“Hedgespoken is our dream – we’ve thought long and hard about how best we want to live our lives, how to do what we love doing in a way that serves our communities and fulfills our dreams of living close to the land in a creative, sustainable way. Hedgespoken is our best shot, our way of taking our skills and our love of story, of art and magic, and living in a way that means we’re using all of that, all the time. And, it’s our promise, to ourselves and to our children, that we will refuse to live half-lives. Hedgespoken is a gamble – to live on the road is to embrace uncertainty and certain kinds of insecurity, after all – but it’s a gamble that we have to take, because we dreamed this in the week that we first met and we knew then that we had to find a way to make it real. With your help, we’re getting there, in Hedgespoken style, living lives that are full, not empty, nor half-lived or hollow – with your help, we’re already creating something beautiful, allowing something of the magical world to be born.”
Sketch By Rima Staines
“Hedgespoken is our attempt to try and live our dream right here and now in this life, fully and heartily and with all the colours available to us. It matters because of the flame that burns in all of us to really live our dreams, despite all those voices – inside and outside – telling us that that’s not possible. It matters because by sharing soul-nourishing arts with others in this way, we are re-weaving a tribe of those who yearn for this old magic that feels at once delightfully strange and very familiar. It matters because sitting under the stars by firelight together is a fundamentally old and human thing to do, and because when we sit there in the woodsmoke and owlsong and crackle of darkness, we Remember…”
Photo by Andy Letcher
The Uncivilisation festival is organized by The Dark Mountain Project, “a network of writers, artists and thinkers who have stopped believing the stories our civilisation tells itself, [Who] see that the world is entering an age of ecological collapse, material contraction and social and political unraveling, and [who] want our cultural responses to reflect this reality rather than denying it.”
At this year’s Uncivilisation festival Andreas Kornevall is supervising the building of a ‘Life Cairn‘ modeled on the one pictured here that he and Peter Owen Jones started in 2011. (from the FB page) “A Life Cairn is raised in recognition and honour for all the species of flora and fauna – mammals, marsupials, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, crustaceans, arachnids, trees, lichens and plants of all kinds, that have been rendered extinct at human hands.” The Life Cairn is a sibling to Joanna Macy’s Cairn of Mourning, part of her practice called ‘Honoring our Pain for the World’ from her Work that Reconnects.
Macy’s work teaches that the process of waking up to the reality we face is a spiral that takes us through 4 stages – and that it can be a one time experience or an ongoing one that we continually move through. Gratitude, Honoring our pain, Seeing with new eyes, and Going forth are the stages for the work.
Mourning is part of acknowledging our pain. Uncertainty is now the horizon line for an ever increasing part of the human community, especially those of us who have been immune and sheltered from much of the chaos and destruction that we have been ignorant of or have refused to acknowledge. This uncertainty and the destruction of the world are in fact intertwined as the reality we thought we once knew is unraveling. The second step toward waking up may be just to acknowledge that there is something to be mourned. There is something lost that cannot be retrieved. It might be our view of the world or our place in it. There is a wild part of us that has died along with the other wild things that are no longer here. As Andreas writes, “The wild is caught in a fireblaze, the flames seem too high to stop. If we cannot grieve for all that is being lost in the wild, then it was never loved.”
Rima Staines captures this feeling succinctly with her cover art for the ‘From the Mourning of the World’ LP, A Dark Mountain music project.
She writes that the world mourns and, “from her tears grows music: music to wail and sing out and bow and strum and beat out the thrum of our griefs. And from the music grow green leaves, spiraling their new life from the alchemy of tears.”
Through these tears will we grow fresh eyes? What world will those eyes envision, within us and without? There will be many hard questions to come.
Rima Staines of ‘The Hermitage‘ fame and one of my favorite artists is in a new show with a stellar group at Green Hill Arts. Read her post about it here with some nice photos of the grand opening event.
Widdershins – Moorland Mythic Arts
From : Jun 22, 2013 to : Aug 7, 2013
Midsummer – Saturday 22nd June – Wednesday 7th August
Walking “widdershins” (counter-clockwise) is the traditional way to enter the realm of myth and enchantment. Come to Green Hill Arts this summer and let us show you the way…
Widdershins is an exhibition of art works by a group of celebrated and internationally renowned mythical and fantasy artists.
Dartmoor’s landscape is steeped in magic and mystery and it is home to many artists whose work is inspired by mythic themes. Widdershins showcases the work of those who live on Dartmoor (or have local connections), but whose paintings, sculptures, books and films are known far beyond: Hazel Brown, Neil Wilkinson Cave, Brian Froud, Wendy Froud, Paul Kidby, Alan Lee, Virginia Lee, Rima Staines, Terri Windling, David Wyatt.
Widdershins explores local legends, world myth, folklore and faery tales in diverse, surprising ways… and although it all starts ‘Once Upon a Time’, it is definitely not for children only. In addition to the exhibition itself, we have a full programme of mythic, magical events for adults and children. It includes artists’ talks, book-signings, storytelling, puppetry, music and much more.