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 has further potential to foster deep community engagement to care for its place whilst addressing local, national and global efforts urgently needed ecosocial education and ecosystem restoration. Globally, an 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. Our thanks also to Dr Anita McKeown for her incredible mentoring support.
* 2021 Berlin Declaration on ESD
Bunaíodh Druimín Cruthaitheach ar 2ú Nollaig 2017, leis an gcéad tionscadal mar ocáid tiomsaithe Hidden Reveal le cártaí poist chun Portach Druimín agus Gnáthóg Bhogaidh a chéiliúradh ag VISUAL Carlow, agus meabhraíocht a chur chun chinn faoin dtionscadal nua seo.Bhí ócáid an Hidden Reveal seo eagraithe ag Jules Michael agus le Cathy Fitzgerald le tacaíocht ó Choiste an Tionscadal Portach Druimíne.
Beidh sé seo mar ardán le aghaidh cleachtas ealaíne; freagairtí don bPortach féin chomh maith le cleachtais comhoibritheach, a chuirfidh de réir a chéile, clár oibre lán de bhrí ar fáil. Beidh sé seo ag tarraingt muintir na h-áite i Naomh Molaing agus Drummond i ndeisceart Cheatharlach, agus daoine ón gContae uilig. Bíonn na gníomhartha idir-nascach seo an-chumhachtach ag spreagadh tuiscint ar áit chomh folláin le seo, agus mar seo glacaimid páirt i sláinte coiteann na bplainéide uilig.
Toisc go bhfuil an Portach Druimín an t-aon portach ardaithe fágtha in oirdheiscart na tíre, tá fíor-thábhacht shiombalach ag baint leis. Chomh maith le sin, tá níos mó cumas aige chun rannpháirteachas agus cúram muintir na h-áite a fháil. Cuireann sé go mór le h-iarrachtaí phráinneacha uilig na gcruinne chun athchoiriú an córas eiceolaíochta agus oideachas eiceolaíochta soisialta a chur i bhfeidhim.
Mórthimpeall an domhain, tá béim, fás agus tús áite á dtabhairt i gcomhair athchoiriú an córas eiceolaíochta. Is bealach rithábhachtach é Decade of Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030 na Náisiún Aontaithe chun na hAidhmeanna Inbhuanaithe Forbartha na Naisiún Aontaithe a chur i mbun oibre.
Is feidir le cumhacht an gcruthaitheacht muid go léir a spreagadh chun an samhlaíocht a threorú agus smaointí chothaitheacha, lán de bhrí, a thabhairt dúinn.
Cé go bhfuil sé beag, tá an tionscadal seo ag cur chun chinn an dá sruth éagsúla seo:
I) Cuireann sé teimpléad ar fáil dúinn chun clár ealaínta nua, atá Cruthaitheach, eiceolaíochta agus soisialta, a bheidh in ann spreagadh agus freastal ar mhuintir na h-áite. Cuirfidh sé seo neart tuiscint dúinn ar ghnáthóga bunúsacha i gcomhair sláinte coiteann na bplainéide.
II) Cuireann sé in iúl an coincheap go bhfuil obair comh-chruthalach a bhíonn á bhforbairt diaidh ar ndiaidh ag braitheadh ar scilleanna na n-oibritheirí chruthaitheacha atá líofa in eiceolaíocht soisialta. Is cleachtas é seo atá lonnaithe agus leabaithe in suíomh amháin. ‘Eco-social Art Practices’ (Fitzgerald, 2018, summary here) Tá siad tar éis a bheith ag forbairt é seo ar imeall cleachtas na h-ealaíne comhaimséartha ó na 1970í anuas. Tá alán cumhacht acu an comhrá a athrú.
Mar sin, tá cás láidir ann múnla nua de mhaoiniú ealaíonta a aimsiú. Bheadh gá le gealltanas éigin chun tacaíocht a thabhairt do ealaíntóirí go fadthéarmach, fad is a mbíonn siad ag tógáil agus ag coinneál ceangail idir áiteanna agus daoine. Tá an taithí soisialta seo thar a bheith luachmhar. Is féidir le cleachtais eiceolaíochta leis an bpobal athrú bunúsach a dhéanamh, ‘oideachas claochclaitheach’ a thugtar ar seo. Agus tá an t-athrú i dtreo Oideachas i gcomhair Forbairt Inbhuanaithe.*
Táimid bróidúil go bhfuil Druimín Cruthaitheach ag cabhrú feachtas agus tuiscint a léiriú ar an sruth nua seo de chleachtas ealaíonta. Tá sé tábhactach leis na dúshláin timpeallachta agus soisialta go léir atá ann. Tá súil againn go n-éiríonn leis cur in iúl léargas eiceolaíochta agus cumas soisialta agus aeistéitice a nochtú, atá forbartha go minic ar feadh na blianta ag na h-ealaíntóirí oilte seo.
Ba mhaith linn míle buíochas a ghabháil le baill an choiste An Portach Druimín le h-aghaidh an tacaíocht a thug siad ag cabhrú linn Druimín Chruthaitheach a bhunú. Freisin, míle buíochas le Dr. Anita McKeown as ucht an tacaíocht meantóireachta.
*Fógairt Berlin ar an ESD educational sustainable development
Creative Drummin and the Drummin Bog Project wish to acknowledge Carlow-born painter Phoebe Cope for the translation above. Phoebe has taken part in Haumea Ecoversity ecoliteracy and Earth Charter courses led by Cathy Fitzgerald.
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CREATIVE DRUMMIN – DRUIMÍN CHRUTHAITHEACH 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.
Hi, Kia Ora!
I am a Carlow-based Aotearoa New Zealand ecological ‘ecosocial’ artist, a sustainability values educator and researcher. I 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 encourage people to deeply 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 and cultural professionals all about ecoliteracy and holistic values to guide and inspire our actions in these 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 permanent mixed-species 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: IN Process
Projects to Date:
Further details on all projects are in the links to posts below:
2021: Creative Ireland – The Banner Project – Phase 1: 2-day programme of events, an exhibition at Drummond Hall and activities on Drummin bog
2021: ArtLinks Carlow Arts Office Award for Cathy Fitzgerald to research preliminary strategy, vision and values for Creative Drummin, with mentoring with Dr Anita McKeown incorporating learning and ESD accreditation from Earth Charter International about integrated values systems literacy education courtesy of a 2021 Arts Council Professional Development Award. Development of a strategic vision and values document will be further developed with communities during the 2022-23 Gnathoga Nadurtha Arts Council Programme)
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 Irish Research Council 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 a photo book by Jules Michael
2017: Hidden Reveal Exhibition at VISUAL Carlow & Online Exhibition and fundraiser event
Creative Drummin – DRUIMÍN CHRUTHAITHEACH News
See posts on all CREATIVE DRUMMIN – DRUIMÍN CHRUTHAITHEACH to date, below:
Creatively connecting care for wetlands: the wonderful Ardee Bog Cafe
Drummin Bog Project joins the Friends of Ardee BOG CAFE
Drummin Bog in Carlow is how old?!!?! Join celebrations on Drummin Bog – for National Heritage Week
Drummin Bog Project NPWS Peatlands Community Engagement Award work benefits nearby secondary schools
NPWS Peatlands Community Engagement Award work supports a major step toward restoring Drummin Bog
Our Barn Owl nesting box has been installed on Drummin Bog!
News of Carlow-led Gnáthóga Nádúrtha: (Natural Habitats) 3-county arts initiative
Creative Ireland 2-day event draws enthusiastic crowds & Minister for Carlow Bog Banner Project
The Drummin Bog: Banner Project (Phase 1) Schedule Announced- ALL WELCOME!
A talk and walk about the ecological botanical wonders of Carlow’s Drummin bog
Make a spoon from Drummin Bog with woodwright Eoin Donnelly