9th – 11th August 2019

A temporary artistic community, exploring creative ways of being with each other in fellowship, in harmony, in nature


Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre (post code CA23 3AX) lies in the heart of the Ennerdale Valley, a remote landscape being managed back to wilderness:

Rising abruptly out of the coastal plain of West Cumbria, Ennerdale is one of the most remote of Cumbria’s valleys and has a distinctive character of its own. A unique valley with a special sense of wildness, tranquillity and ruggedness.
— www.wildennerdale.com)


Within this timeless landscape, The Universe Next Door is a public weekend residential to create a temporary artistic community, and explore creative ways of being with each other in fellowship, in harmony, in nature.

How can our musical and creative selves show us the way to living in greater harmony - with ourselves, our fellow humans, and our planet?

Over the weekend, we will make art together – including singing, song writing and composition responding to the natural environment. The project is a way of imagining a more harmonious and sustainable future - a culturally democratic artistic antidote to more commercial forms of mass entertainment, and a means of building and strengthening communities.


Exploring themes of freedom, hope and social justice, there will be music and singing, as well as willow sculpture and other forms of creative expression that you bring with you or wish to explore! Bring your ideas, voice, instruments if you have them, and whatever tools you choose to assist your creative expression…


The event is for anyone interested in how art-making in the natural world can help us find our common humanity. Families are welcome, as are activists, artists, diggers and dreamers. It’s a welcoming space to develop your creativity and your artistry among a temporary community of like-minded creative souls. 

By “artists,” we mean people of all ages and levels of technical accomplishment (from amateur to professional practitioners) who make and partake of art( s) of all kinds, with the primary intent of making positive differences in people’s lives.
— (Elliott, Silverman & Bowman 2016)

The residential is facilitated by an ensemble of socially engaged musicians including a cappella quartet Mouthful (Bex Mather, Dave Camlin, Katherine Zeserson & Sharon Durant), Dirk Proost (oboeist and improviser) and Sarah Verhulst (Early Years specialist) from Antwerp, NE percussionist Brendan Murphy, and Cumbrian willow artist Phil Bradley.

In / Out

As well as collaborating with each other’s creativity, Dirk will lead us through his innovative In / Out process as a way of collaborating with prison communities around the world, inviting groups of inmates to share a creative fragment (audio snippet, lyric, song) as a stimulus for our own creative ideas. Groups of us will develop these ideas, and record the resulting pieces to be returned back to inmates in a gesture of creative collaboration.

Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre

We have the exclusive use of the field centre for the weekend, providing fantastic access to the upper parts of this remote and beautiful valley. Accommodation is in shared dormitories, and with communal cooking and dining facilities, including an outdoor barbecue. There is room for 26 participants to stay in the centre. There is a field adjacent to the centre where you may camp, at a reduced rate. It is also possible to participate in a non-residential capacity, for local people or those wishing to make their own accommodation arrangements. We invite everyone to eat and drink communally if you’re comfortable with that, so bring sufficient supplies of food and drink for yourself, be willing to share, and be prepared to help with the various household chores necessary to live, work and play together comfortably. More information about the centre is available on the LGFC website.

Getting There

Vehicle access to Low Gillerthwaite is very limited, as the valley needs to be preserved as a peaceful natural haven undisturbed by noisy vehicles. We will provide a vehicle to transport  luggage – and anyone with limited mobility - to and from the centre from the nearest public car park at Bowness Knott, but otherwise access is by foot or bicycle, enjoying the 2-mile stroll along the lake through stunning natural and tranquil surroundings.

How Much?

The project is supported by funding from Arts Council England, Copeland Community Fund, The National Trust and Wild Ennerdale, so we are able to offer the weekend at discounted rates. The costs for the weekend, including accommodation and all activities but excluding subsistence, are as follows:

Screenshot 2019-06-30 13.05.07.png

Book Your Place

Download the booking form (above) and return it to Angie at singinowt@mouthfulway.co.uk, and we will contact you with details of how to pay. Do not send any money with the form! We will communicate directly with everyone who signs up with more detailed information and updates.

More Information

To chat about the project or ask any questions, please contact Dave Camlin dave@davecamlin.com or Angie Power singinowt@mouthfulway.co.uk

We look forward to seeing you in August!