Teaching and learning from home

lessens our costs to the Earth

With my first live 'Essential Ecoliteracy' workshop, held in my local area in South East Ireland in November 2019, I noticed many of the workshop participants travelled some distance from across Ireland to attend. I also had enquiries from overseas in the course topic. So, while learning online is not quite the same as a live class, people in the HAUMEA ONLINE 6-WEEK 'Essential Ecoliteracy for the Arts' course have access to my knowledge in an engaging and affordable way.

Why is this important, urgent topic so difficult for the art sector?

As I was to find through my adult art education and work in the art sector, there is little understanding that an overview of environmental science, environmental philosophy and ethics, are essential for creatives (and everyone really) to address the inter-related crises of the ecological catastrophe. Modern education which separates science and art education is largely the problem and ecoliteracy in the arts and the wider public is poor. I was able to develop an ecoart practice because I had a previous career in research science, but advancing work with little peer or sector support was slow and difficult.

  • In developing my ecoart practice, I found few in the arts who are teaching art and ecology courses. The few tutors who had in-depth practical knowledge were overseas – and only a handful of art and ecology programmes exist in the world!

  • Given the gravity of the unprecedented ecological emergency for the survival of our species – will mean this will change – IT HAS TO!! But poorly-funded art colleges (and struggling more now with the pandemic) will be slow to provide new ecoliteracy curricula for the arts.

  • The art and ecology field suffers accordingly, with art educators, students and cultural policymakers viewing it as a marginal activity in contemporary art. Thus, important cultural responses in this area are little recognised and poorly funded.

The mission for the Haumea Online Essential Ecoliteracy course is to rapidly empower those working in the creative sector with ecological knowledge

in a convenient, affordable and accessible format

'Culture must be a pillar in its own right, in an equal relation with other three dimensions of sustainability...' Culture Action Europe - Europe Day 9 May 2020

but if the culture sector is not ecoliterate it is hard to imagine the cultural sector showing leadership in this area

'The sustainability concept which is based on the three-pillar paradigm: economic, environmental and social lacks the vital fourth cultural pillar.

Culture must be a pillar in its own right, in an equal relation with other three dimensions of sustainability for its contribution to the creation of collective narratives, its ability to heal and consolidate communities, and foster diversity. 

With the world faced with the COVID-19 pandemic today and the need to rebuild our societies tomorrow, culture should be at the heart of the response.'

Culture Action Europe CAE - Europe Day 9 May 2020.

The Haumea Online 'Essential Ecoliteracy Course' is part of the international #CultureDeclares movement

In early 2019, I became the first Irish signatory to the international #CultureDeclares Emergency movement

The Haumea Online Essential Ecoliteracy course is my contribution to the international #CultureDeclares movement.

I try to embody the #CultureDeclares values in my course, as well as those in the Stop Ecocide campaign and the Earth Charter, to which I am also a signatory.

The Values of #CultureDeclares are as follows:

"Co-creating a regenerative culture – one that is inclusive, healthy, life-supporting, resilient and adaptable – requires rebuilding just and ethical relationships between ourselves, and with other species and the land. This takes time.

Regenerative culture includes:

  • Teaching and implementing the changes we want to see in society

  • Challenging power and privilege

  • Supporting each other in tending to grief as we face the truth about this emergency

  • Building a culture of care into our daily lives – care for ourselves, others and the Earth

  • Changing the paradigm by which we design, grow, make and trade so the living planet can be regenerated."

The Haumea Online Ecoliteracy course provides learning for a life-sustaining culture; it makes ecological knowledge and resources much accessible, and it directly speaks to building a culture of care for ourselves, others, and the Earth and its inhabitants.

My thanks to: