Paola Catizone: Visual/Performance Artist and Arts facilitator at IMMA (Irish Museum of Modern Art). Creator of Breaking Cover, Art and Ecology Encounters Programme at IMMA

My experience of the two courses with Cathy Fitzgerald and Nikos Patedakis is one of the most enriching of my life. I attended the Ecoliteracy for Arts Professionals and The Earth Charter courses this year (2021).

The Haumea Ecoliteracy course first gave me a rich foundation in philosophical, scientific and cultural/arts practices, ideas and values.

The Haumea Earth Charter course focussed on values and paradigms, those invisible things that wield their subtle power in the shaping of our world. It was encouraging to find out how much work has been done in developing these values in the Charter.

To find out that there are so many groups and individuals working skilfully to bring about change and to restore our living world was uplifting. The wealth of resources shared by Cathy is vast and empowering. I am currently reading through some ofthe recommended books. The role of the arts in this crucial time of change is immense. As artists, creatives and educators we are storytellers, and stories and images are powerful tools for change. Cathy gave us a new language to share our experience of eco-related grief and gifted us with us a reservoir of practical and imaginative tools to share in our facilitation and art making. I am now more than ever aware of interconnectedness, of being part of a community of life on this planet.

Nikos philosophical insights and the meditative practices he brought into the sessions grounded those ideas into experience. The ecological crisis is also a crisis of the imagination and the spirit. An “inner and outer” approach to ecological change made this course unique.

The support of such a diverse and strong group was vital in bringing energy to the online sessions and in creating a sense of community, something much needed when confronting the reality of environmental collapse. The group discussions were fascinating.

Thank you Cathy and Nikos for your important work.

Paola Catizone: Creator of Breaking Cover, Art and Ecology Encounters Programme at IMMA