“Do artists have the right kinds of tools to imagine new ways of living for the earth and its inhabitants?” Luke Clancy, RTE Lyric FM Culture File, 11 November 2019.
Listen to interview with Cathy Fitzgerald about her ecoliteracy course with writer and radio journalist Rachel Andrews, RTE Lyric FM.
Read more about Cathy's ongoing ecosocial art practice, The Hollywood Forest story here
With the support of growing numbers of creatives and collaborators, Cathy seeks to skillfully guide the creative sector on how to overcome the severe struggles she encountered–even with a science background– to develop meaningful, impactful integrated ecosocial art practices beyond outdated, fragmented educational models. She similarly wants to empower an ecoliterate Irish and global creative sector to wisely, compassionately and beautifully employ their creativity– to envision and embody a life-sustaining Symbiocene era of enduring peace, justice and planetary wellbeing.
In the creative sector, Cathy has been recognised for her innovative entrepreneurial online training on ecoliteracy and transformative learning approaches for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) with Earth Charter ecosocial values pedagogy, by the EU Our Thriving Tribe creative entrepreneurial research programme (2020), Awaken Hub - Ireland's new women-in-business organisation (2020), Green Foundation Ireland, the UK Climate Cultures Showcase and the UK founded art.Earth network, RTE Lyric FM, and Dublin FM.
An Irish-based New Zealander (with dual citizenship), Cathy has been living in rural South Carlow since 2001 and in Ireland since 1995. She has a background in biological research and received a First Class Joint Honours degree in Painting and Irish Art History at the National College of Art & Design in 2000, and a MA in New Media (Virtual Realities), in 2002.
From 2007-10, Cathy was the first ArtLinks.ie Director, managing and developing a 5-county Local Authority arts professional development programme for all art forms across South East Ireland. Cathy was respected across the region for her considerable personal insights and sensitivity towards the challenges creative practitioners face in their careers, and revealed an aptitude to care for, and foster an online community of 1400 creative practitioner members. She developed early, innovative courses in blogging and podcasting so creatives could independently showcase their processes and work.
Cathy's ongoing ecosocial art practice The Hollywood Forest Story (begun 2008) was the basis for her innovative Creative Practice-led PhD and audiovisual ebook The Ecological Turn: Living Well with Forests to explain ecosocial art practice using a Guattari ecosophy - action research framework (2018). This work envisions new ecological forestry in Ireland for the Symbiocene and explains embedded-in-place ecosocial art practice.
Her practice and research, which fosters political activism for national forest policy and advocacy for an international law against ecocide, has featured in The Irish Times, the US Minding Nature journal, and shared across the UK art.earth network.
Her article ‘Goodbye Anthropocene – Hello Symbiocene: EcoSocial Art Practices for a New World’ received international attention in Plasticity – The Global Reader: On Environmental Challenge for Art and Its Institutions, 2019 for the Centre for Contemporary Art U-jazdowski Castle, Warsaw and for the Australian Institute for Interdisciplinary Research into the Anthropocene (IIRA).
Her chapter ‘The Hollywood Forest Story: Placemaking for the Symbiocene’, appears in the Routledge 2021 Handbook on Placemaking edited by Dr Cara Courage.
Her work also features in the Routledge 2020 book on Creative Engagements with Ecologies of Place: Geopoetics, Deep Mapping and Slow Residencies by Prof. Mary Modeen, Dr Iain Biggs.
Cathy was also honoured to be invited to contribute to the forthcoming January 2022 New Village Press book produced by members of the longest running international ecoart network since 1999 –'Ecoart in Action: Activities, Case Studies and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities'..
Nikos pioneered wisdom-based learning at two of the most diverse universities in North America: San Francisco State University and University of California, Santa Cruz. The wisdom-based approach provides a truly holistic, ecoliterate orientation incorporating contemplative practices and philosophical frameworks that lead to transformative experiences. This approach developed in part from his certification as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, which, as the great educational philosopher John Dewey put it, “bears the same relationship to education that education bears to all other human activities.” His pedagogical approach was refined not only in the university, but also during his time as a professional dance teacher, and as a negotiation trainer and consultant for Fortune 500 companies.
Nikos left academia to focus on helping professionals of all kinds learn to think the way nature works, by taking advantage of what he sees as the single greatest untapped cultural resource humanity has: The philosophical traditions of the world, and the storehouse of practical wisdom they contain for solving complex personal and global challenges. Nikos sees art as having a special relationship with philosophy. Both philosophy and art seek to see the world with fresh eyes and an awakened heart, and they seek to offer this insight and inspiration to the culture at large, for the benefit of all citizens and the broader community of life. To bring about a more just and thriving culture in the most direct and intelligent manner, we need to empower the arts by making philosophy as a way of life available to artists and to arts education. Nikos offers training to artists that transforms both their experience of life and their practice of creativity and art making.
Learn more about Nikos and his work at www.DangerousWisdom.org
After you book you will get access to the – WELCOME ORIENTATION MODULE ON 11 SEPT; the first 'Getting to you know you' Live Group Meetings are Tues or Wed (you choose which day suits you), 15 or 16 Sept at 7 pm Irish / UK time. Check the time of the Live Group Meeting in your region– see worldtimebuddy.com. Please check to make sure the Live Group Meeting time will work for you, before you book! THE MODULES WILL BE RELEASED EACH WEEK
16/17 SEPT: WEEK 1. UNDERSTANDING 'THE BIG PICTURE' - WHY EVERYTHING HAS TO CHANGE AND WHY CREATIVITY CAN HELP
23/24 SEPT: WEEK 2. PSYCHOSOCIAL & PHYSICAL SUPPORTS & PRACTICES (LEARN WAYS TO DEAL WITH OVERWHELM, AVOID BURNOUT AND MAINTAIN YOUR SENSE OF HUMOUR)
30 SEPT/1 OCT: WEEK 3. NAVIGATING ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE WITH EASE, UNDERSTAND ANTHROPOCENE & SYMBIOCENE FRAMEWORKS, and WHY & HOW TO EMPLOY THE UN SDGs
7/8 OCT: MODULE 4. EXPANDED EARTH ETHICS – DEVELOP MORAL REASONING TO GUIDE YOUR WORK; UNDERSTAND THE EARTH CHARTER, & DEVELOPING ECOCIDE LAW
14/15 OCT:: WEEK 5. EXPLORING HOW OTHERS’ DEVELOP EXPANDED ECOLOGICAL ART PRACTISES
21/22 OCT: WEEK 6. BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER. APPLYING YOUR ECOLITERACY LEARNING TO TELL YOUR STORY
3/4 NOV: WEEK 7. A TIME TO SHARE WORK AND REFLECT
“The Haumea online ecoliteracy course provides participants with an essential toolkit to help them assemble a framework, within which to situate and develop their own eco-creative practices. Students are introduced to a wonderfully diverse range of perspectives, ranging from the philosophical to the psychological, from the sociological to the scientific, and how these distinct fields all intersect, impact and impinge upon current ecological concerns as well as exploring the ways in which they can help inform art practices. All this material, which may seem daunting at first, is presented in an easy-to-follow format, making it both accessible and engaging. Cathy is a compassionate and accomplished guide, leading her students through eco-literary forests of thought with both clarity and deftness. The weekly online discussions were also something to look forward to. They were hugely helpful and cordial, fostering a warm and intimate sense of community among the participants. It made the course much more participatory, engaging, and, most importantly, enjoyable. I have really missed these group discussions since completing the course. I heartily recommend this course to anyone interested in learning more about the relationships between art and ecology.”Fearghal Duffy, writer, Ireland
“It is easy to recommend Cathy’s own work, and her education. Her knowledge on disparate topics, and her willingness to share this knowledge, are tremendous. Every participant brought something different: writers, artists, philosophers all shared their perspectives as part of the course. Cathy’s way is to connect the people and the ideas. Just as in her own art, where she is growing a forest, in her teaching she draws together the disparate roots, branches, leaves, seeds and flowers, leaving a healthy forest to flourish for itself. I am very grateful.”Shane Finan - Visual Artist, Ireland
“In these crucial times in history, this innovative and artistic community is of profound importance. I experience the course to provide both scientific knowledge on the current shape and state of things, and creative inspiration, on how artistry can be used as a strong environmental voice. The course presents a very holistic approach to the processing and set of actions one can take, to help reshape the correlation between us and the natural world. So if you ever get the opportunity to participate in one of her courses, workshops or any kind of collaboration, simply soak up her passion and competence, and know, that you will be enriched!”Katinka Igelberg - photographer, poet, writer, Sweden
“I had the pleasure and honour of participating in Cathy’s first 6-week Online Ecoliteracy course. I felt immersed in a process that was deeply informed and considered with a group that had a wealth of different experiences. I felt the learning environment was clearly held by Cathy’s inclusive, knowledgable and articulate approach alongside her collaborators. As a dance artist, I feel the course gives me clear guidance as to other areas, for example, science and ethics, that can inform how I articulate my work and its value. I now feel that I will be able to take informed action on climate and biodiversity issues in a way that relates to my values and creative practice. Thanks, Cathy!”Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín - dance artist, Ireland
“Cathy is committed to environmental ideals and combines (unusually) a deep feeling for nature with a skilful ability to navigate contemporary digital platforms. Having viewed Cathy’s presentations on various occasions and in different forums, I have no hesitation in recommending her as an inspired and inspiring instructor. Particularly in these times when everything seems (by necessity) to be going digital, Cathy’s input is extremely important – given that, in the long term, environmental degradation is at least as concerning as the present pandemic, and may be intimately connected to it as a causal factor as well, due to (e.g.) agribusiness, factory farming, animal exploitation and, of course, deforestation. Cathy’s work offers a practical antidote to the threat posed by global warming, species extinction and the myriad other examples of humanity’s depredations on nature. I am delighted to see her work flourishing at this time when it is so greatly needed.”Dr Paul O'Brien, Visual Culture, PhD Supervisor, NCAD, Ireland