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DIY: 2013 – Peter McMaster ‘Performing Men – a Retreat’



Peter McMaster
Performing Men – a Retreat 

With Compass Live Art

A three-day and three-night rural retreat exploring the relationship between developing authenticity as men and making contemporary performance.

Project summary:
Lasting for 3 days and 3 nights, in a rural setting, this retreat is available for artists who identify as men. Based around the principles of honesty, witness, listening and action, the work that we will engage in together and individually, is aimed at allowing us to explore our personal beliefs, needs, politics and experiences as men and artists through intimate and creative tasks. The experimental nature of this retreat exists around how the specific personal exploration we will engage in interacts with the process of creation, and this will be the core practice of the retreat.

Each of the three days will focus on a different aspect of our being; self in relation to self, self in relation to other, self in relation to landscape. Each day we will spend time exploring these aspects of ourselves as stimulus for making performance, as well as cooking and eating together, walking, reflecting and having ‘down time’ in the evening. As well as these group processes, at times you will also be invited to spend time alone both in a reflective way and within a process of creating performance material. Each night we will share through performance, our reflections and experiences of the day.

This retreat offers space for men who wish to develop a more authentic approach to making performance. You may feel this is a practice you already engage in but would like to do it on a retreat with others. Alternatively, you may feel this is something you have never considered before and would like to try it out. Either way, the application is open to anyone who is interested. It is worth noting however, that the work may be emotionally vulnerable at times, so please consider this when making your application, especially if you are currently seeking support for emotional difficulties. If you need any more information regarding any aspect of the retreat, I will be more than happy to communicate via the email address below.


Dates, times and location(s):
Friday 6 to Sunday 8 September.
Location: A farm in West Yorkshire.

Application procedure:
If you are interested in this retreat and identify as a man, please apply via email to myself on[email protected] (cc’d to [email protected]) by Sunday 9 June. On no more than one side of an A4 word document, submit a written statement as to why you think this process is right for you at this moment in time. Please also submit either a link to a website regarding your own arts practice, a CV detailing your artistic experience, or some other form of documentation that speaks of your work as an artist.

The selection process will be based on the potential compatibility of the group from the applications. Understanding that this will be based on only my opinion, I will try and prevent any unfair expectations I have for the retreat from affecting the selection process.

The artist: 
I am an experimental performance practitioner based in Scotland, and a tutor on the Contemporary Performance Practice degree at the RCS, Glasgow. I work as a director/facilitator of group performances and also work within a solo capacity. My current practice actively investigates and is centred around notions of repair and healing both personally and within broader contexts. I am interested to what extent the artist is responsible for and capable of re-designing how aspects of society (especially the human) can function, through radical, transpersonal, community-based processes. Alongside my arts practice I run a men’s group in Glasgow and work as a gardener for a Glasgow based charity.

Contact information:
Peter McMaster on [email protected]

This DIY project is supported by Compass Live Art

Banner image credit:

Peter McMaster, ‘Performing Men – a Retreat’, image courtesy of the artist

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