Due to popular demand for our May Day Plant Dialogues we are running a second gathering around the summer solstice as part of our How We Walk Through the Fire series of creative workshops centred around the eight fires of the ancestral solar year.
Our fifth 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 signature leaves, flowers and trees of midsummer as they reach the zenith of the year.
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 the summer solstice on 21st June, 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 flowering of the growing year.
About this 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: Thursday 16th June and Thursday 23rd June, 6-8pm 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 email@example.com and we will be in touch.
Deadline for applications: Monday 30th May 2022
Mark Watson has been consciously tuning into the plant world since the 1990s and has worked with medicine plants in Mexico, the Arizona desert and the UK. He teaches others to connect with the dreaming of plants through embodied practice, communication and developing mutual relationships. He is a keen forager and fermenter and one of the core team behind the Dark Mountain Project.
Charlotte Du Cann is a writer, editor and co-director of the Dark Mountain Project. She has taught creative non-fiction and reconnection with the wild in many places, including Schumacher College, Arvon, School of the Wild, Sweden’s Riksteatern, and Natural Beekeeping Trust. She has been the co- producer of recent Dark Mountain art and writing workshops, Finding the Words When the Story is Over and When the Mountain Speaks with Us.
Charlotte and Mark held a inquiry into the language and dreaming of medicine plants for over ten years, much of which is recorded in Charlotte’s book 52 Flowers That Shook My World. They have taught plant-human communications within in a wide range of territories, from woods and wastelands, botanical gardens and city parks. They live on the salty edge of East Anglia.
Dougie Strang is a writer, performer, and member of Dark Mountain’s organising collective. His work is often inspired by Scotland’s wild places, and he collaborates with various organisations to facilitate wholehearted encounters with those places, most recently as dramaturg and performer on Ùrlar, a site-specific theatre and dance production, commissioned by the National Trust and staged on the slopes of Ben Lomond.
Charlotte and Dougie have worked together on numerous Dark Mountain events, creating workshops and performances including A Dance Down the Dark Mountain, at Unfix in Glasgow and at Winterwerft Festival in Frankfurt, Conversations in the Dark at the big room in Macclesfield, The Night Breathes Us In in Reading, Base Camp in Devon, and Carrying the Fire on Rannoch Moor.