2nd Red Stables Art and Ecology Summer School at Bull Island Dublin

This post comes to you from An Arts and Ecology Notebook

It’s great to see all the events that were organised by the RedStables and Dublin City Arts Office for their 2nd Art & Ecology event.

The Red Stables Art and Ecology Summer School took place in St. Anne’s Park, Dublin 3 and North Bull Island, a UNESCO protected biosphere reserve. For further information and bookings contact red.stables@dublincity.ie or 01 222 7377.

‘Natural Kinds’
18 July, 2:00–5:00pm, The Red Stables, St. Anne’s Park, Dublin 3

Natural Kinds was an afternoon of talks and screenings at The Red Stables on Thursday 18th July (2–5pm), looking at notions of classification in the natural sciences and Philosophy, stemming from research artist Jenny Brady who has been engaged with the Red Stables Summer School.

The afternoon included a talk by orchid specialist Brendan Sayers on orchid hybridisation and the wild orchids on Bull Island, and a presentation on the ‘Species Problem’ in Philosophy and Biology by Dr. Niall Connolly, Lecturer in the Philosophy of Science, TCD. The short programme of screenings included Donna Haraway Reads “The National Geographic” on Primates (1987) by Donna Haraway and Paper Tiger TV, Les Oursins (1958), The Love Life of the Octopus (1967) by Jean Painlevé, and Carve Up, Jenny Brady’s new video work made for The Red Stables Summer School.

‘Carve Up’
18 –31 July, 2:00–5:00pm

Jenny Brady’s Carve Up drew on questions around the nature and conception of species with a focus on the wild orchids growing on Bull Island. The work was screened in The Red Stables Gallery between 20–31 July from 12:00–5:00pm daily.

‘The Interpretive Project’

20 July, 3:00–5:00pm, Bull Island Interpretive Centre, Dublin 3 *

The Interpretive Project was a collaboration between Rhona Byrne, Vaari Claffey and Ciara Moore. On Saturday 20th July, the artists hosted a live event at the Interpretive Centre. The audience was invited to attend a hybrid lecture proposing a re-imagined history of the island. This live presentation included readings, film screenings and other visuals. It wove together histories on the origin, mythology and ecology of Bull Island since its appearance 213 years ago.

The stuffed animals who permanently reside in the space played a role at this event. In the process of uncovering the ‘history’ of Bull Island as the site of production and conception of a number of seminal historical artworks, the animals adopted the personae and characters of figures from art history and literature and discussed and reviewed a selection of artworks, offering us new insight from the perspective of the non-human animal. They also shared memories and experiences of life on the island for some of the native species and visitors.

The project also included a participative performance based on the flocking patterns, foraging behaviour and flight formation of the migratory birds on the island and the island itself. This performance was informed by the behaviour and sounds of animals on Bull Island, reflecting the human occasions for such collective behaviours and mass gatherings around ‘feeding, mating and alarm’.

The Red Stables Summer School 2013 was curated by Seán O Sullivan and Denise Reddy.
Image credit: Dublin City Council


An Arts & Ecology Notebook, by Cathy Fitzgerald, whose work exists as ongoing research and is continually inspired to create short films, photographic documentation, and writings. While she interacts with foresters, scientists, and communities, she aims to create a sense of a personal possibility, responsibility and engagement in her local environment that also connects to global environmental concerns.

Go to An Arts and Ecology Notebook

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