Earth rituals, playfulness, magic of nature and clay all over
Here in the womb of the land with all its clay, we will discover ourselves at our most earthy, messy and humble.
The word 'humble' is derived from the Latin ‘humus', meaning ‘ground’. ‘Clown’ is also cognate with ‘clod’, a noun that can describe both a lump of clay and a simple person. Connecting with the mud, this workshop will give time for simplicity and humility. Connecting with how little we know and remaining innocent and playful, we will take time to connect with where we come from and where we will end up. It will be a time to get our hands dirty, to leave aside the perpetual reasonings of the mind in favour of using our hands to make objects and our bodies to sing and move. Here we will dig our bare bodies into the earth itself. We will watch as the shapes of spirits form themselves into masks in our hands. We will ask the landscape make our bodies dance, feeling the clay drying on our skin and transforming us; we will build altars and find magic places in the wilderness to make art for its own sake, with no audience other than the trees, the birds, the mountains, and the sky. Over 7 Days, as the ripe midsummer moon climbs to fullness at the end of June, we will create rituals to honour the earth itself, explore our playful nature, unplug from the wired world and sing, be silent or weave tales, and just be the simple humans we are.
During our process, we will
- Work every day with the clay naturally occurring on the land
- Create installations and altars in nature
- Journey into the wilderness and explore our wild nature
- Make masks
- Meditate, stretch and observe a period of silence every day
- Unplug from the wired world
- Play and be silly, pray for our clown spirit to inhabit us, perform for each other
- Dance Butoh
- Craft rituals, feasts and transformational poetic acts
- Sing and make music together
- Enjoy the natural spa, indulge in massage
- Sleep in the wilderness and enjoy accommodation in nature such as treehouses, caravans, caves and domes
- Cook and eat together
My interest is in the creation of spaces in which people can shine their wild beauty out into the world. I love to guide, through play, rituals, structures and experiments. My main field of research over the last 9 years has been into the topsy-turvy world of the clown. This is a vast territory in which we can discover many wonderful things – freedom, presence, lightness, the pleasure of pretending, a fantastic idiocy, comfort within our imperfections, the transformation of faults into strengths, liberation, innocence, access to hidden parts of ourselves, sacred communication through our physical/emotional body, and a huge dose of fun. The deeper I have gone with clown, the more I have seen archaic/ shamanic clown and trickster cosmologies become fascinating and colourful routes into individuation, particularly those of the North American Hopi and of Haitian Voudoun, which also contain a vast treasure-box of mask-work, dance, and clown-lore. The clown is the guardian of an earthy, grounded humanity, a powerful spirit keeping us safe from solemn ego-trips, judgements and mind-games. In my workshops I also draw on a much wider variety of traditions and modalities according to the needs of the group and the focus of the work: These including Butoh, Contact Improvisation, Tao/Tantra, Massage, Tarot, Psychomagic, Healing, Maskwork, Art, Sacred Sexuality and Breathwork. My first calling was as a DJ/Promotor, and there is still a lot of music, cabaret, and party in my workshops. This element of celebration, mischief, and fun grounds our excursions into Creativity, Self and Group work, life, body, and planet.
While keeping up the community life we step into a guided experience of learning and exploration. Teachings, which might be theoretical or practical, together with other guided activities wrap around our common rhythm as the community. All community tasks are covered together as usual.