Tim Collins and Reiko Goto Collins have spent the past year visiting the Midlands of Eire undertaking a Deep Mapping of Lough Boora. The thing they were invited to visit is a twenty-year old Sculpture Park looking for a new direction. The resulting publication By Collis and Goto is intended to contribute to the goal of an “exceptional and sustainable artistic vision” which will inform the future development of this Sculpture Park in the Land and Environmental Arts facility in Lough Boora Discovery Park.
Below you will find some key points on why peatlands are a current focus of policy intervention, and then you’ll find some examples of other artists and writers drawing attention to peatlands, working with scientists and communities, and representing peatlands to distant communities.
Collins and Goto describe ‘deep mapping’ as, “an attempt to become conscious of a place and its multiple layers of experience, meaning and value.” They say that is ideally a collective exercise which requires, “a commitment to lived histories and current discourse, walking and talking with a wide mix of people wherever possible.”
The land of Lough Boora Sculpture Park has a long and varied story to be interrogated. 10,000 years ago, with the end of late Devensian Glaciation, the depositing of fen plants, forest, heather and sphagnum started a process of forming the raised bogs.
This landscape became the focus of resource extraction which “heated irish homes for centuries” and created jobs, prosperity and communities. Eventually, however, the move from resource extraction to renewable energy and land management became the new driver of change.
The development of the award-winning Sculpture Park in the new millennium brought a different animation to the landscape as aesthetic and community values became of greater importance. This transformation of the land was both a success and a struggle. Just as the choices to previously experimentally reinvent the land with a variety of planting techniques was never straight forward, so it was with how to best make art which “opens a space to imagine new social, ecological and economic relationships.”
Read more on Tim Collins and Reiko Goto-Collins on Deep Mapping, ‘A dialogue about bogs, energy, art and landscape futures’ and listen to a narrative of the projec.