Week by week

I share accessible yet crucial summaries of key ecoliteracy knowledge in modules on a easy-to-use online platform

Logging into the course platform, you will find a new module with resources, reading lists and exercises released each week. Each module will build a foundational ecoliteracy for your work as the course progresses. The course will include material from diverse disciplines and introduce you to key thinkers in the area, many who are not well known in art education – from ecophilosophy to environmental science, earth and social justice-aligned ethics, economics and law. I will share examples from leading ecological artists to help explain the course’s key ideas. Don’t worry if this sounds a lot, I have summarised this material and as in my live pilot workshop, I will use multi-media to make the material engaging as possible.

Remote Course Delivery Format and Dates

Orientation Week: On Monday 18 May 2020 the course will begin with orientation material that I will email to you. In this orientation email I will advise you how to login to the course platform, and give you full instructions on how to join the LIVE GROUP MEETINGS (on Zoom)

  • ORIENTATION WEEK BEGINS 18 May. I will email you to tell you how to login to the course platform, give a course overview and give you full instructions on how to join the LIVE GROUP MEETINGS (on Zoom). A LIVE GROUP ZOOM 'GETTING TO KNOW YOU' MEETING will be held on WED 20 May 7pm Irish/UK time.

  • LESSON MATERIAL FOR EACH WEEKLY MODULE WILL BE RELEASED EACH THURSDAY for 6 weeks. Module 1 will be released Thursday 21 May 2020, and the following 5 Modules will be released on subsequent Thursdays: 28 May, 4, 11, 18, 25 June.

  • In each module, lesson material will include a short 2-3 min video introduction to the topic, pre-recorded video lessons and links to either a couple of key articles or short videos as background material. For keen learners, I will also list further in-depth resources.

  • OPTIONAL: KEY LEARNING FROM EACH MODULE WILL BE DISCUSSED FURTHER during an ONLINE LIVE 1h GROUP MEETING EACH WEDNESDAY at 7pm (Irish/UK time) beginning Wed. 20 MAY with a 'getting to know you' session. The Live Meeting for Module 1 will be Wed 27 May, then each subsequent Module will be discussed on 3, 10, 17, 24 June and 1 July.

Social proof: testimonials

“It is easy to recommend Cathy’s own work, and her education. Her knowledge on disparate topics, and her willingness to share this knowledge, are tremendous. Every participant brought something different: writers, artists, philosophers all shared their perspectives as part of the course. Cathy’s way is to connect the people and the ideas. Just as in her own art, where she is growing a forest, in her teaching she draws together the disparate roots, branches, leaves, seeds and flowers, leaving a healthy forest to flourish for itself. I am very grateful.”

Shane Finan - Visual Artist, Ireland

“In these crucial times in history, this innovative and artistic community is of profound importance. I experience the course to provide both scientific knowledge on the current shape and state of things, and creative inspiration, on how artistry can be used as a strong environmental voice. The course presents a very holistic approach to the processing and set of actions one can take, to help reshape the correlation between us and the natural world. So if you ever get the opportunity to participate in one of her courses, workshops or any kind of collaboration, simply soak up her passion and competence, and know, that you will be enriched!”

Katinka Igelberg - photographer, poet, writer, Sweden

“I had the pleasure and honour of participating in Cathy’s first 6-week Online Ecoliteracy course. I felt immersed in a process that was deeply informed and considered with a group that had a wealth of different experiences. I felt the learning environment was clearly held by Cathy’s inclusive, knowledgable and articulate approach alongside her collaborators. As a dance artist, I feel the course gives me clear guidance as to other areas, for example, science and ethics, that can inform how I articulate my work and its value. I now feel that I will be able to take informed action on climate and biodiversity issues in a way that relates to my values and creative practice. Thanks, Cathy!”

Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín - dance artist, Ireland

“Cathy is committed to environmental ideals and combines (unusually) a deep feeling for nature with a skilful ability to navigate contemporary digital platforms. Having viewed Cathy’s presentations on various occasions and in different forums, I have no hesitation in recommending her as an inspired and inspiring instructor. Particularly in these times when everything seems (by necessity) to be going digital, Cathy’s input is extremely important – given that, in the long term, environmental degradation is at least as concerning as the present pandemic, and may be intimately connected to it as a causal factor as well, due to (e.g.) agribusiness, factory farming, animal exploitation and, of course, deforestation. Cathy’s work offers a practical antidote to the threat posed by global warming, species extinction and the myriad other examples of humanity’s depredations on nature. I am delighted to see her work flourishing at this time when it is so greatly needed.”

Dr Paul O'Brien, Visual Culture, PhD Supervisor, NCAD, Ireland

Further Questions? Here are the Answers

  • Is ecoliteracy really something that can be taught?

    Yes, absolutely. Embracing ecoliteracy is basically a mind-shift, not a practical exercise. Ecological insights, however, can unsettle us at first, particularly if one has been trained to think about art or creativity in a traditional way. Therefore, it can take time to absorb some of these ideas as ecoliteracy presents a radically new way to look at the world in all that we think and do. However, as I present work from other creatives throughout the course, you will see how others apply these ideas in the real world.

  • What if I'm busy?

    You will be notified by email each Thursday when each module lesson is available. You will have pre-recorded material to watch with other resources to download and simple exercises to complete. That means there is plenty of time to do your homework and to prepare yourself for the Live Group Meetings on Wednesdays!

  • I’m doing my creative practice and teaching on the side! What kind of time commitment will this require?

    Probably a lot less than you think! If you can budget 3-4 hours per week, you will complete the course in six weeks. Or spread it out over a longer period of time, it's your choice. I do highly recommend setting aside a specific time each week, after each Thursday, to go through the weekly module lesson material and I really urge you to join us for the weekly Wednesday Live Group Meetings – that is when the learning will really come alive, and you get a chance to meet new peers.

  • I don’t live in Ireland or the United Kingdom – advice for participants who live in different timezones

    Check the time of the Ecoliteracy Live Group Meeting on Wednesdays in your region (see timeanddate.com) Note: if you live in Australia, the Live Group Meetings occur at after midnight and if you live in Aotearoa New Zealand, the course time may also be difficult as it is early on a Thursday morning. I will record each Live Meeting and I will send this to the whole group but if there is substantial interest from people living n Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, I will endeavour to host another meeting at a more suitable time. Please check the Live Group Meeting time suits you, before your book!

  • But wait, will this work for me?

    My pilot course aims to help people like you – professional culture workers from any creative discipline, art educators, art administrators, craft-workers, curators, government arts office staff, cultural policymakers and interested others – to gain essential ecological knowledge – more quickly in a supportive environment. Based on my experience and specific doctoral qualifications in ecological art practice, experience in professional development and in fostering online communities you can be sure that my course provides valuable and proven outcomes. Also, I’m being supported by some very experienced online course building mentors and teachers: Jim Wright, my online course mentor from the International Course Builders Laboratory at MIRASEE, based in Canada; the fantastic Irish award-winning art-business tech strategy mentor Mary Carty; and Nicola Brown at Clasheen, is an internationally recognised and popular eco-print textile artist, and experienced online course and workshop educator

  • Is remote learning good value?

    My course cost compares to online courses on a contemporary art topic of similar value, led by accredited art professionals and is so more affordable than my 1-to-1 mentoring fee. It is also much lower than what you would have to pay a traditional educational institute – if you could find such a course. Leaning on my expertise will save you in the time you would spend on exploring the topic on your own.

  • I'm interested in the 3 mentoring/coaching sessions? How will that work?

    Over the 6 week period, I will arrange a time to talk for an hour on Zoom, at a time that suits you. I suggest planning the mentoring sessions towards the second half of the course, so you get to know some of the material and me too. However, if you require mentoring sooner, I am happy to help whenever it is best for you. And, while I've trained in the visual arts, I have helped composers, musicians, writers - I'm bringing ecological oversight to your work, not advising you on your practice or work.

  • All that, and it only costs…€120? It seems too cheap?

    The reduced price of this course reflects that this is a pilot course. It is a course in development – both in terms of the material I present but because I’m also trialling different online technologies and offering some limited mentoring. I will be tailoring the course and inviting participants’ feedback as I go. However, the smaller group mean you will have more individual attention from me. I’m piloting this course in this way to create the best learning experience when I launch the full course. The cost right now to participate in my small pilot course is just €120 (unwaged) and €190 (waged).

  • What if I find the course doesn't suit me?

    Because I want you to be completely happy with your decision, I’ll let you test-drive and evaluate the pilot course for 14 days. Enrol today. If the course doesn’t suit, let me know before the 14 days are up (Wednesday 30 May 2020, and I’ll return 100% of your money back—no questions asked (although because this is a pilot course, I’d really love feedback).