Amelia’s Magazine | Buddhafield Green Earth Awakening Camp 2014: Review

Green Earth Awakening Poster2014
I’ve never been to Buddhafield but this year my friend Helen of East End Prints persuaded me to join her and a few of her Bristol based friends, all travelling solo with little ones to this year’s much smaller offshoot, Green Earth Awakening Camp. Any reservation I had about attending a specifically Buddhist festival were mollified once it was established that we all consider ourselves ‘Buddhish’ in nature. No surprise then to bump into yet more friends from the world of activism and FSC childrens’ camps.

Green Earth Awakening 2014 weaving
Green Earth Awakening 2014 owl mobile
Green Earth Awakening 2014 friends
Held deep in the Somerset countryside, this was a tiny gathering of just a few hundred, with one main meal tent and workshop spaces around a central meeting area and the huge ‘mindfulness’ gong. Before long we were barefoot and enjoying the marvellous weather; glorious sunshine during the day giving way to the occasional shower at night time. One night a mild rainstorm was preceded by the most amazing lightening forks, which we watched move towards us across the valley as dusk fell.

Green Earth Awakening 2014 dancing
Green Earth Awakening 2014 felt fox
Green Earth Awakening 2014 woods
I was determined that this should be a child led experience, so we meandered between different parts of the gathering according to my toddler’s whims. In the past my naturally inquisitive and frenetic nature would have ensured that I attended as many workshops as possible, but being a mother has encouraged me to embrace a different pace of life.

Green Earth Awakening 2014 Green Tara
Green Earth Awakening 2014 Green Tara
Green Earth bubbles
So, we tried felt making (until Snarfle got bored), dressed up as Green Tara, joined in with impromptu group sing alongs, blew giant bubbles, caught bugs in nets in an adjoining field with Pupa Education, played in the paddling pool in Rupa’s sauna area… and danced gloriously naked to drums near the meditation tent (well, the boys did, we weren’t so brazen despite some of the fabled Buddhafield nudity on site). And I located the best friend of my acupuncturist: a monk turned shaman.

Green Earth Awakening cooking
Green Earth Awakening 2014 food
Green Earth Awakening 2014 sea buckthorn
We ate beautifully presented and delicious local produce for every meal; home made fermented pickles and potato cakes cooked on a rocket stove and washed down with Sea Buckthorn juice. All made by folks who have lived at Tinker’s Bubble and Embercombe.

Green Earth Awakening Qigong
Green Earth Awakening 2014 foraging
Us mothers half heartedly tried to take part in foraging, yoga, Qigong and dance classes (and mainly we failed). Sadly I did not catch up with the latest in Forest Gardening or learn the art of Focussing (a cross between mediation and counselling), but instead we rambled with the kids along an ancient track which bordered the field, made shady by gnarled trees.

Green Earth Awakening kids
Green Earth Awakening 2014 banjo
The children revelled in the wide open green space, and I marvelled at the easy freedom of the older (mainly home-schooled) kids, who swung from the trees or raced around with sticks and home made bows and arrows. Snarfle became obsessed with the banjo, so I made him one out of odds and ends in the craft area. I’m sure this is how all childhoods should be, all of the time, not just for a few days here and there.

Green Earth closing ceremony
The gathering closed with a ceremony, as it had begun – the whole camp dancing, chanting and offering devotions to the goddess Green Tara, representing compassion and an ecologically minded alternative to our sometimes selfish and greedy ways. It was a fitting end to a magical few days.

Categories ,2014, ,Blackdown Hills, ,Bubbles, ,Buddhafield, ,Buddhish, ,East End Prints, ,Embercombe, ,festival, ,Focussing, ,Foraging, ,Forest Gardening, ,FSC, ,Green Earth Awakening Camp, ,Green Tara, ,Mumlife, ,Pupa Education, ,Qigong, ,review, ,Rupa’s Sauna, ,Rupa’s sauna area, ,Sea Buckthorn, ,Snarfle, ,somerset, ,sustainability, ,Tinker’s Bubble, ,Toddler, ,Yoga

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Amelia’s Magazine | Illustration Now! Fashion by Taschen: Book Review

Illustration Now! Fashion - book cover

Looking for that perfect last minute gift for the fashion illustrator in your life, or someone who aspires to become one? Then look no further than the inspirational new offering from the Illustration Now! series by Taschen, the leading publisher of art books. This is a chunky hard back volume full of beautiful illustrations by 90 contemporary illustrators working in a diverse range of styles. The artists are drawn from across the world, and all of them are working commercially in this genre, but the prominence given to personal work serves to emphasise the importance of experimenting, no matter what stage of your career you are at. The book opens with a must read essay on the history of fashion illustration and plenty of quotes by experts from the world of fashion are scattered throughout. Illustration Now! Fashion will have the aspiring fashion illustrator salivating with an envy that should push them on to produce wonderful artwork of their own. There are too many highlights to mention on a blog but here are some of my favourite finds to whet your appetite:

Illustration Now! Fashion by Taschen 2013 review Katie Rodgers

New York based Katie Rodgers draws whimsical half naked girls in Day of the Dead make up and flower headdresses.

Illustration Now! Fashion by Taschen 2013 review Nicole Jarecz

American born Nicole Jarecz lives and works in Paris. This personal work entitled Bubbles just fizzes with energy.

Illustration Now! Fashion by Taschen 2013 review Ze Otavio

Zé Otavio is a Sao Paolo based artist and counts many top magazines amongst his clients.

Illustration Now! Fashion by Taschen 2013 review LULU

LULU* includes birds in this deceptively simple piece that is full of motion.

Illustration Now! Fashion by Taschen 2013 review Bil Donovan

Bil Donovan is one of the older illustrators included, and his work displays a timeless elegance, as shown in this creation for Dior Beauty, where Bil is artist in residence.

Illustration Now! Fashion by Taschen 2013 review Lina Boden

FInally, Lina Boden is one of the many leading Swedish fashion illustrators working today. Like many of my favourite fashion illustrators she presents clothing within the context of detailed imagined worlds.

Go on, be inspired. Find Illustration Now! Fashion here.

Categories ,Bil Donovan, ,book, ,Bubbles, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Illustration Now!, ,Illustration Now! Fashion, ,Katie Rodgers, ,Lina Boden, ,LULU*, ,Nicole Jarecz, ,review, ,Taschen, ,Zé Otavio

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