The Turning Tree – Art and the Symbolic Imagination

Friend of the Wilderness Foundation, Ivan Daggett, is running a series of Wilderness Therapy workshops called The Turning Tree. These serve as a series of supportive workshops at the seasonal change times of the year where time is spent alone in nature and art making in the studio as a way of exploring an intuitive relationship between the outer forms of the world and the symbolic images of the imagination.

“How long to achieve the growth the tree fosters in itself, the reach and rootage, the sturdiness and balance between high and low, the way it meets each season, holding its ground, spare or blooming. Every sort of creature nestles in the tree’s sheltering, motherly branches, hides in her hollows and is fed by her substance. Our hominid ancestors were arboreal, only descending when ice ages shrank the primal forests, and the dexterity of our hands and strengths of our limbs developed in our climbing and swinging from trees. We and the tree seem alike, upright in the trunk, long-armed, slender fingered, toeing the earth.”

The Book of Symbols, Reflections on Archetypal Images – ARAS. Taschen Books
Like many forms of life a tree responds to the seasonal turning of the earth, from seeming lifelessness to renewed growth. Many of the life sustaining indigenous cultures and spiritual traditions throughout history associated the times of the year with the seasons of human nature – its birth, growth, decline and death.
Along with drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, journaling and discussion, the workshops will explore a noticing awareness and active imagination practice as a way of sensing an instinctual connection between the internal and external places in ourselves and the world around us.
The soul expresses itself in images. Care of the soul asks that we pay close attention to the images we inhabit.”                                                                                                            Attributed to James Hillman
Workshops are in rural countryside close to Ware, Hertfordshire and at Parndon Mill in Harlow, Essex. Each of the seasons has two workshops – one for a time alone in nature and one for art making in the studio. There are two proposed dates for each workshop which are finalised upon expressed availability (please state your preference when contacting Ivan).
Autumn: 19 or 26 September 2015 & 03 or 10 October 2015
Winter: 05 or 12 December 2015 & 09 or 16 January 2016
Spring: 05 or 12 March 2016 & 09 or 16 April 2016
Summer: 11 or 18 June 2016 & 02 or 09 July 2016
The cost of each two-day workshop is on a sliding scale £30.00 – £57.00.
Please contact: if you would like to book.