June – October 2018, Scotland and Kent
The Muse Project is a five month programme for creative people – writers, artists, musicians and anyone who considers their work or life ‘creative.’ Its aim is to inject nature’s wild, creative power into work, and to explore deeper purpose in creative work today. Through two deep retreats, ‘solo’ quests in nature, numerous workshops, online seminars and support on a personal project, The Muse Project aims to rejuvenate and reconnect creativity with, and for, the living Earth.
Led by writers, artists, wilderness guides and guest teachers, The Muse Project will help you explore and deepen your own practice while deepening personal transition. Through the process we also seek to work with different forms of knowing – going deep into the wild, playing with stories, looking to ancient cultures and stepping back to explore themes such as stillness, truth, resilience and more. Throughout the process we look to the natural patterns of life, and always seek to explore our own identity in the web of life. At key moments we will also step back to ask – what is our role as as creative people in the world today?
The programme will be hosted by:
Paul Kingsnorth – writer, poet and co-founder of the Dark Mountain Project
Andres Roberts – wilderness guide and co-founder of Way of Nature UK and The Bio-Leadership Project
Jessie Teggin – curator and director of the Quadrangle Trust
WHAT TO EXPECT
– A unique journey designed to deeply support your work, practice and purpose in your work
– Workshops, talks and activities led by experienced creative teachers
– A profound first retreat in an extraordinary location – a private island off the coast of West Scotland
– A personal Nature Quest, honouring ancient solo quest processes
– A supportive space to be courageous with ideas, thoughts and practices
– A brilliant community of people within this programme and associated groups
Retreat One: The Enchanted Island
Our first gathering will take place on a wild, private island in the Hebrides, in June. We will take time to hear the stories that brought us to this place and time, and stories of the land. There will be talks, workshops and exercises to break open your creativity and give your permission to take it to new places. Our week there will include a ‘Solo Nature Quest’ – time alone to be, and listen, and reconnect with our deepest sense of being and creativity. And we will build up to each participant sharing the form and nature of a personal creative project they will work on until the next retreat.
This phase of the programme will consist of conversations, workshops and continued personal practice as well as work on your own project. It includes:
– Online seminars with guest speakers on knowledge, science, art and more.
– A group learning ‘pit stop’ – connecting inquiries and learning at a midway point
– 1:1 time with the course guides
– Self-managed small group meetings
– Preparation and work on your personal project
Retreat Two: Return to the Circle
In autumn, we will come back together, our projects now complete, for a four-day gathering to reconnect, reflect and share outputs from our work. There will be more talks, groups work, thought experiments and more, led by experienced creative people. This gathering will take place at the Quadrangle Trust, a centre dedicated to exploring our place in the natural world and a great space for a retreat and celebration. The programme will include a secret expedition and an ‘open space’ approach to working with themes and processes that feel most valuable to us in this time.
Final Group Call
6 to 8 weeks after the initial process, we will reconvene for a large group circle. This will be about sharing how we are doing back in everyday life, and how we might continue to weave or work with any aspects of creativity or growth that the process has supported.
We need creativity more than ever. People and cultures and the planet need us to be creative in new ways. We need to help create new narratives and stories rooted in interdependence, reciprocity and cooperation. This programme is about hosting the best possible journey we can, to connect, support and unleash the power of our creativity as part of nature. And it is about living and celebrating that we are simply part of the web of life.
This journey builds on two previous collaborative projects between Way of Nature and The Dark Mountain Project (Shadows in the Wild, in 2016, and Fire & Shadow in 2017), as well as a number of collaborations across Way of Nature and the Quadrangle Trust.
£2200: Standard price
£1800: Early Bird price; available until 31st March 2018
*We are able to offer two reduced price bursary places on this retreat. To apply, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description of who you are and why you would like to come and be part of the journey.
HOW TO APPLY
This programme is by application, which we are planning in two or three rounds. For more details about how to apply, or for more information, please email Andres Roberts.