A Solstice Experience; A Campfire Beacon and Fundraiser

I'm delighted to be working alongside Campfire Convention, artist and larp designer Nina Runa Essendrop and with the very beautiful Lauderdale House in the middle of the stunning Waterlow Park in Highgate North London to create 'A Solstice Experience': a joy filled ritual celebration of the Summer Solstice. This unique magical event is designed as a Solstice Beacon for London, a fundraiser for Campfire Convention and a chance to spread the word about Campfire Convention throughout London...

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Created on 10 Apr 2018

Let’s see what we can create together on these days; let’s re-imagine the world we’d like to live in and get active to make it happen together. 

We are delighted to be able to announce the Solstice Beacon for London.,.. On June 21st we will be gathering at the stunning Lauderdale House, a Tudor Mansion set in the grounds of Waterlow Park in Highgate, North London. 

This is a really special location and we will be marking the longest day of the year with a unique collaboration between Campfire Convention, Psychotherapist and Facilitator Jonathan Goldsmith and Danish Artist and larp designer Nina Runa Essendrop.

Together they will be taking you on a profoundly moving, touching, beautiful and magical journey: 'A Solstice Experience'.

 

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Thu, 06/21/2018
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A Solstice Experience; larp and Campfire Convention Beacon.

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I met artist and larp designer Nina Runa Essendrop in January this year playing her larp “Human Experience”. I was really taken by the elegance and depth in her work and we chatted after the event and talked about collaborating together.

Larp is originally an acronym for Live Action Role Playing, but today it’s used as a name in itself. It refers to an interactive game where people immerse themselves in fictional circumstances to explore other ways of perceiving, behaving or experiencing.

When Pete put a call out for the Global Beacon project, it felt like the work Nina and I were exploring would be a perfect fit as a Global Beacon. We worked on an iteration of Human Experience designed as a celebration of the Summer Solstice, an immersive, experiential, participatory ritual exploring the themes of connection and community that are at the heart of Campfire Convention. 

On the evening June 21st, two groups of people met in the beautiful grounds of Lauderdale House to celebrate the Summer Solstice, by participating in a larp; ‘A Solstice Experience’ 

 

The first group of people were there to become ‘Solstice Beings’, manifestations of the ancient consciousness taking human form for the first time. The whole human experience is new, from exploring touch and textures, tasting mint or chocolate for the first time; seeing trees, listening to birds, smelling flowers all these joys await these solstice beings. They don’t understand rational logic instead they experience the world through poetic images and sensations.

The other way that they can experience being human is by exploring movement, asking the other group to show them certain types of gestures, or copying anything that catches their attention. 

The Second group of people were there to become ‘Solstice Guides’. These were the gate-keepers for the Solstice Beings, there to call them into form. Once the Solstice Beings had woken up they were invited into these wonderful beings curious world. They then could choose to interact with the beings and help them explore the environment; help them use their newly found bodies by showing them movements or describing sensory information.

Both groups were taken through specially designed workshops to help get explore the structure of the larp. 

I took the Solstice Guides through a workshop that gave them a taste of the Solstice Beings world and we then explored how to non verbally create connection with the Beings, and how to create a warm welcoming community for them to enter into.

The Solstice Beings were taken through a workshop by Nina. She ran a carefully crafted workshop process to put the players into role, to explore the nuanced way that the Solstice Beings would take form inside of them.

At 7.45 the doors to the room off the garden where the Solstice beings were resting were opened.  

The Solstice Guides readied themselves in the garden, using their voices and bodies to create a resonant musical field to help call the Solstice Beings into form.

After about 10-15 Minutes the first Solstice Beings started to emerge into the garden and the two groups met.

 

Watch what happened next:

(The Solstice Beings were dressed in black…) 

 

It was a really heartfelt, beautiful experience. After the larp finished, both groups were taken off to do a post-larp workshop, to help them come back release the roles they had taken on, we then brought the groups back together and sat in a candle lit circle, where we had a discussion on how their experiences of the larp and how they wanted to take the experience back into their lives.

It was  what we had wanted to create: a profoundly moving, touching, beautiful and magical journey to celebrate the being in community, the joys of being human and the Summer Solstice.

 

'A Solstice Experience'

by Nina Runa Essendrop 

and Jonathan Goldsmith

Based on the larp 

'Human Experience'

written by Nina Runa Essendrop

With music composed by

Lo Ersare

With thanks to: Lauderdale House, Sensible Music, Jennie Muskett, Mee, Laura, Lisa and all the stewards and the people who helped on the day. 

And a special thank you to all the participants who made this experience really special. 

 

 

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Pete Lawrence

Looks amazing!

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Lucy Wills

This was so beautiful, and the meeting of old faces and new.. I have no words , just awe