Haumea Mentoring – Coaching

Catriona Gallagher: UK Greece-based visual moving image artist

Ecoliteracy is a knowledge form I sought before I knew it had a name. Cathy’s mentoring gave me a framework to slot my thinking into and join up the dots I have been working to uncover through my artwork over the past decade. Her generous and careful approach to one-to-one mentoring came at a crucial time for me thinking about the use of plants in my work and helped me understand the wider concerns surrounding my research. Cathy helped me see that there is a greater international network of thinkers past, present and future that I can tap into. In the months after our mentoring session, I felt a definite shift into a new awareness and a passing of a significant threshold since thinking more consciously about ecological practice; which once passed, you can’t go back from. That ecoliteracy has a name and is a process that can be worked on (over a lifetime) is incredibly enabling. I thank Cathy deeply for her support and engagement with my work.

Navine G. Dossos- visual artist, London-Athens Aegina Greece

Cathy has been a wonderful mentor in the past few weeks, full of knowledge, thoughtfulness, and genuine deep love and care for ecology as a theoretical subject and a lived experience. Even from the first session I felt immersed in a new way of thinking holistically about this vital subject matter. It goes without saying that these sessions with Cathy have shifted my perspective and got me to ask some pretty fundamental questions of myself and my work. She has been a great teacher and support for my upcoming project at IMMA Dublin and I look forward to continuing the dialogue.

James Bridle: writer, artist – Greece

Working with Cathy was a wonderful experience, learning about the deep history of ecologically-engaged artwork, and being exposed to new ideas and processes which will continue to resonate in my own practice. Author of ‘Ways of Being: Beyond Human Intelligence’ 2022

Jeni Roddy, theatre visual artist-teacher, Wexford, Ireland

It was a privilege to participate the Cathy’s Earth Charter course. I was so impressed by the breadth of her approach incorporating spiritual, moral and practical guidance on the Earth Charter. Also, I was moved by its relation to me as a human, an artist and a part of a World community. She and Nikos were inspiring and provided me with a huge injection of new knowledge. I will continue to pursue the path of the ecosocial path that I find my practice on but with now a framework of the Earth Charter and an awareness of other practitioners who are similarly engaged.

Dagmara Pater:visual artist | post-grad. researcher Norway

I would like to thank you Cathy for the course. I think this kind of education, all you delivered–was so comprehensive and so good–I feel like I have been studying for two years! It is worth spreading and could be a part of a study program at a university 🙂 You inspired me to develop my activity as an ecosocial art practitioner. I aim to develop ecological art projects for junior high schools, take students to the forests and develop creative-learning situations in nature. Like the German artist Tino Sehgal, I lost the interest in creating pleasing decorative things to sell. I’ve became more aware of the urgency of other methodologies for art now. Eventually, I imagine I will work exclusively with natural material like plants, wood and stone, but the most important is to make people embrace different ways of knowing to live well with all of Earth’s inhabitants.

Gillian Cussen: visual artist, Cork, Ireland

I found Cathy’s Haumea Online 6-week Essential Ecoliteracy course and mentoring inspiring on a number of levels. Educationally, I found Cathy to be a teacher who communicates with gentleness and conviction and the topics covered are varied and interesting with access to the work of many outstanding thinkers and artists. I learnt much and became a lot more ecoliterate ( although I still have a way to go). As a visual artist, I felt I had joined a community of people, a network of artists, both in Ireland and around the world who have a common understanding, who share information and have the potential to act as a support to one another. Personally, the course led me to begin meditating on a regular basis after trying unsuccessfully for many years. One of the artists/philosophers referred to on the Ecoliteracy course wrote: “When the student is ready the teacher will appear”. I am glad that Cathy and her course appeared when they did.    Thank you Cathy!

Dr. Nikos Patedakis, philosopher and mentor, United States review

If life gifts you the opportunity to work with Cathy Fitzgerald, consider yourself lucky. If you are a policy-maker, please listen to her wise counsel. If you are considering signing up for one of her courses, do so posthaste. If you are a patron of the arts, get out your checkbook and put a lot of zeroes after that first positive integer. 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. Cathy has an excellent mind, both creative and analytical. She has education and training in the sciences, including a long stint as a research tech, yet she retains the sensitivity and soul of an artist. Cathy’s work as an artist reminds me of a lecture Toni Morrison gave, in which the Nobel laureate lamented that the problem with so much of the art these days is that it isn’t *about* anything. As a philosopher I can confidently… Read more “Dr. Nikos Patedakis, philosopher and mentor, United States review”

Carole Nelson – Musician, Composer, Ireland review

Cathy is an inspirational teacher, artist and friend who has enriched my understanding of ecocide and climate chaos immeasurably. I was embarking on a composition project and knew that I wanted to connect my music and creativity with an eco-practice but had no tools or deeper understanding other than my flailing sense of impotence in the face of climate chaos. Cathy guided me through resources, philosophers, activists, books and videos with a light and generous touch. I came to understand the importance of joining with others, of finding ways to express grief, of finding the courage to keep speaking truth to power and understanding the importance of every tiny action we make.My project is now ongoing with support from the Irish Arts Council. Cathy, you have my deep gratitude and my admiration for your knowledge and your dedication. 3/3/2020

Sarah Flynn – Visual Artist, Ireland review

Cathy helped guide me through one of my projects responding to the ecological crisis. Coming from Dublin and having had no formal education in the area of ecology, I found the research-heavy going at first. But Cathy gave me the confidence to pursue. She was clear and concise and generous with her knowledge. The project has since been selected for New Irish Works 2019 and I am indebted to Cathy for all her support! 3/5/2020

Please note with my increased teaching work, I suggest people interested in mentoring complete a Haumea Ecoversity Essential Ecoliteracy or Earth Charter Course first.

One-to-one accelerated learning

Develop your creative practice with access to my knowledge and expertise in ecoliteracy. Mentoring or coaching is an effective way of customising professional development to accelerate your creative practice needs. It has been defined as “a partnership between a more experienced and less experienced practitioner” and it can mean that you advance more quickly with this topic.

A mentor focuses on an individual's (mentee's) work to assist their career progress and confidence. Through dialogue, a mentor can assess conceptual aspects, and new knowledge from other fields to advance your creative practice or creative research.

How does it work?

Unless you live close to where I live, I offer bespoke remote mentoring online. When it's convenient for you, I will host a series of hour-long, one-to-one sessions on Zoom (these sessions can be recorded for you) or Skype.

Please be assured all mentoring sessions are private and confidential.

Who is mentoring for?

Mentoring is most useful for emergent and mid-career creative workers, art managers or art researchers who have developed a body of creative work and are self-motivated and keen to new absorb new ideas, concepts and practices.

Who have I helped?

I have helped creative workers (artists, musicians, art researchers, curators and others) who are developing projects with ecological themes or concerns. I have a broad and deep knowledge of the art and ecology field from my ongoing ecological art practice (as I shared in the US Minding Nature journal, 2019) and doctoral eco-social art practice research. See my testimonials here.

What can I cover?

I can tailor specific art and ecology knowledge, knowledge about the challenges and rewards of ecological art practice, introduce you to environmental philosophy, and ecological ethics, and help you navigate environmental science with ease (I worked in research science for a decade). I can connect you to other resources to enhance the effectiveness and credibility of your creative activities, curating, research or cultural policy work aims. If you live in Ireland, I can alert you to possible funding opportunities.

Why is mentoring - coaching costly?

Before mentoring individuals, and to save you money, I advise people to do my Haumea online Essential Ecoliteracy course first.

One-to-one mentoring is more costly than doing a workshop or online course as in a group situation.

Mentoring is also time-consuming for me, as I spend effort to engage deeply with someone else's creative practice.

When I look at your creative practice, it's not just about the hour(s) I spend talking with you to get to know your practice and your key concerns. My brain gets hooked on thinking about your practice for you and bringing the most relevant ecoliteracy knowledge to you to consider and explore. So I spend more time than you would imagine when I mentor someone.

My mentoring you, which I really enjoy, also means I have less time for my own creative practice and other teaching work. So the higher price reflects these aspects of having individual access to my expertise and time.

Example of my mentoring: with composer/musician Carole Nelson

Musician, Composer Carole Nelson with me with Hollywood Forest (the forest community I live with), South Carlow, Nov 2018.

A post about when I first started working with Carole in late 2018, can be read and listened to here

You can hear me in conversation with Carole when I was just starting to get to know her and her eco-forest aims for the album. My advice for Carole was only about ecological literacy - ecoliteracy - the philosophy, expanded ecosocial ethics that an ecological worldview must have. My first mentoring experience taught me what a joy mentoring is when we can learn and share together.

Carole went on to compose new forest inspired jazz works, that she developed further for her Carole Jazz Trio - this eventually became their stunning and critically acclaimed album Arboreal 🙂

You can see ecological insights in the mood, feeling, rhythm and titles of the track. It's beautiful as a complete production - although I still cherish the memories of receiving 'canopy' and 'beneath the ground' into my email and witnessing Carole's earlier versions and the trio's first public gig of the album before it was recorded. 'In the days of growing darkness' (after Mary Oliver's words) is another favourite.

Carole's new album was reviewed in the Irish Times here and here and internationally as well.

"a rare and elegant talent" - Irish Times on Arboreal album in 2020 best albums to date. 

'Nelson is, without question, as the refined language of her writing and playing constantly reiterates, a singular voice,'
All About Jazz Magazine

More information on Carole's work is here

RIGHT (video) Cathy Fitzgerald and composer, jazz musician Carole Nelson reflect on Cathy's ecoliteracy mentoring and how it helped Carole in the development of her new jazz trio album 'Arboreal' (2020).

'Arboreal is music to immerse oneself in - lyrical, open-hearted and grounded in a spirit that refuses to give up hope. '
Arboreal is now available as hard copy CD from Tower Records, Dublin and CDBaby.com. Downloads and streaming from Spotify, iTtunes and Amazon. 

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