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,
Wicklow, Ireland, 2020
Haumea Online Ecoliteracy course
Haumea ecoliteracy teaching for other institutions & educators: testimonials for Cathy Fitzgerald
Have you benefited from a Haumea course, mentoring or presentation?
Please feel free to add a testimonial below to the form below, and thank you!
Cathy Fitzgerald’s Ecoliteracy course far surpassed my expectations in materials presented and discussions. It is a valuable course at so many levels.
I’ve been a practicing ecoartist for 12 years and educator for 25; despite my background, Cathy’s course was rich in knowledge that will continue to aid me in my teaching, personal studio practice, and ever-expanding community based art & ecology stewardship.
Even in grad school, I never came across eco information or had discussions this rich in content and heart.
I was one of Cathy’s supervisors for her PhD, and indeed I think I was the main impetus in helping her to decide on pursuing what is always a demanding project, not least when it takes the form of both theory and practice, as it did in her case. Cathy is committed to environmental ideals, and combines (unusually) a deep feeling for nature with a skilful ability to navigate contemporary digital platforms. Her wide-ranging interests span her own forestry project, an important input at political level, and her key interventions as an artist and cultural practitioner.
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.
I attended Cathy’s first ecoliteracy workshop, having struck up a friendship after hearing her speak at the Conference of Irish Geographers (2018) on art and sustainability. I was struck then by her ideas, and felt immediately the importance of her work. Here was someone finally articulating and speaking about issues with the urgency which I felt at the time, but which was not yet mainstream in public discourse.
Cathy spoke courageously about the sixth extinction, climate change, culture as the fourth pillar of sustainability and through her workshop, introduced me to a host of authors, ideas, and environmental philosophers whose work must be read in this time of change and upheaval.
I continue to admire and deeply appreciate her honesty and courage in speaking about these issues, urging us to strive for a human morality that includes all living beings and reconnects us to ourselves, each other, and the natural world. Shakespeare counsels that we must “Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o’erfraught heart and bids it break”. Cathy’s work and friendship have helped me and many others give that sorrow words, giving us tools to keep going at a time when our hearts are close to breaking as we bear witness to the multiple global crises that are unfolding.
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.
It was a great pleasure to attend Cathy’s first ecoliteracy workshop. One of the most important aspects of the workshop for me was how it reflected the breadth and depth of Cathy’s understanding and passion for developing the interrelationship between art, ecology and sustainability. Cathy shared her knowledge of environmental thinkers and philosophers with such warmth, openness and generosity. She has truly opened up a new way of thinking about social practice for me, and she also introduced me to a host of thinkers whose work is exciting and challenging.
Cathy has an extraordinary mind which is deeply analytical and equally creative. Her training and love of science and research is matched by her creative socially engaged practice which brings science and art together in her unique way.
I would urge anyone with an interest in ecology, art and sustainability to take Cathy’s classes and workshops. Her willingness to share her work and nurture that of participants is evident in her warmth, sincerity and passion for her work. She is a phenomenal teacher with so much to share.
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!
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 say that Cathy’s work is not only about something, but it’s about some of the most important things.
Whether you seek out Cathy as an artist, teacher, collaborator, or adviser, you will find her a delight to engage with, and a genuinely warm and ethical person. I encourage you to work with her and to support her work.
As an artist with a concern about our communities and environment this course was invaluable in helping me communicate confidently about my work. The course offers a supportive environment to delve deeper into important compassionate ecological practices.
Ok, the preciousness of Cathy lies in her very unique combination of skills; a profound knowledge (scientific, artistic, activist, ecoliterate), an intrinsic sensitivity toward the natural world, and a loving nature, which seems to emanate from all of her doings; whether in one on one conversation, in her own creative practice, or thru the computer screen all thru the online course.
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!
Cathy was extremely helpful and supportive as an interviewee for my undergraduate thesis, which was an exploration of how permaculture design principles might be applied to an art practice. Her explanation of her own work with continuous cover forestry gave me clear, practical examples of the kinds of ideas I was investigating.
I also benefited from Cathy’s extensive knowledge and understanding of eco-social art practices as she was able to guide me to the work of writers, artists, curators who are active in this area, and also to specific texts.
As well as being useful for thesis itself, the benefit of this knowledge extends into a much wider context as it provides me with more of a framework and vocabulary to bring my interest in ecology into a practice in contemporary art.
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!
This is a comprehensive learning course in ecoliteracy, well presented and supported and is learner-friendly for all levels. I found the course to be great value for money and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone wishing to learn more about ecoliteracy and the practical applications of the language and ideas covered in the course. The compassionate support of the course tutors is also invaluable as part of the course.
This course has brought clarity and motivation to my artistic and anthropological practice.
With scientific rigour, spiritual richness, creative sparkle and sensitivity it offers a deeper appreciation of the world and all we share it with.
I first met artist -researcher Cathy twelve years ago in my home town of Carlow, Ireland. Her course is packed with valuable resources, video links and readings. Fellow artists, educators and policy makers from all over the globe met on the weekly zoom meeting , using the material for that week we explored ecological insights that promote paradigm shifts.
On our final week participants presented our own socio eco practices to the group, learning a little bit more of the people who had been raising questions during the previous weekly sessions. After two weeks I am still reviewing many of the readings and links on the course referencing the renowned and also the less known movers and shakers in the world of ecological thinking and eco-social art practices […]
I would highly recommend this online course for artists and creatives and policymakers who wish to inform their practices / educational programs and policies. [from a review of Cathy’s Haumea Ecoliteracy course, Summer 2019]
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.
Cathy’s 7-week Haumea Online course on ecoliteracy, in conjunction with Dr. Nikos Patedakis’ philosophical contribution, contained invaluable analysis tools and well as precious soul food!
I highly recommend Cathy’s 6-week Eco-Literacy course to anyone wishing to explore ways of deepening into creative relationship with the whole living Earth community.
The modules are thought provoking and inspiring, the other people in the course are all doing interesting work and Cathy creates a vibrant space for the cross-pollination of ideas. Cathy is a fountain of kindness and generosity.
Her enthusiasm, encouragement, and knack for making connections was greatly appreciated. I felt warmly welcomed, seen, heard and encouraged to share my voice, experience and opinions in the live group meetings and private discussions.
As a creative generalist, I’m always dreaming up new Life-enhancing practices to add to my work and this course was filled with so much inspiration, fuel for continued dreaming and small sweet steps for inspired action.
The content and network of support arising from this community of artists and change-makers could take you in a million creative directions!
Dr Iain Biggs: creative practice educator | artist | researcher – doctoral supervisor Britain, Ireland
It’s great to read about the impact Cathy Fitzgerald’s Haumea is having on people’s lives. Having watched her thinking and approach evolve over many years now, the comments above seem to me an entirely appropriate response to what is a valuable resource for all those concerned with developing a better understanding of the relationship between art and ecology. Knowing how much work has gone into putting the course together, I would highly recommend this course.
Dr. Iain Biggs Educator | artist | researcher – Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Dundee, a Visiting Research Fellow at Bath Spa University, supervising/advising doctoral students in Scotland, Ireland and England.
The course opened up my practice to the huge potentials that exist outside the confining definitions of art world art practices. It gave me language and understanding of how to define what work I’d like to do through my practice. It gave me a concise network of information that would have taken me years to amass myself. When I realised that my ‘living life’ is really my art practice.. how to live well in these times and to share this. This thought has allowed me to totally reframe what I hope to do.
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!
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.
I completed a Masters in painting in 2017. As a long time professional artist I attended Cathy’s first ecoliteracy workshop in November 2019.
I was not sure what to expect but was hoping for high standards I was not disappointed. She had a well thought out plan. What I found most impressive apart from her intellectual modesty and approachability, was the generosity with which she shared her concerns and interests. The quality and delivery of the information she imparted on the general field of eco art research was very useful and an inspiration.
A great educator and super mentor. I look forward to her forthcoming online course.
I urgently recommend the Haumea Essential Ecoliteracy course, seven weeks of delving into current thinking and practices are held together by Cathy’s gentle committed presence with Nikos Patedakis’ philosophical support.
What is terrifying about the way the world is now, becomes manageable, as we discover there are ways through, and this course is one of them.