This symposium explores workshopping, retreating and self-organisation and runs alongside the exhibition RETREAT: This is not a holiday at Hardwick Gallery from 8th – 26th October. The symposium offers an opportunity to take part in a half-day micro-RETREAT and will involve presentations from Rowan Lear, Hannah Clark and Kevin Hunt, a performance by Alice Gale-Feeny, and a workshop on consensus decision-making, with lecturer and theorist Jean Boyd leading the plenary.  There’ll also be freshly baked bread, a RETREAT staple. The symposium will be followed by the exhibition launch from 4 – 5pm. Tickets to the symposium are free and can be obtained at

RETREAT is an annual week-long residential workshop that has taken place in remote areas across Britain. It is not a holiday: it is an opportunity to enjoy communal living and intensely debate artistic practices. Michael Whitby has organised RETREAT since its beginnings in 2008. The act of generosity – of time, energy and ideas – from all involved, and a commitment to the group’s self-organisation, informs the project. As an evolving, experimental space RETREAT functions as a temporary autonomous zone, a model for existing inside a system that allows no outside.