Ascension Conference Penmaenmawr

The Visual Art Section is organizing a conference in Great Britain at Ascension on the theme: «The Inspirations of Megalithic Culture and the Future Impulse of Anthroposophy».

Rudolf Steiner visited Penmaenmawr and its surroundings, with its impressive megalithic stones, during a conference in August 1923, in the time between the burning of the first Goetheanum and the designing of the second one. In various lectures, Rudolf Steiner spoke about the special significance this place had for anthroposophical work, for example on September 9th, 1923, in Dornach: «Penmaenmawr is filled with an astral atmosphere that is directly tangible. Traces can be found everywhere of what emanated from Druid ceremonies that creates this atmosphere … If one had gone up into the air in an aeroplane … one would have had … from these two Druid circles the direct outline of what was the floorplan of our Goetheanum.» In the first part of a letter to Edith Maryon on August 30th, 1923, Rudolf Steiner describes the stone settings and surroundings: «There is a wonderful solitude there. Two derelict druid circles. … Standing by the Druid sanctuaries, where so many years ago people used to watch over spiritual matters, was very meaningful to me. The walk up (about an hour) was very beautiful, full of the most beautiful views of the surroundings.»

From May 18th–21st, 2023 we want to get closer to this special place as visual artists and art lovers: We will observe the landscape and stone settings, draw on site; walk in the surroundings of the stone circles between the mountain and the sea and hear contributions on megalithic culture and the important meeting there 100 years ago. Conversations about the meaning of Penmaenmawr in our time will enable us to develop a deeper understanding of the past and the future.

What happens in us when architecture and sculpture become a vast landscape relating to the stone settings? Can the outer world of the senses and the inner world of experience resonate here together? Point and circumference?

Does painting become a constantly changing elemental weather process? Can we learn to bring together – more vividly, more artistically – the relationship between the surrounding forces and inner experience in such a place and begin to gain insight into the unique Druid culture? What is the artistic connection between the open, encircling megalithic culture to the architecture of the Goetheanum and its related buildings? Can we gain an expanded view and experience of the Dornach buildings in their conversation with the landscape? Can Penmaenmawr expand the creative possibilities for visual artists in their work, today and in the future?

We look forward to discovering and exploring Penmaenmawr together and getting a little closer to its meaning and metamorphosis for contemporary artistic creation.

Further information Visual Art Section

Photo Barbara Schnetzler

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