THE OLD DOORS AND THE GOLDEN HORN 5th – 10th July 2017 – Previous Gathering in Portugal

Our Nomadic residencies happen twice a year and are open to people of all backgrounds. The intention of the gatherings are to consider the importance of reconnecting ‘the artist’ and ‘the healer’ as integral to dialogues of ‘progress’ and creativity. How art practice and making with the hands can inform and initiate a healing of ourselves, the community and further afield. The journeys are about experiencing and reflecting on the power of collective creation, reforming ideas of community and opening our intimate experience as individual creators to become shared vessels of creative potential. Each residency takes place in a different alternative community and core to the process is to work with the idea of “householding” and the nomad.

Each gathering brings together our 4 lands methods, combining yogic practices of breath work and posture, with movement, sound work, dance and ritual. These energetic practices lead into individual and collective making, ceremony, performative land walks and home making. Through working with these “source gestures” the processes delve into the essence of myth facilitating a deep re-thinking of the stories we tell about home, climate and society. There are 3 residencies each year.

“The stories we have been given for our bodies, climate and society are not equipping us to move creatively and collectively through change. These residencies are a migration of minds and bodies, reforming the stories we have been given to commune within deep shared and evolving wisdom. Reclaiming ourselves as tellers. The vital work of today.”

Testimonials: Summer 2017, Mount of Oaks Portugal:

“I am so deeply thankful for everything you made possible and shared in these days! You gave me the tools to own my own spiritual practice. It felt like being part of a circle of precious stones that every day moved a little closer, vibrated and shone a bit more and formed a common necklace towards the end. I am very grateful for your immense generosity to share your tools and processes of creation and inspirations with us without holding back. Your role shifted between mother/teacher and child in a beautiful way. Everyone of us had space to shift and transform, settle or dance in
their own space and space rather than being assigned a fixed role. It feels like the beginning of a journey towards a freedom of spirit and body that has just started. I want more!”

“So much gratitude for the circle and the space you created for such a beautiful, expansive and humbling journey. Rediscovering the ancient and elemental forces of the creative process felt like remembering part of me long lost… feeling like our time birthed a story in me that grows day by day from collective roots. Still feeling the presence of the circle and our dance and voice still gentle sings through my being. Thank you for bring us together and for sharing so much.. would love to join on future journeys!”

“It was such a multi-sensory and multi-layered experience that I am finding it hard to put words around it. Just a few of the sensations – the soft light of the early morning sun, incense, bells, soles on the earth clay floor, hot soil, red paint on feet, the last apricots and luscious figs, our chanting, wild flowers, music, tears, sitting on the sticks and dry leaves of the forest, holding new hands, cool water, red thread, olive oil, fresh herbs, wet felt against wet hands, unfurling paper, speaking, laughing, my baby turning in my belly, tiredness… The whole experience was so suffused with these sensations, an overwhelming richness in every moment. It could be enough just to be still to taste it all. And overlaid on the sensations, a richness of emotional connection, both within and with others. You brought us together as a group so skillfully, so gracefully, so powerfully. I felt a wonderful safety in the holding space you created. I constantly felt in the presence of your generosity – the ceremonies you created for us, the material and objects you brought, the practices you shared with us, the structure you suggested. I can’t think of anything I would not have wanted to experience, in order to create that possible space. I could see the retreat as a seed of something that then continues to grow in exchange with others. Finally, I felt an enormous privilege being among the group as the one’with child’ and also one of the older presences. It helped me to see where I have come in my own journey, and to feel the next steps emerging in front of me. Overall it was a wonderfully rich, grounding and loving time, and I came back carrying a lot of peace and happiness.Thank you.”