This year I have been co-producing a series of Dark Mountain creative workshops centred around the. eight fires of the ancestral, solar year. Called How We Walk Through the Fire, this ensemble practice has so far placed attention on Kinship with Beasts, and Walking into the Wind. This month I'm sharing the fire-keeping with my fellow 'radical botanical' Mark Watson. Here is our call out. Do come and join us!
Our fourth workshop will focus on connecting with the plant kingdom in times of ecological crisis. We will be joined by Dark Mountain’s Mark Watson to explore how we might re-entangle ourselves with the intelligence and beauty of wild plants, working with the key leaves, flowers and trees of May.
Plants give human beings everything they need to sustain their place on Earth: the air we breathe, the food and medicine to nourish us, fabric to shelter us. But their diverse and colourful forms also entwine themselves into art, into poetry, into cultures and ceremony throughout the world, as they provide a bridge into the mythos and the sentience of the planet.
How can we honour these relationships in difficult times? How can plants help root us in place and time, help us remember the role imagination plays in communication with the more-than-human world –from the smallest daisy on the roadside to the forest’s mightiest oak?
For this fire gathering, set around May Day on 1st May, we will tune into the plants of our local territories. We will be creating work to celebrate what we encounter, and share our stories of what it means to become kin with the world.
Do join us in this hands-on ensemble investigation into the art and practice of plant dialogues as we welcome the greening of the growing year.
About the Eight Fires series How We Walk Through the Fire aims to forge a collective practice amongst writers, artists, and creative practitioners; and to host a culture that can both weather the storm and lay the tracks for a more ‘biospheric’ relationship with ourselves and the more-than-human world.
Each of the fires will explore different themes and approaches to this practice, from storytelling to plant medicine to performance – but all aim to foster resilience and radical kinship, and to strengthen our creative voices within an ensemble. Together we’ll ‘walk through the fire’, letting go of what no longer serves, and discovering what might bring repair and regeneration to a world, and a culture, in crisis.
How We Walk Through the Fire workshops are hosted by Charlotte Du Cann and Dougie Strang who have created many immersive, dramaturgical events and teachings for Dark Mountain, based on reconnection with deep time and the mythology of place.
The course comprises two x 2 hour group Zoom sessions, with time for a solo walk/encounter and a creative task during the week in between. It will include exercises and discussion and provide opportunities for:
- Working within a Dark Mountain frame - In-depth conversation with fellow writers and artists - Deepening your practice - Exploring relationship with the living world
When: Saturday 30th April and Saturday 7th May, 4-6pm BST
Note all time zones are welcome to participate.
Group size: 16 people maximum
How to apply: As the course has limited space and we are looking for a diverse group of participants, please could you let us know a bit about yourself: where you are writing from, your current practice and why you would like to take part in the course. A few sentences are fine! Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.
Welcome to my archive blog - a collection of pieces written for collaborative and grassroots media, including The Dark Mountain Project, This Low Carbon Life, Transition Network, EarthLines and One World Column (East Anglian Daily Times).