Waterland

A Dark Mountain Creative Workshop

Continuing  our How We Walk Through the Fire series of creative workshops centred around the eight fires of the ancestral solar year.

Our sixth workshop will focus on connecting with the element of water in times of ecological crisis. We will be joined by writer, artist and wild swimmer Lucy Neal to explore water as carrier of our evolutionary past, how it activates us creatively and physically: an essential part of the ecosystems of all life. From rainfall on an African Plain, to oceans, lakes, lochs, underground rivers, Sussex dew ponds and the next cup of tea, water is always on a journey.

On a warming planet, water’s journey is accelerating: Arctic ice melting, sea levels rising, rain falling more heavily and flash flooding A speeding up water cycle is the main way the impacts of climate change are being experienced.

This workshop will pay attention to water – the joy of our physical connection to it and how it runs through our lives in our language, our myths, our stories, our poetry and our dreams.

We will contemplate bodies of water local to us, our relationship to them and their creative potential – submerging, drifting, listening – creating work to celebrate what we encounter and share stories of what it means to become fluid and kin with the world.

Our sacred rivers have been venerated for thousands of years. Set around Lughnasadh (1st/2nd August) this fire gathering is often celebrated by visits to river springs and holy wells in thanks for water’s powers of restoration, regeneration and redemption.

Water gifts us so much, what might we gift it in return?

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.  

 

Practical information

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 30thj July and Thursday 6th August, 4-6pm BST

Note all time zones are welcome to participate.

Group size: 16 people maximum

Price: £55

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 info@dark-mountain.net and we will be in touch.

 Deadline for applications: Friday 15th July 2022

 

Tutors

Lucy Neal  is an artist and writer, and was co-director of the London International Festival of Theatre for 25 years. She is author of Playing For Time – Making Art As If The World Mattered (Bloomsbury) a practical handbook reimagining our world at a time of planetary uncertainty. She is one of four artists working on Walking Forest,  a project inspired by forest ecology, creative resistance and women’s Earth defending. She swims year round in the Tooting Bec Lido, South West London 

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.

 

 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.

 

IMAGE: Flow by Abigail McDougall from her Dark Mountain online story ‘Acts of Resistance’: https://dark-mountain.net/an-act-of-resistance/

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