Haumea is the Great Earth Mother, Goddess of fire and creation in the Pacific. Haumea is also the name given to a dwarf planet discovered in our solar system in 2004. Some say the discovery of Haumea corresponds to awakening planetary ecological consciousness.
Hello! My name is Cathy Fitzgerald and my work for Haumea aims to help those working in the arts to engage effectively with critical eco-social issues.
In deciding on a name for my work, I wanted to express a strong symbol for the life-giving power and creativity of Earth. Haumea as Earth Mother is creative, caring and fiery – the very qualities we will need to develop to create the better world we know is possible. As citizens of the Earth we all embody Haumea.
Haumea summons me as I’m from Aotearoa New Zealand, a nation of islands that arises in the Pacific Ocean and first settled by Polynesians and then European settlers. My birth place has always inspired my creative art and ecology work in Ireland, the home of my ancestors.
I also chose a symbol from Aotearoa New Zealand for my logo. The ‘koru’ – the iconic swirling symbol represented a frond of the
silver tree fern un-spiralling as it grows, is the Māori word for ‘loop’ and represents growth, strength and peace. All NZ children draw the koru as children and you see it everywhere there (our famous rugby All Blacks’ symbol is the same silver tree fern). My Irish friends, however, think my logo is Celtic inspired – I love how such a sympol speaks universally of growth and potential. My logo had to be green of course, since I live in Ireland now and for the work I do.
Atolls and islands in the Pacific Ocean are some of the most threatened regions for sea level rise and extreme weather events, affecting many peoples and living beings. Worringly, since I visited Suwarrow atoll, a significant mid-way breeding point for seabirds in the Cook Islands, one of the islets is now submerged.
I made this short film in 2009 to coincide with the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen (I attended the Culture|Futures symposia held during Copenhagen at this time). The short film reflects my love and concern for the Pacific region and how it connects to my ongoing creative practice to where I live now in Ireland. I hope you like it.
Since then, my creative eco-social art practice The Hollywood Forest Story (since 2008) explores new-to-Ireland permanent continous cover forestry. My creative practice that traverses non-art knowledge and life experiences of learning new-to-Ireland forestry grounds and fuels my practice and recent doctoral research ‘The Ecological Turn…’ (2018)
Using creative energies and working with others for change is empowering. Creative expression, and I know this through experience and talking to others, is an antidote to the depression and overwhelm that follows when you fully understand the scale and rate of devastation of the eco-social emergencies that are unfolding around us.
I do hope you will be interested to learn why ecoliteracy is essential for developing effective creative practices and responsible art organisations that can inspire so many others. Creative practices with ecological insights can ignite agency for change; to foster new ideas or ways of working and living, for yourselves and your audiences.
Creative imagination, and creative pratices are mysterious and exciting, especially when you learn and create together … although, you can never be completely sure what will unfold. Ecological insights will change you, and your worldview.