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May 2020

Ready, steady, write !

1st May - 30th June

A fantastical atmosphere hangs over Asthall Manor these days. Watch this film to see how furtive creatures, hearing that on form had gone online (wherever that is), crept into the garden and decided to stay for the summer……   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eODHq3_Kfbk From 0 to 110 years old, you are warmly invited to write a very short story or poem inspired by this movie. We will publish the most imaginative ones on our News page and on social media. Please, send us…

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June 2020

Refugee Resource – 1st Charity of the week

17th June - 21st June

Our first charity of the week during the exhibition coincides with Refugee Week. We chose Refugee Resource, which relieves distress, improves well-being and facilitates the integration of refugees and asylum seekers in Oxfordshire, by providing psychological, social and practical support. We wanted to work with a refugee charity because of the importance of welcome, trust and generosity to the on form ethos. We have heard from Refugee Resource that, in these Covid 19 days, counselling appointments, classes and mentoring are continuing, making a real…

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Birdsong Walks

17th June - 6:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Peter Cowdrey, who led walks around the Asthall grounds in 2018 and during our birdsong weekend last year, will be back with more insight into the secret meanings and musicality of birdsong. Book this walk or choose from two other evening walks or, for early risers, a dawn chorus walk on 5 July. Places are limited, and these sold out fast in 2018, and during our birdsong weekend in 2019.

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Seeing the Light, painting workshop with Kieran Stiles

18th June - 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

This acrylic painting workshop focusses on how to describe light in a garden painting. By restricting the use and depiction of light areas in a composition, it is possible to heighten their appearance. Lighter areas can also be exaggerated further by artificially reducing the tonal pitch of the surrounding areas. In the image, you can see the very green background provides a strong contrast for the few lighter brush marks of the sunlight on the lawn to appear to burst to…

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Sing Amongst the Stones!

19th June

Join vocal leader and author James Sills for a sing around the stones! He will teach a variety of beautiful harmony songs from all around the world, culminating in informal performances in various spots around the garden. No previous singing experience necessary - James will teach everything by ear with an emphasis on fun and inclusivity. Meet James in the Potting Shed field at 11.30 or 2.30 James has also been attracting hundreds of online singers to his sessions on The…

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Francesca Shakespeare, Painting workshop

20th June

We are confident that this workshop will go ahead, following social distancing guidelines, and with participants bringing their own materials. Email francesca@francescashakespeare.com to book. Please note there will not be sculpture in the garden.  This workshop will be based on Francesca’s teaching method for ‘on the spot’ painting: the three Ss: Select, Simplify, Structure   SELECT- the day will start with a wander around the exhibition and gardens doing fast thumbnails sketches, taking photos and just looking and absorbing. SIMPLIFY– we will then…

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Letter Carving workshop for beginners

20th June - 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

A one-day workshop exploring the art of stone lettering given by prizewinning Oxford-based stone carver Alex Wenham. Alex will offer guidance in advance of the event to prepare your text template of a small inscription of your own devising (aim for around 12-20 good sized letters), and on the day will coach you through the basics of letter cutting technique to create your own inscription in slate or limestone. Materials and tools provided. Booking details to follow

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Oxfordshire Association for the Blind – 2nd Charity of the week

24th June - 28th June

Our second charity of the week was to be devoted to Oxfordshire Association for the Blind, a life-enhancing charity supporting children and adults who are blind or partially sighted throughout Oxfordshire. They are committed to promoting independence and opportunity and offer information, advice and support to those affected, their families and carers. A group from OAB visited on form in 2018, and this year we had plans for some members to teach sighted people about the experience of seeing through touch. We particularly wanted…

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Looking, touching, dreaming…..a creative writing workshop inspired by stone and sculpture.

24th June - 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

This workshop is led by garden poet Rebecca Hubbard, an experienced creative writing tutor and a published poet, with a passion for words, nature and art. Find out more about Rebecca's writing and teaching here. Writers will touch, observe and imagine, using a day at on form to generate ideas, poems and stories inspired by stone, sculptural forms and the way these relate to the land. There will be plenty of time to explore the garden and the exhibition, and a quiet indoor…

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Satish Kumar – Love Revolution

24th June - 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

This talk will not be taking place, but Satish will be talking about a "Love Revolution" on zoom on 27 May. More details and booking here.   Satish has also written an article on his thoughts about the Coronavirus pandemic From Monologue to Dialogue. And we thoroughly recommend Resurgence Voices, an inspiring podcast with reflections on subjects ranging from storytelling to meadows to - well, love, of course. Satish Kumar is a former monk and lifelong peace and environmental activist, who has been…

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