Creative Ireland showcase Kerry Climate Action Project with artist Lisa Fingleton for Earth Day 2023
Creativity and farming – what’s the connection?
Throughout 2022, the Dingle Peninsula played host to Lisa Fingleton, the project’s embedded artist, as she worked with the local farming community to creatively look at ways in which farmers on the peninsula could diversify to address climate change…
Lisa Fingleton, an artist, writer, organic farmer and the project’s embedded artist, has addressed environmental issues like climate change, biodiversity loss and food security in her creative practice for many years. Describing her role in the process as that of a ‘creative spark’, Lisa worked closely with the farming families and helped generate new ways of thinking, fresh perspectives and novel approaches….
Many of the farmers in retrospect admitted that at the project’s beginning they struggled to see how creativity and farming could interconnect. As sheep farmer John Joe Fitzgerald explains:
“When we were talking about artists at the beginning, even I said, ‘what has this art got to do with farming?’ We do find it hard at times to express ourselves or pull the words out of our mouths. What are we going to say? How would I describe this? But while you’re talking to Lisa, she could draw a sketch, and you look at the sketches and realise that’s exactly what I’m trying to say.
In September 2022, some of the farmers visited and contributed to an impressive 30-metre Creative Climate Wall that the team created on-site at the National Ploughing Championships in Co. Laois. Using Lisa’s graphic harvesting prowess and collaborative know-how, the wall’s presence at the event helped expand the process and involve even more farmers.
“The amount of farmers that were stopping and looking at what we were doing, and walking by and seeing the drawings on the wall. And you could hear them say, ‘that’s exactly what we’re trying to say, and we’ve been saying this for years’, and it got a discussion going, it got people talking to each other.”
You can watch the short documentary here: