Think Ecos

As artistic concerns go, the most critical issue for any artist to work on is climate change, not only is it the biggest threat faced by our planet, but it is also a social and economic issue. In 2019, Kathryn and Roy Nelson, Kate Ritchie, and I formed an Art & Ecology collective. We collaborate to develop projects with an ecological message seeking to make environmental action accessible and personal for everyone.

About the Project

Think Ecos’ latest project is the publication of ‘Wildlife Memories’. A book launch was held at The Hill of the O’Neill, Dungannon in June 2021, to celebrate the publication of Wildlife Memories. The invited speaker was Margaret Ritchie, Baroness of Downpatrick who spoke of the importance of promoting environmental awareness. She is currently involved with environmental legislation that is being scrutinised in the House of Lords.

Many of the book’s 34 contributors, authors, artists and photographers, were present at this well-attended event. The book contains prose, poetry, original artworks and photography. Several of the short chapters recount stories of wildlife from the authors younger days. The writers describe corncrakes, otters, hedgehogs, and lampreys as well as other often forgotten wildlife. Some of the contributors also describe a lost way of life.

The publishers, Think Ecos hope the book will act as a bridge to achieve positive wildlife actions now and in the future. The book was fully funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and if you would like to read a copy of Wildlife Memories it can be found in all public libraries and is available on request.  A PDF copy is available on this page below. 

PROJECT quoteS

Wildlife Memories afforded a microscopic opportunity to look at the rich diversity of our customs and the flora and fauna. For me, it showed how our landscape and environment influences our lifestyle choices. That book and the new book will undoubtedly act as an teaching aid on the importance of protecting our environment and unique biodiversity against the ravages of climate change. Kate, Kathryn, Roy and Gwen have made an invaluable contribution to local communities throughout N Ireland through encouraging people on a cross community basis to provide interesting stories from their childhood and that of their families about the importance of protecting our natural heritage and wildlife. Such work is invaluable as we emerge from the COvid-19 pandemic. It also informs this and future generations about the inter-connectedness and inter dependence of all our communities – thus making a valuable contribution to all of us in society in N Ireland. Gwen’s own story, ‘The Three Sisters’, really resonates with me, telling as it does how the landscape of our childhoods shape us and though we may leave it, it never leaves us.

The environmental crisis is primarily anthropogenic in its origins and ranges from climate change, biodiversity loss and natural resource depletion. These issues affect us both locally and globally. I have collaborated with Gwen on artistic projects over the past four years as part of an art and environmental collective called ‘Think Ecos’, alongside my wife Kathryn Nelson, and Kate Ritchie. Collectively, we work on threats posed to our environment through creative initiatives, aiming to bring these critical issues to people’s attention. We seek to build a dialectic interaction to promote positive change. It is our belief that to alleviate and reverse the environmental crisis, it requires action individually, locally, nationally and internationally.

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