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There are a broad mix of workshops taking place throughout the week, including theatre skills, writing, celtic artwork and displaying your art and work on the internet.

Tai Chi - “Poetry in Motion” by Steve Pardue

Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art that has its basis in ancient Chinese Philosophy. The posture names are all poetic in construction and we will use the week in Luing to explore the meanings behind the posture names and de-construct how to use these postures in a martial context.

1. Stances, standing and energy connection.
2. Stepping and moving with shifting weight
3. Body alignment, co-ordination, relaxation and connection
4. Standing Meditation and breathing to promote a state of tranquility and serenity
5. The first quarter of the short form
6. Basic push hands to learn no resistance
7. Basic self defence uses of some of the postures
8. Basic theory and philosophy of Tai Chi Ch'uan
9. The meaning of the posture names and how to self learn
10. Basic pad hitting

Photography Exhibition by Richard Childs

Throughout the Festival there will be an exhibition by Richard Childs, a large format landscape photographer based in Oban. We are delighted to be able to display his stunning images which capture so evocatively the landscape of the area.

"In todays hectic times we spend much of our time racing from one place to the next, fitting in as much as we can on the way with the promise that one day we will reward ourselves with much needed time out. The problem being that the down time is so scarse that we fill that too with as much as we can. I used to race up to Scotland and bag as many mountains as I could before returning exhausted to my day job. Now I am returning to many of these peaks to truly experience them for the first time. Connecting with the land in a way that I never did before. Returning again and again to a location, building a real sense of place that I hope my photographs portray."

A sample of his work is available on his website.

Celtic Art Workshop by Cheryl Galbraith

This workshop will explore some of the connections between Celtic art and wider culture, language and place. From the history of the art form as it developed, as Scotland did, under the influence of Picts, Celts, Vikings and others, to the spiritual and religious beliefs which are emedded deep in Celtic culture, and which find expression in art, music, folklore and poetry. We will look at how Celtic art has developed to express modern Scottish culture and at examples of the work of today's Celtic artists.

From this introduction we will move to the practical part of the workshop. I hope to give everyone a confident start in learning to use the Celtic idiom. We will start by drawing some basic elements, and learn how these can be combined and built upon to create more complex designs. As well as their own artwork, participants will take away with them a set of workshop notes, including a bibliography, and some practical advice and exercises to help develop their work further.

White River and Geopoetics: Talk by Jamie Whittle and Discussion

Jamie's talk will look at the project he undertook between 2000 and 2007 exploring and writing about the watershed of the River Findhorn (preparation, the journey, research) and about the inspiration geopoetics and in particular writers such as Kenneth White, Gary Snyder and Sigurd Olson have had upon his writing. One subject will be the way in which geopoetics forms the primary connection between the human and non-human world in 'White River' as well as being the bedrock upon which all the other themes in the book are built, and the practical application of geopoetics in terms of how we live in a place and time where there is an increasing focus on sustainability.
The talk will then be followed by a discussion on (amongst other things) the connection between people and place that can be strengthened through writing.

Tannahill: An Introduction to the Life and Work of Paisley Poet and Songster Robert Tannahill (1774-1810)by Jim Ferguson

This will involve a brief outline of Tannahill's biography and discussion of a selection of Tannahill's poems and songs focussing on his reaction to the Napoleonic War, his use of imagery from the natural world to represent states of mind, and his anti-slavery lyrics. Jim will also read a selection of his own poems.

Lament and Fingal’s Cave

A showing of two short films by the artist Richard Ashrowan, exploring the geopoetics of two distinct Scottish landscapes, followed by a Q&A discussion between the artist and Norman Bissell.


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