I was delighted recently to be contacted by visual artist Navine Kahn-Dossos who works between the UK and Athens and who lives in Greece. Navine had heard of my Haumea Ecoversity ecoliteracy training for professional creatives in Glenn Albrecht’s book Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World (2019), and wondered if I could offer her some online mentoring sessions.
Navine contacted me as she has undertaken an exciting and important commission for the Irish Museum of Modern Art which has an important ecological perspective. I’m sharing this information as there is an invitation to those interested to join Navine’s workshops at IMMA in July 2022 – I’m going to attend one of the workshops myself and I’m very excited to be part of seeing this work develop:
‘IMMA has invited the artist Navine G. Khan-Dossos to realise an ambitious new commission for IMMA’s iconic courtyard which aims to address the issue of new psychological states that have emerged in response to a greater awareness of global and local climate change. Inspired by the books Earth Emotions (2019) by Glenn Albrecht and Thought Forms (1901) by Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater, the resulting artwork Kind Words Can Never Die will address how images can be made of these emerging feelings that can be both negative and positive responses to ecological change.
Part of this project will be realised through studio-based workshops where Khan-Dossos will introduce her own practice as an artist, and her ideas for this site-specific commission. Workshop participants will then spend the morning using paint and paper to connect words and colours through an open associative process – first making these explorations individually, and then together as a single group. The afternoon will explore the addition of colours to a series of diagrams and graphs chosen about climate change, adding an emotional reading to scientific data-driven visualisations of the environment.’IMMA website, 2022
These workshop contributions will be gathered and studied by the artist and every week Khan-Dossos will use the findings to inform the wall paintings for the IMMA Colonnades, creating a collective response to the themes addressed in the workshops.
A skilled visual artist, and fluent in sacred art practices, it was a pleasure to gain insight to Navine’s creative practice, and her sociopolitical and growing ecological concerns. Mentoring is always a mutually enriching process and we also had input from her partner, writer James Bridle who will also be offering a keynote talk ‘Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: the search for planetary intelligence‘ (the title of his most recent book) at IMMA on Thurs 14 July (if you are interested in writing, James will also be part of IMMA’s Outdoor Seed STUDIO Reading series on Friday 08 July, from 7 – 8 pm, hosted by Clodagh Emoe).
More about the Haumea Ecoversity
Hello! Kia Ora! My name
is Cathy Fitzgerald, and
I’m an Irish-based New
Zealander living in rural
Ireland these past 20 years.
“In these urgent times, I’m passionate
about bringing ecoliteracy including
new ecological thinking, values,
language and head-heart-body
practices in empowering
to the creative and wider cultural
sector. Creative and cultural sector
professionals have a crucial
leadership role if informed and
supported. They can employ their
social inclusivity and creativity skills
to inspire diverse communities to
envision and embrace new
understandings, values and actions
for a more beautiful and just world.
Dr Cathy Fitzgerald
Ecological artist for the ongoing Hollywood Forest Story (begun 2008), Advisor for Creative Drummin Carlow Bog project, Accredited ESD* Earth Charter educator | researcher | advisor & mentor.
In 2022, Cathy was nominated by Earth Charter International, UNESCO Chair for ESD as Earth Charter Focal Point Communicator for Ireland.
*ESD is the UN-mandated shift in global formal and lifelong learning toward Education for Sustainable Development