My Cultural Life: Artist and activist Katie Holten

Dublin-born, New York-based artist and environmental activist Katie Holten represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale. Her new book The Language of Trees will be published by Tin House next year. Her artwork is on view at Crawford Art Gallery’s Botanica exhibition until September 18. Katie is the co-founder of Friends of Ardee Bog who are hosting a BOG CAFE in Ardee from 23rd to 25th September.

BOOKS: Should there be trees?

Thanks to my local library, I found a copy of it Should there be trees? by Christopher Stein. Older than I and wiser, the book provides a compelling reason to give legal rights to the environment, now known as the Nature Rights Movement.

I devoured The Black Conch Mermaid by Monique Roffey – a delicious modern day mythological love story exploring human/nonhuman relationships.

MOVIE: The Territory

Although I don’t watch much TV, I was hooked on the January 6th hearings and can’t wait for them to resume. I haven’t been to the cinema since 2019, so I’m a little excited.

I’m trapped here on a small island (US immigration is overwhelmed and unable to process my travel document) watching the waves. Watch my breathing. Try to slow down. There’s a new movie called the territoryry by Alex Pritz on the indigenous people of the Uru-eu-wau-wau in the Amazon region. It’s only in a select few cinemas far away, so I’ll have to keep waiting.

SOUNDS: Birdsong

i listen to birds I use the Merlin Bird ID app to identify the singers: colorful little hummingbirds, goldfinches, catbirds, cardinals, greater red-tailed hawks and there are plenty of ospreys this year. They sing alone and together, sharing stories our limited human brains cannot decipher.

It’s all cheerful and calms my heart. The wind moves the poplars under which I sit, and their leaves join in. I also listened to Yo-Yo Ma, a tree-playing human with a maple, spruce, and willow cello.

ART: Venice Biennale

I would like to visit the Venice Biennale. There is also the Documenta in Kassel, Germany. One of the contributors to my book, Jessica J. Lee, has a project called A thousand words for the weather with Artangel in London. If I’m lucky, the US will release me to travel. My Cultural Life: Artist and activist Katie Holten

Fry Electronics Team

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