Creative Drummin

Jules Michael preparing the inaugural Creative Drummin Hidden Reveal Exhibition – VISUAL Carlow, December 2017


Creative Drummin launched on 2 December 2017, with an inaugural participatory post-card and online Hidden Reveal exhibition fundraiser event to celebrate Drummin bog and Irish wetlands at VISUAL Carlow to support and promote awareness of the newly formed Drummin Bog Project. The Hidden Reveal event was organised by Jules Michael, with Cathy Fitzgerald and the active and generous support of the Drummin Bog Project Committee.

In the following four years, Carlow-based community artist and painter Jules Michael and ecological artist and educator Dr Cathy Fitzgerald teamed together, with the active support of the Drummin Bog Project Committee, to develop and apply for funding to create, design and deliver a long-term, embedded-in-place, arts-led ecosocial programme: Creative Drummin.

Creative Drummin will be a platform for a range of art practices, from artists’ responses to Drummin Bog itself, to collaborative practices, cumulatively providing a meaningful and inclusive programme. This will engage nearby residents of Drummond and St Mullins in South Carlow, and the communities across Carlow, to the unique and important natural and cultural heritage that is Drummin Bog. Such creative and artist-led inter-connecting activities have much social power to inspire understanding that thriving, healthy places are essential for personal, collective and planetary wellbeing.

As Drummin Bog is the last remaining raised bog in the South East of Ireland, it has real and symbolic importance, and still further potential to foster deep community engagement to care for its place whilst addressing local, national and global efforts for urgently needed ecosocial education and ecosystem restoration. Globally, increasing focus for ecosystem restoration is a priority for this UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 as a crucial means to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Creativity as never before can empower, inspire and guide us in imaginative, inclusive ways so we meaningfully think and act for sustainable cultural renewal.

Although small, the Drummin Bog project is advancing two important strands:

1) It presents a template of how an innovative, inclusive creative-led ecosocial art programming can connect and engage communities to care for place. This further deepens understanding of how thriving environments are fundamental for personal, collective and planetary wellbeing.

2) it also advances conceptions of how collective co-creative participatory art practices that evolve over the long-term depend on skilled ecosocially-fluent creative workers . These are durational embedded-in-place ecological “ecosocial art practices” (Fitzgerald, 2018, summary here) that have been developing on the margins of contemporary art practice since the early 1970s. Carefully leading such multi-faceted constellations of creative participatory activity (that may comprise aesthetic-scientific-local heritage aspects) within community cultivates everyone’s innate creativity so no-one is left behind. These ecosocial art practices in community celebrate often inspiring, yet hard-to-predict outcomes that are not only about creating new artworks per se, but which have immense social power to creatively change the conversation– across a community– for a better, fairer and more life-sustaining world.

Community ecosocial art practices therefore arguably present a strong case for additional, newer models of artistic funding – a commitment to support creative practitioners over the long term, as they build and maintain connections across place and between people. Deeply knowing the social landscape is invaluable as it fosters authentic and meaningful creative community engagement with place. Ecological art practices with community embody collective ‘transformative learning’ that is a priority in the urgent shift in global learning toward ESD (Education for Sustainable Development)*.

We are proud that Creative Drummin is helping build awareness of a new strand of creative practice that is increasingly valuable for today’s intersecting environmental and social challenges. We hope this work highlights the social dexterity, as well as the ecological insights and aesthetic capabilities, often developed over many years, that skilled ecosocial community art practitioners possess.

We also wish to deeply thank all the Drummin Bog Committee members for their trust and generous support in helping develop Creative Drummin.

* 2021 Berlin Declaration on ESD

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Creative Drummin is led by:

Jules is a Carlow-based community artist and painter. To date she has been the primary project designer and co-ordinator on Creative Drummin.

She has a particular interest in how knowledge is shared, how new relationships are formed and how common ground is found through practical, physical tasks. Anchoring these creative collaborations with a physical place turns that specific place into a platform – a transformative site – for methods of sharing, engaging and enabling co-creativity and collaboration, while building awareness of conservation strategies and biodiversity preservation.

Jules is returning the 3-acre field where she lives in rural Co. Carlow back to old pasture.

Jules Michael MFA

Dr Cathy Fitzgerald
Ecosocial (ecological) artist,
Earth Charter Educator
& cultural researcher:
Founder – Director of
Haumea Ecoversity

Hi, Kia Ora!

I am a Carlow-based Aotearoa New Zealand ecological ‘ecosocial’ artist, sustainability educator and research and have been living in the home of my Irish ancestors since the mid ’90s. I have long witnessed the special deep magic that creativity has to inspire and engage people to connect to their place for their personal, collective and planetary wellbeing. With a background in both science and art my new passion is teaching other creatives all about ecoliteracy and holistic values for these very unprecedented and urgent times.

From my earliest involvement in Crann – Releafing Ireland in the late 90s, to my ongoing Hollywood Forest Story –of the little Carlow wood that dares to become a forest – to Creative Drummin, I love thinking, communicating and standing up for the vision, values and social power of creative-led projects that might just very well change the world.


2022: Creative Ireland – The Banner Project – Phase 2: details to be announced

2022: ArtLinks Carlow Arts Office Award for Cathy Fitzgerald to create a strategic vision and values document for Creative Drummin.

Projects to Date:

Further details on all projects in the links to posts below:

2021: Creative Ireland – The Banner Project – Phase 1: 2-day programme of events, exhibition at Drummond Hall and activities on Drummin bog

2021: Creative Ireland – An Fraughan photo book by Jules Michael, launched for 2021 World Wetland day

2019: “A revolution in how we live?’ presentation by Cathy Fitzgerald, for the IRC 2-day ‘An interdisciplinary Workshop on Creative Approaches to Education for Environmental Understanding and Responsibility, Glucksman, Cork.

2018-2019: Creative Ireland An Fraughan and Bog Rosemary three-schools project and photo book by Jules Michael

2017: Hidden Reveal Exhibition at VISUAL Carlow & Online Exhibition and fundraiser event

Creative Drummin

see posts on all CREATIVE DRUMMIN to date below: