consultancy | speaking | writing

Cathy Fitzgerald PhD, transformative learning educator, ecological-social artist, researcher and former scientist delivers the following consultancy, speaking, writing and research services to creative practitioners and art professionals

Cathy is an incredible resource for art education institutes, art organizations and individual artists of all kinds. Go to Cathy to increase ecoliteracy (eco-wisdom, eco-cultural skill) and rejuvenate your own art practice or that of your students and/or community. Bringing ecology and art together is essential right now, and Cathy understands the social, political, scientific, philosophical, and creative challenges it presents.”

Dr. Nikos Patedakis, philosopher, educator and mentor



WRITING GUIDES FOR ECOSOCIAL CREATIVE COMMUNITY PROGRAMMES


Cathy offers advice and writing on clear and accessible theory-method frameworks to guide creative workers or art-managers on how to develop successful long-term art-led community programmes that address urgent ecosocial issues.

Increasingly art-led, ecosocial art programmes, led by local artists who accrue deep ecological knowledge of their place, who build relationships with community and connect with local scientific, environmental and traditional knowledge holders, local educators and others, will be valued to engage communities to live well within rural or urban areas.

Due to the ecological emergency, Cathy predicts there will be an unavoidable shift in the creative sector to prioritise embedded-in-place, ecosocial art activity over years, over the production of ‘new work’ as currently prioritised by many Art Councils. Harnessing the creativity of communities to safeguard their places, will be an urgent and community building response to the environmental catastrophe.

Correspondingly, it will be essential to support creatives, who over years, amass valuable ecoliteracy (ecological knowledge) of their places. Perhaps a model will develop to value long-term creative residencies and thus support those art practitioners who develop rich ‘ecologies of practice (deeper relations between communities and their places)’ over the current emphasis of bringing outside artists to areas for short periods. Short residencies, at present, only allow superficial examination of ecological systems and do not foster deep community awareness for place. In some ways, as other researchers have noted, creatives working for places and community will have roles akin to those in Indigenous cultures, who reminded their communities of the beauty and preciousness of the environment through traditional creative activity.

[Photo Above] In her home area, Cathy advises and supports local Carlow-based artists on the successful ecosocial framework for the Creative Ireland Carlow Drummin bog school art programme (2019) see here.

Cathy will be writing a significant document for future art activity for the area surrounding Carlow Drummin Bog following a significant Creative Ireland Award (2020-21) and ArtLinks bursary (2020).

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

‘Routledge Handbook of Placemaking 2021 ‘The Hollywood Forest Story: Placemaking for the Symbiocene’






Cathy’s article ‘Goodbye Anthropocene – Hello Symbiocene’ (2019) first presented at NUIG and then at the international Anthropocene conference at Trinity College Dublin reviewed new ideas by philosopher Glenn Albrecht in his 2019 book ‘Earth Emotions‘ and how they might frame advances in situated ecosocial art practice. It attracted over 1300 reads on her website and was later published in the book Plasticity of the Planet: On Environmental Challenge for At and Its Institutions (2019) MOUSSE PUBLISHING.




SPEAKING – PUBLIC LECTURES
with Cathy Fitzgerald PhD

Cathy has provided lectures for Art.Earth UK (2012, 2016), UCC Art & Sustainability programme (2012) with philosopher Dr Graham Parkes, Dundee Art College postgraduate doctoral research seminar (with Prof Mary Modeen, 2016), Latvia Fields (2016),
Gothenberg VALAND art college online Commissioning and Curating Contemporary Public Art (2020)



Invited Guest speaker The Dock Arts Centre, TreeTV (2020): Whose Woods These Are: Wendell Berry’s A Good Forest economy–with Cathy Fitzgerald



Cathy was invited as guest lecturer for UK Chrysalis Art and Climate practice series (2021)

Cathy gave a guest lecture for Irish Museum of Modern Art – IMMA’s Breaking Cover ART AND ECOLOGY ENCOUNTERS Apr -Sept (2021) organised by curator Paola Catizone
(who complete Cathy’s Haumea Online Ecoliteracy course in 2020, and Earth Charter course in 2021)



DISTANCE THIRD-LEVEL TEACHING & LECTURES

Introductory ecoliteracy talks can be offered.

Suitable for: adults mid-career to established creative practitioners for all art forms, third-level art students, educators, curators, art researchers of all creative disciplines, MA, doctoral and post-doctoral leve.

Cathy has taught undergraduate Art and Ecology programmes at the Burren College of Art, tutored MA and PhD art candidates, and has facilitated Art & Ecology sessions for the Cowhouse Studios, Co. Wexford.



ECOLITERATE WRITING


Cathy’s research and writing skills evolved through her doctoral-level research in ecological art practice (The Ecological Turn, 2018) and her ongoing review of advances in the emergent art and ecology field, and her earlier career in writing scientific reports. Cathy has read widely across the art and ecology, ecocriticism, ecophilosophy and environmental ethics fields over many years. Her first art article was based on her undergraduate Fine Art thesis ‘Science and the Eclipse of the Earth’ (CIRCA, 2001).

Cathy’s advanced ecoliteracy and academic knowledge of ecological art practice, art and science, ecocriticism, eco-philosophy, environmental ethics, transformational learning for sustainability, can assist you in developing leading research and written articles, and design effective calls for exhibitions, art programmes and projects that aim to effectively address ecosocial issues.



Cathy’s article ‘Goodbye Anthropocene – Hello Symbiocene’ (2019) first presented at NUIG and then at the international Anthropocene conference at Trinity College Dublin reviewed new ideas by philosopher Glenn Albrecht in his 2019 book ‘Earth Emotions‘ and how they might frame advances in situated ecosocial art practice. It attracted over 1300 reads on her website and was later published in the book Plasticity of the Planet: On Environmental Challenge for At and Its Institutions (2019) and featured on the on the Australian initiated website: The Institute for Interdisciplinary Research into the Anthropocene (IIRA), Feb 10, 2020

See more of Cathy’s writings here

From Left: Prof Karen Till, Prof Gerry Kearns, Cultural Geography, Maynooth University, Dr. Nessa Cronin, Irish Studies, NUIG, Dr. Iain Biggs, Bath Univ, UK and Dr. Cathy Fitzgerald, Moore Institute, NUIG, June 2019.

ECOLITERACY POLICY EXPERTISE


Cathy was invited to present her review on the absence of Irish art and sustainability policy by Professors Karen Till, Prof. Gerry Kearns, Geography Dept, Maynooth University for the 50th Conference of Irish Geographers in May 2018 and lead a workshop on the topic ‘Raising the Shining, Reflective Shield’: the urgent need for cultural policy to engage Irish civil society toward eco-social well-being (Fitzgerald, 2018). She was then invited to further develop and share this research at the Moore Institute, alongside Dr Iain Biggs (UK) NUIG, May 2019.

ECOLITERACY POLICY EXPERTISE

Policy research and writing expertise

Art & Sustainability Cultural Policy Research Expertise:

Cathy was awarded a Carlow Arts Office Award in 2016 to develop a research study on the absence of art and sustainability policy in Carlow, and which soon became a review of the lack of policy, strategy and educational and financial supports for the Irish arts sector as a whole. Her report and online summary can be seen here.

Cathy’s critical fluency of ecological insights, sustainability concepts and values, ecocentric language means she understands the radical shifts in Irish cultural policy that the ecological emergency will prioritise.

See all of Cathy’s research in this area here

Cathy was invited to contribute to the US Minding Nature print and online journal in 2019.

Creative Ireland (2019) Preliminary broad survey of cultural responses to climate change: Cathy’s innovative Haumea Ecoliteracy work is cited in this initial report.
Cathy’s ecoliteracy PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSES and longterm ecosocial art practice ‘The Hollywood Forest Story’ (begun 2008) were noted in the preliminary CREATIVE IRELAND commissioned survey of Irish creative practitioners responding to ‘climate change’.


Testimonials

Dr Cathy Fitzgerald (PhD by Creative Practice) is a successful and popular transformational learning guide, lecturer, writer, speaker and researcher for sustainability for the creative sector, an ecosocial practitioner and a former scientist. This makes her uniquely placed to guide other creative professionals toward the most urgent topic in contemporary art today – how can we effectively employ creativity to inspire societal change in our audiences for the better world we know is possible.


Interested in learning more, please contact Cathy below: