HIGH NOON – WOODLAND IS AN ARTIST-LED CREATIVE PROCESS SET IN THE BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPE OF THE CHEW VALLEY, JUST SOUTH OF BRISTOL.
AN INVITATION TO THOSE* WHO FIND THEMSELVES AT A POINT OF CHANGE IN LIFE AND WANT SOMEWHERE TO MARK, LEGITIMISE OR PROCESS THIS. IT IS ALSO AN INVITATION TO THOSE WHO MAY FEEL A SIGNIFICANT INTERNAL SHIFT (MAYBE IN A PERIOD OF DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY) BUT CANT NECESSARILY IDENTIFY WHAT THIS IS OTHER THAN REALISING THAT THEIR PREVIOUS WAY OF FUNCTIONING ISN’T WORKING FOR THEM ANYMORE.
HIGH NOON GIVES SPACE AND FORM TO THIS PROCESS AND RECOGNISES DIFFERENCE AS WELL AS COMMON THEMES OF LIFE TRANSITION. HIGH NOON ISN’T A TALKING THERAPY BUT AN ART PROCESS THAT DRAWS ON OFTEN DISUSED WAYS OF SEEING AND BEING AND ACCLIMATISES US TO THE UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY OF CHANGE. THIS TWELVE-HOUR EXPERIENCE OFFERS A SAFE SPACE FOR INDIVIDUALS TO JOURNEY WITH OTHERS THROUGH THIS PROCESS IN A SMALL GROUP SETTING (max 6).
IF YOU NEED THIS INFORMATION IN ANOTHER FORMAT OR WOULD PREFER A PHONE CALL THEN PLEASE EMAIL JO USING – JOANNA@CHALKBLACK.COM
The art itself is immersive and guided, taking the participants through stages of diverse and engaging activities which draw on the instincts and encourage freedom of expression. No previous art experience or skills are needed to take part – it is about allowing time and space for those who are there to feel guided but free from expectation. Participants learn to prepare raw, organic materials that are indigenous to the woodland itself; this preparation, their journey around the space, their interaction and connection with their immediate environment and their response to the change of light are elements of the ‘art of departure’ – a way of demonstrating, legitimising and recognising phases of change.
The day retreat begins at noon and runs until midnight. This time frame allows the different creative elements to mirror the transition of the day from high noon through to high moon. When the darkness draws in, participants will be invited to interact with a fusion of organic and digitally projected images, drawn from their own artwork, to create forms that allow them to powerfully communicate a point of change.
High Noon has been birthed out of many years of reading, asking questions of others and solo/shared experiences in the natural world. Although the actual process is hands-on and instinctive rather than verbal or information-heavy. The process draws on the theories of depth psychologists such as Carl Jung, Clarissa Pincola Estes and James Hollis alongside writers such Sharon Blackie and Mary Oliver, wilderness guides such Bill Plotkin and Martin Shaw and artists in the Social Sculpture discipline such as Joseph Beuys and Shelley Sacks. If you would like some recommendations of books from these authors – get in touch.
The retreat runs from 12.00 midday until 12.00 midnight therefore participants are welcome to stay overnight under a wooden shelter with a fire or return home after this point. Lunch, evening meal, refreshments (and a light breakfast for those staying overnight) will be included. If you are wanting to enjoy the land for a few hours after the official end of High Noon (after 10am) please let us know a week before as we will provide a small pack lunch for this and ask for a donation towards this.
The camp is well set up with beautiful wooden shelter, fire pit, camp-cook area, running water and a private compost loo. Camp mattresses/bedding aren’t provided (if you’re unable to bring this then email as we have some limited supplies). Wild camping by the fire is highly recommended.
Please note: part of the fulfilment that people have found from being part of this experience has been from sharing not just the art, the food and fire but also sharing and helping with basic food prep (the main meal will just need warming), carrying and some of the setting up and packing up of the space together. It makes it more of a shared venture than a retreat where you are served and everything is ‘laid-on’. I ran High Noon more like a retreat at the beginning but felt that there is something more honest about us creating together and finding some of the fun and fulfilment there; than in presenting something perfect and instagram ready (it’s beautiful already) – this feels more relational and connected. If you need to rest or have a medical condition please let me know so that you are well looked after.
Cost: £160 (we don’t have concession price but give one place away). Email if you can’t afford this as funding may be available. A non-returnable deposit of £35 needs to be paid by 20th August so that your booking is secured.
*SEPTEMBER DATE IS FOR WOMEN/THOSE WHO IDENTIFY AS WOMEN AND NON-BINARY PERSONS
NEXT HIGH NOON – WOODLAND: 20th SEPTEMBER 2022
BOOKING ON – firstname.lastname@example.org for further details and to book on.
Please email Jo for transport details on email@example.com to discuss your individual transport options.
As the venue is in a rural area the postcode is shared by other farms and houses in the area therefore more detailed directions will be needed to find the right venue.
Please note that this retreat is 12 hours long and finishes after hours for local transport so it may be preferrable to stay for the night and take public transport the next day.
Car sharing is encouraged. If you are arriving by car and are happy to pick up others on the way from a mutually agreed location then let us know and we can help to arrange this (but can’t take responsibility for the safety or punctuality of the driver).
Due to being a woodland setting the event site is not suitable for wheelchair access or for those with limited mobility. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be interested in a similar event on a site with disabled access.
Warm clothes, sturdy footwear, waterproofs, hat for warmth and additional footwear that can get wet (old trainers/wetsuit boots). Some like to bring enough changes of nickers and t-shirts to go under the waterfall in and a towel for after.
If you opt for staying overnight you will need to bring a warm sleeping bag, blanket, pillow and something to sleep on. If you are travelling by public transport and can’t manage to bring your own bedding please contact us as we have a limited supply we could bring for you. It is possible to camp in your own tent if you prefer.
Donation for packed lunch.
This event works best if we can speak to those attending before the day – makes the process less impersonal. Please email for initial contact and we’ll arrange a time to call you.
What happens if the weather forecast is bad?
If the forecast is for continuous heavy rain or high winds or there are weather warnings we will post-pone the event to another weekday within a month of the previous date and will consult all those booked on in order to find the best date. We can’t take the postponed date into the next year as the land owners have asked for it to be taken within 2022 so we would need to run it before it before it gets too cold to do so. In the 8 years we have run this I have never postponed so fingers crossed. The shelter is large enough for us to easily do activities under it and sleep under it without getting wet we have run this event in heavy rain and no one got wet. If we can’t find an alternative postponed date between us then we will change the nature of the creative process to make it safe to still run it on the same date despite the weather where possible to do so safely.
We have tried to keep our ticket cost as low as possible and we don’t make any profit out of this event. Rosie and I are gifting their time for free but claim expenses and Emma is paid at her lowest rate as we all feel so passionately that we want High Noon to be as accessible as possible. However, we understand that this project still is inaccessible financially to some so each time we run it we give a place away as a donation only place for someone who experiences significant barriers to coming. We don’t have a subsidised price bracket as we’ve learnt it works better this way. We will keep confidence about who is given this place if this person would prefer this.
If you’re not in a position to cover some or all of the amount then feel free to email email@example.com and we will let you know if we have received any funding or donations to cover the cost of your place.
Please email us directly to the email address above. Thank you.
Jo Bushell of Chalkblack
Organiser of High Noon
• Organiser Facebook Profile chalkblackart
Joining Jo for this event –
Rosie Pendlebury (she/her) is a qualified Play Therapist and professional Gardener, who is interested in exploring how utilising and connecting with outdoor spaces can aid the therapeutic process.
Emma Holbrook (she/her) is a Bristol-based music composer, drummer, film director and photographer. She is joining High Noon as the photographer for the evening session to capture the projection work. Emma has an innovative and sensitive approach to her work informed by years of creative and diverse experience working in bands, in the creative industries, community groups and in education.
(N.B. All photography for the project will be taken only with the participant’s permission and for the benefit of the individual rather than promotion or social media unless otherwise agreed with the participant/s).