people, generally, their story of the universe and the human role in the universe is their primary source of intelligibility and value. The deepest crises experienced by any society are those moments of change when the story becomes inadequate for meeting the survival demands of a present situation”.

Thomas Berry, Dream of the Earth

Some months ago I was asked if I would share my story of helping transform our small forest, to an international week-long summit audience at Findhorn. Findhorn is the world’s oldest intentional community, eco-village, and a leading UN acredited sustainable education and training centre*.

The theme for the already booked-out summit is close to my work and centers on the need for ‘new stories’ and models that we need to embrace to live more sustainably. Leading ‘story-tellers’, ‘change-makers’, activists, shamans, educators, indigenous leaders and others from across the world will be coming to share their experiences to build a culture of new stories for the changing and challenging times we are facing. Looking at all facets that this change will involve new stories for our education, our spirit, our economics and our politics.

This ‘New Story Summit – Inspiring Pathways for our Planetary Future’, 27 Sept-3 October 2014, is the Findhorn Foundation’s*  international call to people of all ages and cultures to:

  • those already living their edge of a new story
  • those who have carried the best of the old story forward, the ancient and indigenous wisdom
  • those investigating threads of possibility
  • those seeking inspiration and insight as to what could be: to gather with open hearts and minds to open to and experience what we can co-create together.

An introduction to the summit can be seen below: (more…)

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At the end of this month I am delighted to be able to present my artful eco forest research-in-progress at the 2014  ASLE-UKI  (United Kingdom and Ireland) Postgraduate Conference, 30-31 July 2014, at University College, Dublin. It will be a great opportunity to meet more Irish and UK workers in this emerging research field too.

ASLE-UKI is a sister branch of the US Association for Literary and the Environment  – ASLE ( This global organisation for the last 20 years has pioneered the field of ecocriticism (predominantly in the Literature theory field but in recent years it has encouraged analysis of other creative forms, such as cinema and visual culture). I am a committee member of the Australia-New Zealand branch; I presented my early doctoral work in Melbourne in 2012 and last year I participated in a great webinar lead by co-founder of ASLE, US based Prof. Greta Gaard, and organised by the European group EASCLE on “Where is Feminism in the Environmental Humanities?”

Ecocriticism of cultural works is one of the fields, along with ecofeminism, feminism, eco-philosophy, new materialism, ecology, etc., that are contributing to the larger umbrella-like EcoHumanities (also called the Environmental Humanities) field.  For creative practitioners, ecocriticism is extremely helpful in uncovering outworn ideas and conventions in cultural practices that may obscure or perpetuate damaging perceptions of the earth, other human and non-human communities. (more…)

Cathy Fitzgerald:

And this is what I was doing last weekend – showing some short film works with my local artists friends in Borris – Martin and I have been part of the 9 Stones Artists group since it was founded 5 years ago. It was a real treat to share our work in the area that inspires both our practices.

“A common thread to the 9 Stones Artists group is that we respond to the area and reflect new meanings and experiences of South Carlow to audiences; in the various media we choose, the themes we engage with or the practices and processes we undertake.

In creative ways, the 9 Stone Artists look to define and enrich understandings of the area; by examining its unique past, present and future aspirations; the geological, aesthetic, and ecological rhythms of the area and how these thread through local South Carlow life.

Some of the 9 Stone Artists are concerned with art-making, some with extended or site-specific studies of the area, others again work across non-art disciplines or connect and participate with non art-groups; all create works that transmit new understandings of this special area of County Carlow, still little known outside the county.”

Originally posted on The Nine Stones Artists County Carlow:

FINal 9stones_cfitzgerald2014-1

“The 9 Stones Artists are a cut above most other groups of their kind. Their art is inquisitive of new technique and subject matter; they bring science and nature together subtly and convincingly and produce images that are pleasing and appealing. There is an intellectual weight to their art that lifts it above and beyond mere picture making, and it’s this quality that validates their practice as ‘capital A’ Art. Hung in the quirky surrounds of repairs and renovations to the building that houses the show, this is a perfect opportunity to see really good art being displayed right in the locality in which it was made. These are local artists making a big contribution to the art world. Up South Leinster!”

Jeremy Hill, The Norman Gallery 13 June 2014

Thanks to everyone who came and visited our exhibition last weekend. We were all thrilled with the response in our…

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