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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"RECONNECTING TO THE LIVING EARTH"

A creative observation workshop for farmers and beekeepers



conducted by Axel Ewald,
"Gan HaBeit"
- the organic vegetable garden
of Kibbutz Harduf,
March 2015
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The workshop

was part of the first Biodynamic Beekeeping' conference in Israel, with biodynamic beekeeper Gunther Hauk as main contributor.


FULL EXPOSURE


The workshop started with a practice of fully exposing ourselves - with all ours senses - first to the quiet earth below, then to the depth of the sky above and finally to the green layer of vegetation between heaven and earth - meeting the plant kingdom on eye-level.








This was a very profound and emotional experience for many of the participants and created a mood of reverence and devotion to  the living world of plants. We continued by making pastel sketches summarising our experience of the plant realm between earth and heaven.























MOVING WITH THE PLANT

We then embarked on a detailed observation of an annual plant, including making sketches from memory and observing the metamorphic sequence of leaves.
This led us into a creative exploration of the movement 'in-between' the distinct stages of leaf development. To start with we explored this in movement. Standing in a circle, each participant was asked to express in a bodily gesture one of the metamorphic stages. Then we tried to turn this into a 'group choreography', performing the consecutive gestures together in developing relationship to each other.

























This practice was a preparation for bringing the metamorphic development into a collective drawing process. Again, each person was to represent one of the stages of development, from simple to complicated, from rounded to pointed, in a improvisational charcoal sketch, The challenge was, that each person had to relate to his/her neighbours and their drawings, in order to enable a consequential form development to arise between the drawings of all participants.


The process, including the impressive results, can be seen in the following video clip:




TALKING TO A FLOWER

Our next station was the closely observe the flowering stage of plant development, trying to come to an experience howk also here, 'the plant is, from beginning to end, only leaf', as Goethe exclaims. We then proceeded to processing our experience of 'flowering' by painting an individual flower in pastel.


video

Here are some of the results:























FRUIT-CREATION AND SUMMARISING THE EXPERIENCE OF TOTAL PLANT DEVELOPMENT

After careful observation of fruit development and the creation of the seeds we completed our journey by splitting up into groups of between three and four participants. Each group created, on large sheets of paper, a colourful representation of the whole life journey of the plant through the season.


video




Here is one of the collective creations:



finally, we took a group photograph of the participants with the facilitator:

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