Leaning into the Light
Dates: 30th May to 3rd June 2019
Location: Sibillini National Park in Le Marche, Italy
Times: 13:00 Thursday - 15:00 Monday
Tuition Costs: 210 Euros
Full board at our stunning base 'Cittadella' is from E70 per day for a shared room, half board is E55, B&B is E30. See images of our location above
Tutors: Michael Eldridge and Natasha Lythgoe
Develop your capacity for mindful presence and deepen your connection to beauty and the extraordinary world around you.
Life has moved on and in this digital age of rapid information sharing there is little time to stand and stare. It is this relationship with time that will inform our exploration during this programme.
We aim to take a fresh look at our understanding of creativity and what is required to construct a photographic image when sentient to one’s surroundings.
Breath-taking photography comes from being present in the moment. This often involves slowing down and letting go of our expectations. With this open, relaxed approach we become absorbed and when we bring this approach to photography new visual worlds open up. A fresh and vibrant connection arises within ourselves, and to the world around us. Both, in a way, become our subject.
Leaning into the Light is a hands-on experiential workshop, and will include:
- Introduction to Mindful Photography and Nature Meditations - supporting us to slow down and drop into presence.
- Exploring The Art of Seeing, “ In order to see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at "
- Getting into The Art of Sauntering, inspired by John Muir's excellent quote on the subject
- Taking a fresh look at your understanding of creativity and what it means to be a photographer today
- Understanding how Mindful photography will help develop your photographic style
- Candid Portraiture and Street Photography Excursion
The natural surroundings of the Sibillini Mountains, famous for its breathtaking panoramas, its mountains lakes and gorges, offer an incredible resource and support to this work. It is overwhelming beautiful there, and it is here that we will spend long days, including 1:1 tuition and returning in the late afternoons to chew through our images.
No previous experience of mindfulness meditation or photography necessary. You may bring any kind of digital camera – including mobile phones.
Re-Wilding Photography, led by Michael Eldridge and Natasha Lythgoe, is a course that focuses on new ways of seeing, and draws upon our experience in guiding groups within the Arts, Mindfulness and Nature Connection for the last decade.Massive thanks and Photo Copyright for the images in the triptych on the previous page - made in June 2018 by these amazing students and photographers: Duncan Campbell, Howard Sandford (Instagram: @howard.sandford) and Ollie Dennie.
Michael Eldridge, is a painter and photographer. In the 80s and 90s he was Director of Photography at The Arts University of Bournemouth and recently Professor of Painting at Siena Art Institute.
In the 80's and 90's, together with his friend and colleague Tony Maestri, he established an extraordinary Photographic course in the School of photography at the Arts University Bournemouth and for a whole generation of student photographers, it soon became known as the Zen School of Photography. He has lived in Africa, New Zealand and California where he was a Fulbright Scholar and currently lives in Le Marche, Italy, dividing his time between his personal art work and facilitating workshops.
He has lectured in the States where he ran creativity workshops, and has given talks at the San Francisco Art Institute and at the Society for Photographic Education in Carmel California. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a CTI trained coach, specialising in creativity.
Natasha has been a photographer, artist and mindfulness meditator for nearly twenty years working professionally as a teacher, photographer and mindfulness facilitator.
She has been guiding groups and individuals in arts/mindfulness since 2004, and in the great outdoors since 2013. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun is 2014, has a Masters in Photography from the London College of Communication and exhibits internationally.
An experienced tutor with a PGCE she runs courses in colleges, arts centres and trains up and coming photographers through 1:1 Artist Mentoring/ Coaching.
"Re-wilding the Artist's Way" has been fundamentally the most soul nourishing thing I have ever done for myself. It has led me on a journey of self-discovery, self-appreciation and courage. I long for being in the wilderness like never before, and notice the peace and feeling of being alive that it brings me. Natasha is patient, encouraging and very human in the way she leads this course and I am forever grateful to her.
It's great to have quality teaching which is accessible and close to home. Natasha is obviously a gifted facilitator. She ran the session creatively with a varied tempo which held my attention and seemed to draw from a wide range of teachings. In just a few hours, I feel re-inspired with my own practice and wanting more of this kind of thing.
Thank you for a wonderful evening. The part with the trees in the darkness was amazing! It which gave me a much needed nature boost, and a new relationship - with tree. Natasha was knowledgeable, but also relaxed, caring and playful. She held the space and the group with a good mix of strength and flexibility. I have learnt to appreciate Stanmer Park (my local wild space) in a new and deeper way. The feeling and new awareness from this event will stay with me. Thank you
Natasha's incredible skills in transformative learning, using a gentle-and-yet-strong approach are so rare, I feel very lucky to have experienced this.
It's completely different to anything I have ever done - and I can't believe it. Nature, I feel is an integral place to creativity and with so much busyness around and everywhere, it is amazing and vital to restore myself through being out and exploring creativity outdoors in the wild.
There's a peace and openness that you get from studying outdoors that I haven't experienced before. Thanks Natasha
I know that participating in this course is me being in exactly the right place at the right time
Natasha is amazing at what she does. She manages to combine fun with all kinds of ways of seeing into you and getting you to keep your feet on the ground, your head in the clouds, and follow your dreams.
Thanks for this evening. Even though it was freezing cold, it was a magical evening.
Natasha brings a light touch and embodied wisdom to the serious work of transformation.
Thanks for EVERYTHING. You've been a truly inspiring, loving, and supportive mentor. Don't ever stop doing what you do so well.
Natasha is an absolute mistress of holding space. She holds space really really well. She’s very intuitive in the sense of not having a rigid structure for what we are going to do but just feels what everybody needs in the groups session and comes up with the most perfect exercises just when they are needed.
About the course - ABSOLUTELY BLOODY NECESSARY
Natasha's course is a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with our creative selves and our natural surroundings at the same time. Being outside gave the space, for self-expansion needed, to be able to reconnect with my creativity.