Press


Key career highlights

2019 Invitation to present at The Moore Institute, National Univ. of Galway on my eco-social art practice and national art and sustainability research.

I was invited by Dr Nessa Cronin, NUIG to again share my review on the absence on art and sustainability policy for Ireland, in Galway, in May 2019 with my former UK PhD supervisor Iain Biggs

From Left: Prof Karen Till, Prof Gerry Kearns, Cultural Geography, Maynooth University, Dr. Nessa Cronin, Irish Studies, NUIG, Dr. Iain Biggs, Bath Univ, UK and Dr. Cathy Fitzgerald, Moore Institute, NUIG, June 2019.
From Left: Prof Karen Till, Prof Gerry Kearns, Cultural Geography, Maynooth University, Dr. Nessa Cronin, Irish Studies, NUIG, Dr. Iain Biggs, Bath Univ, UK and Dr. Cathy Fitzgerald, Moore Institute, NUIG, June 2019.

2018 PhD by Practice: The Ecological Turn

Received my PhD by Creative Practice, for my original research on explaining long term ecological, eco-social art practices.

My contribution to the emergent art and ecology field was based on evidence from my long term eco-social art practice The Hollywood Forest Story (ongoing since 2008) and review of The Serpentine Lattice – an exemplary eco-social art forest practice by the pioneering US ecoartists, Newton and the late Helen Mayer Harrison.

2018 ‘The Earth is Our Home’ seminar, Geography – Maynooth University

Invited by Prof Karen Till to lead a workshop and share my Art and Sustainability research study, funded by a County Carlow Arts Office award, at the Irish Conference of Geographers for an art and geography seminar ‘The Earth is Our Home’

Continuing to develop my ongoing ecological art practice The Hollywood Forest Story keeps my skills and knowledge relevant to others who I teach
An invitation to share and learn alternative ecological forestry at Hollywood forest, 2015

2008 – ongoing: The Hollywood Forest Story – an ongoing eco-social art practice

Since 2008, The Hollywood Forest Story tells how new-to-Ireland continuous cover forestry is transforming a small conifer plantation into a permanent, mixed species forest. Its one new story for Earthly wellbeing. Its also a story of the social power of eco-social art practice to foster ecoliteracy and agency for creative practitioners and their audiences.

Transforming the conifer plantation I live in, into a permanent, Close to Nature forest in the woodland means I regularly work with forest specialist and policy-makers. I have been a committee member and PRO for Pro Silva Ireland since 2009 -the leading NGO on continuous cover forestry in Ireland. Key highlights include helping this new forestry be the key priority of the Irish Green Party in 2012.

ArtLinks Director

2007 – 2010: Inaugural director for 5-county professional development programme for creative practitioners in the SE of Ireland

For three years, I worked with the Arts Offices across 5 counties in the South East of Ireland. I helped deliver professional developments workshops to assist creative people from all art disciplines develop professional skills for their creative careers. This position gave me insights to career challenges in diverse creative disciplines and informs my Haumea training to this day. I also found I had considerable online networking talents – developing an online community arts directory of 1300 creative practitioners for the former artlinks.ie website.

Kilkenny People paper, 2007
I worked closely with the Carlow Arts Officer Sinead Dowling for this Visualise exhibition – in the programme before VISUAL Carlow was built.

Heteroptera – images of a mutating world

an exhibition by Cornelia Hesse-Honegger curated by Cathy Fitzgerald

An exhibition of mutations in insects, painstakingly recorded by internationally acclaimed Swiss artist and former scientific illustrator, Cornelia Hesse-Honegger. Cornelia’s work came to international attention in the late 1980s when her artworks indicated that low level radiation, from the fallout of the Chernobyl disaster but also from the normal workings of nuclear power plants, contrary to nuclear scientists’ views, was and continues to have an effect on the environment.

2005: Irish Times

I exhibited large embryo drawings at Trinity College Dublin, for the BA Festival of Science held at TCD Dublin following my art residency work with Prof. Paula Murphy, Zoology Dept, Trinity College Dublin.

Irish Times photographer photographed me bringing my large charcoal embryo drawing across College Green, TCD

(detail) Title: Unwanted genes on a DNA spiral.  18cm x1.5m

Work featured in Irish Times, 2004

The Irish Times featured my DNA artwork and reviewed my residency in the Zoology Lab in Trinity College, Dublin.

An artist’s eye in the Laboratory, 2004‘ by Cormac Sheridan, see here


1996-2002: BA and MA Fine Art – National College of Art and Design, Dublin, Ireland

Received a 1st Class honours for my art and science degree show The Last Frontier in 2000. An article from my undergrad thesis ‘Science and the Eclipse of the Earth’ was published in CIRCA -the Irish Contemporary Art magazine in 2001.

My MA show, continued an art and science theme – The Passion Survey (2002) was a digital survey and video installation at The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin. During this time I explored online media and video, skills I have found invaluable for the collaborative, durational nature of my work, where I have fostered audiences locally and overseas.

1999 Me in New York on an National College of Art and Design, Ireland art college trip during my BA in Fine Art Painting. I bought my first book on environmental art on this trip.
Passion Survey online survey, installation and video, Hugh Lane Gallery, 2002
Hitching a lift on the yacht Mary Frances to count rare seabirds on an unpeopled atoll in Suwarrow, Cook Islands, South Pacific

2000: Art and research science trip to count seabirds on unpeopled South Pacific atoll

This trip all came about because my New Zealand friend Rhys, a scientist who I had worked alongside at the NZ MIRINZ agricultural research institute in the 1990’s, told me lots about this unique atoll. We never realised that one day that we would both visit and catalogue its bird population. I did this trip just after completing my BA in Fine Art.

Years later, just as I was beginning my ecological art forest work The Hollywood Forest Story, see above, I created a short film essay ‘once I counted birds’ (2009). This trip was pivotal for me in thinking how my ecological work serves and connects with local and global concerns.

1997 CRANN IRISH HEDGEROW & RARE TREE CALENDAR

1998 ESB Environmental Endeavour Award

In 1997 I wrote the text and completed original illustrations of rare Irish native hedgerow shrubs and trees for a Crann (re-leafing Ireland) Hedgerow Awareness project I was working on with Noel Kieran, Neil Foulkes and John Matthews. Co-author and forester, Noel Kiernan’s knowledge of Irish forests played an enormous part in bringing this calender project together as well as collecting the specimens.

I’ve never lost my interest in forests and trees since this project – somehow its my link to the forests I miss back in Aotearoa/New Zealand. See my ongoing creative eco-social art practice – The Hollywood Forest Story begun in 2008

All illustrations were in ball point pen! The calendar proved so popular that it went into a second edition and I learnt a lot about the forests of my new home, the home of my ancestors, by compiling the text too.
Urewa National Forest Area, Aotearoa New Zealand, 2012.

1986-1994 Senior Microbiology Technician, MIRINZ, AgResearch, Aotearoa New Zealand

My first research science job kept me interested for a decade before I left for Ireland, the home of my ancestors. I still appreciate the collaborative, teamwork of research science. During this job, I co-authored and illustrated a 300-page microbiology methods manual – I’ve always wanted to help share knowledge with others using my creative skills.