Dr. Cathy Fitzgerald

From 2007 to 2010, Cathy was the inaugural ArtLinks Director helping to deliver professional development courses to creative practitioners across the South East which has given her insights into the struggles faced by artists to establish livelihoods and learning. In 2009, she was part of the UK RSA Art and Ecology Network and attended the inaugural International Culture | Futures summit, held alongside the 2009 Copenhagen UN Climate Summit. In 2017, she was an NUIG Galway Moore Institute Visiting Fellow –  The Tim Robinson Archive.

In 2018, in review of her and the others’ ecological art practices, Cathy successfully defended a PhD by Creative Practice, The Ecological Turn: Living Well with Forests To Articulate Eco-Social Art Practices Using a Guattari Ecosophy and Action Research Framework, National College of Art & Design, (NCAD). Her supervisors were Dr Paul O’Brien (NCAD), Dr Iain Biggs (UK) and Prof. Jessica Hemmings (NCAD). Dr Richard Povall (Art.Earth International Programme Director, Dartington, UK) was her examiner. She was nominated to the International EcoArt Network in 2016 by Prof. Poval and Prof. David Haley. In January 2019, she was delighted to be invited to teach the undergraduate Art and Ecology programme at the Burren College of Art for the 2019 Spring semester.

Recent & Current Research

Cathy’s most well known and ongoing eco-social art practice is The Hollywood Forest Story, begun in 2008, centers on her work to transform the small monoculture tree plantation, in which she lives, into a permanent, species-rich forest. Her work builds audience engagement using photography, short videos and blogging. Through these activities and in dialogue with leading Irish continuous cover foresters, policy-makers, philosophers, environmental writers, and members of her community, she shares the experiential, aesthetic qualities, theoretical, political and the real-world practice of new-to-Ireland continuous cover forestry practices for a new story of sustainable, ecological Irish forestry.

In 2018 and 2019, Cathy was invited by Prof. Karen Till and Prof. Gerry Kearns, Maynooth University, and Dr. Nessa Cronin, NUIG, to share her research on the urgent need to develop art and sustainability policy for Ireland. Her research since 2015, of behavioural science, moral environmental philosophy, community environmental art practice studies and overseas art and sustainability organisations confirms UNESCO, IFACCA and others’s findings that recognise culture is the under-acknowledged ‘4th Pillar’ to promote sustainability across civil society. Culture, including art activity, has immense social power to translate and localise environmental knowledge so as to engage communities in diverse urban and rural regions about sustainability, in ways that are unavailable to science.

Cathy is continuing her practice and currently mentoring and developing workshops, and an online course, to share essential ecoliteracy to creative practitioners at All her past work can be seen at

Detailed List of Papers, Articles and Presentations

Cathy Fitzgerald, ‘Science and the Eclipse of the Earth'[on the art of Mark Dion and Cornelia Hesse-Honneger, CIRCA, 2001.

Cathy Fitzgerald, ‘Ecopornography versus the slow deep art of place’, EarthLines, 2013

Cathy Fitzgerald, ‘The Hollywood Forest Story: a slow, eco-social art practice for the Symbiocene’, Minding Nature Journal, The Centre for Humans and Nature, Fall, 2019.

Cathy Fitzgerald, ‘Goodbye Anthropocene – Hello Symbiocene: Eco-Social Art Practices for a New World’ in: “Plasticity – The Global Reader” (2019), editor Magdalena Ziolkowska, for Human-Free Earth, [International exhibition] Ujazdowski Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 15/3 to 22/9/2019.

Cathy Fitzgerald, ‘Living Well with Forests: A Guiding Guattari Ecosophy-Action Research Framework to Explain Eco-Social Art Practice’, in: Provocations, Pedagogies and Other