As part of IMMA Outdoors – we are delighted to invite Katie Holten to discuss The Language of Trees comprising a Conversation and Book Launch with Anja Murray on Thurs 15 June at 6pm.
A Garden Talk with Dr Stephen O’Neill on the following Sunday 18 June at 1pm, which can be booked here.
On Thurs 15 June at 6pm, The Peoples Pavilion: In Conversation & Book Launch
Join artist, activist and newly published author Katie Holten for a conversation with the Anja Murray, renowned ecologist, environmental policy analyst and broadcaster. Our special guests come together to discuss key tenets of research that informs Holten’s new book – The Language of Trees How Trees Make Our World, Change Our Minds and Rewild Our Lives, 2023, published by Elliott & Thompson.
The Language of Trees is an astonishing fusion of storytelling, knowledge and art. In this deeply thoughtful collection, artist Katie Holten gifts readers her visual Tree Alphabet – made of the trees themselves – and uses it to masterfully translate and illustrate these pieces from some of the world’s most exciting writers and artists, activists and ecologists.
This in conversation is followed by book launch, and drinks reception. Books will be available for purchase on the evening.
IMMA is delighted to partner on this world book tour of The Languages of Trees by Katie Holten, presented in partnership with Elliott & Thompson.
Meeting Point – Formal Garden Terrace
We are delighted to welcome back the artist Katie Holten and her guest Dr Stephen O’Neill for an informal walk, talk and visual exploration of the IMMA formal gardens and grounds, as they discuss shared passions and interests in eco-criticism, literature, learnings from the life of trees in Ireland, drawing on their encounters with wider geographies. This talks shares insights into interdisciplinary creative approaches to climate-engaged learning through literature and the visual arts, to imagine new and essential ways of recognising the ‘rights of nature’ during the climate crisis.
This walking talk takes place outdoors – weather appropriate dress and footwear is advised.
Places are limited: Tickets available here
Katie Holten is an artist and activist, born in Ireland and living in New York City and Ardee, Ireland. In 2003, she represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale. She has had solo exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane. Her drawings investigate the tangled relationships between humans and the natural world. She has created Tree Alphabets, a Stone Alphabet, and a Wildflower Alphabet to share the joy she finds in her love of the more-than-human world. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Artforum, and frieze. She is a visiting lecturer at the New School of the Anthropocene. If she could be a tree, she would be an Oak.
Anja Murray is an ecologist, environmental policy analyst and broadcaster. She is familiar to many as a presenter on ‘Eco Eye’ on RTÉ 1 where she explores the challenges facing the natural environment in Ireland though the perspective of what can be or is being done to effect positive solutions. She has an award-winning radio slot on RTÉ Lyric FM and creates nature themed radio documentaries. For more than 20 years, Anja has pioneered many innovative and collaborative approaches to environmental conservation in Ireland.As an expert on Ireland’s natural environment, Anja has also worked in the NGO sector; as an advisor to both the state and corporate sectors; and with local communities, and youth groups. She is author of Wild Embrace, 2023. See more details here
Dr Stephen O’Neill
Stephen O’Neill is Associate Professor in English at Maynooth University, with research interests in Shakespeare. His books include Shakespeare and YouTube (Arden Shakespeare / Bloomsbury 2014) and Staging Ireland: Representations in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama (Four Courts, 2007). He is co-editor of The Arden Research Handbook to Shakespeare and Adaptation (Arden Shakespeare / Bloomsbury 2022); Shakespeare and Refugees (Routledge, 2021); and Shakespeare and the Irish Writer (UCD Press, 2010). He has published widely on adapted Shakespeare, especially in digital cultures. His new work is focused on climate fiction and the literary life of trees.
Literature and Ireland’s Trees (LIT) is a research project examining the literary life of trees. Literature has an impactful role to play in appreciating the planet’s lungs and imagining new ways of recognising the rights of nature in these times of climate crisis. Led by Stephen O’Neill of Maynooth University Department of English, LIT is funded by the Irish Research Council. LIT is a research network but also includes a conference and public lectures. LIT is now building a digital archive and exhibition about the tree in Irish writing and culture — everything from Ogham to Ulysses to contemporary writing – and is looking to the public for suggestions. The project is also developing a book, Tree Lines: Arboreal Agency in the Creative Arts. See more details here
The Language of Trees: How Trees Make Our World, Change Our Minds and Rewild Our Lives
Author Katie Holten
The Language of Trees is a gorgeously illustrated homage to the hidden wonders of the forest and our indelible connection to trees, filled with prose, poetry and art from over fifty collaborators, including Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Radiohead, Elizabeth Kolbert, Amitav Ghosh, Richard Powers, Suzanne Simard, Gaia Vince, Tacita Dean, Plato and Robin Wall Kimmerer.
In this deeply thoughtful collection, artist Katie Holten gifts readers her visual Tree Alphabet – made of the trees themselves – and uses it to masterfully translate and illustrate these pieces from some of the world’s most exciting writers and artists, activists and ecologists.
Holten guides us on a journey from prehistoric cave paintings and creation myths to the death of a 3,500 year-old cypress tree, from Tree Clocks in Mongolia and forest fragments in the Amazon to the language of fossil poetry. In doing so, she unearths a new way of seeing the natural beauty that surrounds us and creates an urgent reminder of what could happen if we allow it to slip away. The Language of Trees is an astonishing fusion of storytelling, knowledge and art that reveals how these living, feeling, communicating beings make our world, change our minds and rewild our lives.
‘A visual reminder that, like strong oaks from little acorns, we still can create the world in which we wish to live.’ Kerri ní Dochartaigh