Tag Archive | Workshop

Art and the end of the world (as we know it) – A five day course at Schumacher College

Course leaders: The Dark Mountain Project – Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald Hine

Date: 20th — 24th March 2017
Location: Schumacher College, Devon, England

Booking details


‘The end of the world as we know it is not the end of the world full stop.’ 

– Uncivilisation: The Dark Mountain Manifesto

We live in a time of great unravelling.

The climate is changing, a mass extinction is under way, and our economies, cultures and technologies are changing everything. The future no longer seems to serve as a vessel for our hopes, but a shadow that we try not to think about. Much that we grew up taking for granted will not make it into the world that waits for us there.

So what does it mean to live in such a time? What can we do with this kind of knowledge? And what does art have to do with any of it?

In 2009, Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald Hine published the Dark Mountain manifesto: a call for honesty about the depth of the trouble the world is in – and for recognition of the deep cultural roots of that trouble. From a short self-published pamphlet, the Dark Mountain Project grew into a global network of writers, artists, musicians, performers and creative thinkers, many of whose work has appeared in the pages of the Dark Mountain books or on the stages of the Uncivilisation festival, Base Camp, Carrying the Fire, The Telling and other events.

At the heart of the Dark Mountain Project is the claim that the global crisis we are facing is not a crisis of politics, economics or technology, but a crisis of stories. The stories which our culture likes to tell itself about humanity’s place on Earth and its relationship to the rest of nature are like bad maps, leading us towards unmarked hazards. We have narrated ourselves to the edge of a cliff.

If this is true, what can we do about it? And what, in particular, can writers, artists and other creative workers offer in response? If we have been telling the wrong stories, how would we recognise the right ones – and how could we begin to give them a voice?

This course is open to anyone who wants to engage with these questions and is willing to bring their own creativity into play. Through a mixture of workshops, teaching sessions, creative exercises and space to explore the big issues, it aims to give writers, musicians, performers and artists of all kinds a stronger sense of their place in a time of upheaval, change and unexpected possibilities.

Bring a notebook, a clear head, a sense of excitement and a willingness to be honest. Please leave false hopes and all-encompassing solutions at home.

Booking details

Art and Energy inspires a drawing class in Crediton, Devon

by Naomi Wright



It is the beginning of term and we stand about discussing our theme for our classes ahead. I suggest art and energy, it interests me for all sorts of reasons. I say I am helping with similar themed workshops with some college students outdoors as part of Regensw’s art and energy programme. I wonder whether it will interest the class. We think about the wide range of meanings for energy. Energy is everything, I say, remembering a recent workshop. In a physical sense, binding the molecules of our being, energy fixed from the sun, in the movement of a river, the heat from a fire, in our food, in the every-day. We have our own energy, in the spirit of the land, in leylines, in happiness, in despair.


So the term at Crediton arts centre has taken this as a theme…. A couple of us are working with an old luccombe oak that has had to be cut down in the local park. We think of the power within, the height and weight of it, the history in it, the energy held beneath in the ground. The dying energy, used by fungus, the last of the leaves to be photosynthisising.

powerculture2 powerculture3

The tree………..


Eileen’s tree

Others in the class discuss their drawings through the eye of an energy lens. Lines are energetic, directioned, growing. The still life is far from still as vegetation takes on a new meaning, pots spin, and all the senses are enlivened.


Rebecca’s pots

We’re all curious in how this will progress…  Pat especially, as she has ideas for some new installations.


Naomi Wright is an artist who collaboratively researches the benefits of being outdoors in the elements.  In sunshine, wind, or rain she maps and constructs places, things and conversations that make the most of our ecological interplay.


Paper Circuits Popup Project with 4th Grade

Originally posted on Expect the Miraculous:
? I’ve been wanting to explore paper circuits for quite awhile, but I haven’ taken the plunge to do it. We got many supplies for paper circuitry through a Donors Choose project. We’ve tinkered with the LEDs, conductive tape, and coin cell batteries some in our makerspace, but a…

Recipe: Making Charcoal Paint using Egg Tempera Medium

Thanks to artist Jo Bushell for sending us this recipe. With support from Silvanus Trust she researched and developed this method of making charcoal paint and used the method in a number of wokshops exploring energy and transformation.


Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment. Like most charcoal, biochar is made from biomass via pyrolysis. Biochar is under investigation as an approach to carbon sequestration to produce negative carbon dioxide emissions.[1] Biochar thus has the potential to help mitigate climate change via carbon sequestration.[2][3] Independently, biochar can increase soil fertility of acidic soils (low pH soils), increase agricultural productivity, and provide protection against some foliar and soil-borne diseases.[4]Furthermore, biochar reduces pressure on forests.[5] Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon, and can endure in soil for thousands of years.[1]


Making Charcoal Paint using Egg Tempera Medium

  • pestle and mortar
  • approx 5 lemon-sized lumps of charcoal (best quality available)
  • facemask (if not in a well ventilated area)
  • container with lid for storing charcoal powder
  • 10 free range eggs (organic or best quality possible)
  • large bowl for discarded egg whites/tissue (must be glass/ceramic for breaking eggs)
  • kitchen roll
  • cocktail stick or pointed twig
  • medium mixing bowl
  • table spoon
  • bottle of water
  • couple of small ramekin type dishes
  • paint brushes (or use fingers, leaves, pine cones or other found objects)

Step one:  First you will need to grind the charcoal lumps into powder form by placing them one at a time into your mortar and then pounding with the pestle until the lumps have reduced down to a fine powder.  Decant into a sealable container between grinding each lump – the dust is very fine!

Step two:  Take an egg and crack it on the edge of the large bowl.  Separate the egg yolk from the white using the two broken parts of its shell; gently passing the yolk from one to the other whilst letting the white of the egg drip down into the bowl beneath.  Discard the bowl containing the whites and replace with the mixing bowl. Place a piece of kitchen roll onto the palm of your hand and let the yolk tip from the shell onto the towel (somewhere close to the edge) taking care to hold it steady so that it doesn’t roll off onto the floor! Taking the cocktail stick pierce the membrane sack of the yolk allowing the yellow contents to drip into the mixing bowl  below.  Repeat this with the rest of the eggs. This is your Egg Tempera Medium.

Step three:  Spoon out roughly the same amount of charcoal powder as there is yolk and mix them together into a smooth paste.  Try it out on a piece of paper/bark until you are happy with the thickness and translucency.  If the paste is too thick to use then VERY GRADUALLY add water a spoonful at a time and stir in. Decant into your ramekins for ease of use. This paint dries quickly so don’t hang around!

Step four:  Use natural, hand-made paintbrushes or fingers to try out mark-making with your charcoal paint onto pieces of wood or  the inside of a piece of bark. It’s very smooth to paint with and, when it’s dry, you’ll find it has a lovely, glossy finish!

*If you have an egg allergy then try using Linseed oil mixed in equal parts with Water Mixable Fast Drying Oil Medium as a substitute for the egg.  Alternatively, honey can be used (take note, however, that the honey medium takes a couple of days to dry properly).