Cathy has centred her work on a SLOW ART FOREST project taking place in her small two acre woodland under Mt. Leinster, in south Carlow.
The ongoing Hollywood Diaries project begun in 2008 is concerned with sustaining ecosystems that sustain us.
How one may help transform a monoculture conifer plantation into an ecologically and economically permanent forest (industrial forestry – monoculture clearfell forest systems is the predominant forest system is common across Ireland and many industrialised nations and yet in the longterm is unsustainable – limiting biodiversity, degrading soils, limiting amenity and heritage vales of forest and preventing local forest economies from developing). For many years she have worked alongside professional sustainable foresters (prosilvaireland.org) here in Ireland and Europe and the knowledge she has gained informs the work.
the neighbours (2012)
Cathy’s ongoing ‘conversation’ with the forest community in which she lives is a multi-constituent art-led and art-based practice yet involves a number of ongoing activities that are not normally associated with an art practice: forestry, experimental film-making, biodiversity surveying, blogging and theory writing, and forest policy development.
Follow Cathy’s work here
Cathy Fitzgerald is a NZ born artist who has been living in Ireland since 1995, and in rural South Carlow since 2001. She has a background in biological research, and contemporary art and in her early years in Ireland she worked in Leitrim with Crann – an Irish forest NGO. She received a First Class Joint Honours degree in Painting and Irish Art History at the National College of Art & Design (2000), an MA in New Media (Virtual Realities), in 2002. She was awarded an Arts Council Residency in 2005 to work in the Zoology Dept, Trinity College with Dr. Paula Murphy; and developed a notable solo exhibition with Leitrim Co. Council and Crann in 2006 for The Dock in Carrick-on-Shannon, documenting the largest community forest planting project in Ireland to date – The Local project: revisited with Crann founder Jan Alexander. She was the first director of ArtLinks.ie, managing and developing arts professional development for the South East from 2007-2010 and an online community of 1400 members.
In 2008 she began transformation of the monoculture conifer plantation she and her husband live in as a long term eco art project. Developing a multi-constituent artful eco practice and developing contacts beyond the art world to forest management and environmental political spheres, her work has also enabled her to contribute to new sustainable forest policy for the Green Party in 2012 and her forest site is part of the new Irish Forest Council COFORD (LISS) longitudinal study of those involved in transforming conifer plantations to permanent, non clearfell forests. She began a practice-thesis PhD at NCAD in 2010 based on her eco art work to examine through her own practice how to ‘Model best practice in the emergent field of artful eco praxis’.
- Cathy Fitzgerald’s ‘The black space (resilience) of the Ash night’ selected for 2013 UCD Science Expression film festival (9stones.wordpress.com)
- Dog puts new Carlow forest on the map (ecoartfilm.com)
- The black space and Ash dieback news in Ireland (ecoartfilm.com)