Hiding a forest in plain sight with Steve Doody

An ongoing Five Lamps Arts Project

It’s great to see projects which originated in and have been supported by the Five Lamp Arts Festival being brought to the bigger stage. “Hiding a forest in plain sight “ Reimagined @ IMMA Irish Museum of Modern Art is a public participatory work facilitated by artist Steven Doody.

Working with the AONTAS Adult Learners and Circular Economy Festival 2022 a Horse Chestnut and Spanish Chestnut germination workshop took place in IMMA. Participants brought home chestnuts in pots and also adopted native Irish saplings to plant. An impressive 300 saplings were brought back to respective communities and planted. 

As part of National tree week 2022 two Native Irish sapling planting workshops were held with IMMA staff and a group of students from Delfin English language College with 300 saplings being planted. The educational benefits show the simplicity of how unused or underused pieces of ground can be managed for the benefit of nature and community. Headed by Mary Condron of the OPW the area selected for planting will now be managed in a more holistic manner. 

Local communities who use the park also got involved, with 50 saplings and conversations making their way into local gardens close to IMMA. Several who did not have gardens in which to plant were able to bring home part of a “forest in a bucket” in the form of a small Scots pine and a “bucket of nuts” Hazel saplings. 

It is the collaboration of many that make Community happen. It is the art of conversation, the art of doing. The role assumed by the artist, that of sales person, educator, provocateur. Prodding and poking in order to initiate a response. 

Once you scratch beneath the surface it becomes apparent the amount of energy which goes into making community happen. This project is no different, with the following collaborators being involved: Mary Condron and crew, OPW, artist Steven Doody, Helen O’Donoghue IMMA, Easytreesie.com, Tree Council Of Ireland, Engineers without borders, Aontas, Coillte, Phase 2 as part of Earth Hour and IMMA, welcoming the creation of the Forest next to the trees planted to offset the emission from the Breaking Cover art collective.

The collective emerged from an art and ecology programme run at IMMA and are 15 people strong. 

Aontas’s theme of ‘Better Together’ focused on collaboration and fostering partnerships, this year’s theme is ‘Learn Your Way’ – #LearnYourWay. Deirdre Lane is an AONTAS member since 2017 bringing learnings to the community. 

This collaboration was a global outreach with the 350.org

Just Transition day of action.

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