The only Retreat of its kind, THE PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER RETREAT is a unique one-week, professional retreat with four renowned mentors in the south of France which takes place every year in July after Les Rencontres d’Arles. The Retreat helps each of the select group of 14 students REFLECT on their trajectory, RETHINK their projects and REFOCUS on a clearer course. The four mentors are committed to taking individual students to their highest photographic potential in a creative, supportive, and enjoyable environment.
A RETREAT IS A REFUGE.
A safe place, a sanctuary, a hideaway, an abode, an hermitage, a haven, a place of rest, shelter and protection. A retreat is also a departure, a different approach, an adventure, a leave-taking, the beginning of a journey, a change from the usual or expected path, a definite time spent away from one’s normal life for the purpose of reflecting and reconnecting at a higher level.
DESIGNED FOR A SELECT GROUP OF 14.
It is designed for professional, emerging professional and serious advanced aspiring professional photographers in any genre – fine art, conceptual, or documentary – who are passionate about their existing work and committed about taking it to the next level.
During this weeklong retreat, the chosen attendees will live, work and reflect with each other and their mentors. The retreat is on the estate of La Bastide d’Esparon in the beautiful mountains of Les Cévennes Méridionales in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, near Arles, in the south of France.
LESS A SHOOTING TRIP, MORE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PAUSE AND REFLECT.
The Photography Master Retreat emphasizes intensive looking at and discussion of the participants’ process and work. Whether you are a professional or thinking of becoming professional, whether you are a passionate and informed artist, whether you are a fine artist or a documentarian, the important element is that you be committed to your existing personal and creative work – and be committed about taking it to the next level.
PHOTOGRAPHERS WITH A BODY OF WORK EXAMINE THEIR PRACTICE.
Under the guidance of four distinguished mentors, photographers with a body of work (s) – fine art, conceptual, or documentary – have the opportunity to examine their practice under the guidance of distinguished mentors, with daily one-on-one as well as stimulating group sessions. Portfolio reviews, supportive critique, discussions, shooting exercises and opportunities for introspection are all integral components of this special program.
THE PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER RETREAT IS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW COURSE OF ACTION.
It’s a path to better and more conscious work, designed as a journey to explore photographic ideas and process in depth, allowing participants to re-think their aesthetic and trajectory as an artist. The Photography Master Retreat is not limited by an ideology or a predetermined aesthetic approach. It engages each participant’s work on its own terms and seeks the best ways to improve and enrich the photographic encounter.
THE PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER RETREAT IS BY APPLICATION ONLY. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY DECEMBER 15, 2018.
The selection committee will review all applications and contact the selected applicants by December 20, 2018 latest. The dates have been chosen so that participants may attend the nearby Rencontres d’Arles Photo Festival, if they wish, the week before, July 2 to 7, 2018.
ELISABETH BIONDI: Visuals Editor, The New Yorker, 1996-2011, Independent Curator, Writer and Teacher, New York.
KATHARINA BOSSE: Artist, Professor of Photography, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Germany.
MARTINE FOUGERON: Photographer, Artist and Faculty at ICP, New York.
LYLE REXER: Critic, Curator and Faculty at School of Visual Arts, New York.
9:00-12:45: WORK SESSION. Full sessions, half-sessions and one-to-one with each mentor.
1-2 PM: LUNCH
2:15-4:00: WORK SESSION. Full sessions, half-sessions and one-to-one with each mentor.
4:15-6:30: FREE TIME (Walks, Going to the nearby town of Le Vigan,Swimming in the rivers are optional)
7 PM-7:30 PM: COCKTAILS
7:30 PM- 8:30 PM: DINNER
8:30-9:45 PM: LECTURE/DISCUSSIONS lead by MENTORS followed by Q & A
One excursion is planned which lasts a half a day: it is usually to see the spectacular canyon of Le Cirque de Navacelles.
The last day , Friday, is reserved in the morning for Students presenting their work again reframed and in the afternoon with more one-to-ones with the mentors.
Founded by Martine Fougeron in 2014 in order to “create a new kind of gathering, a Retreat, where photographers can safely and productively retire for a week, with time on their side to take one step back and hopefully one giant leap forward. It is a communal atmosphere where fellow artists can be mentored by key professionals and also enrich each other. Sharing my family house which has been my creative refuge for the past 40 years is the perfect haven for The Photography Master Retreat.”
The fee of US $3,200 (approximately 2,800 euros) includes all accommodation and meals for the week, airfare and transportation excluded.
Exclusive interview in Lens Culture about The Photography Master Retreat: Creative Flourishing: A Photography Master Retreat
For more articles/interviews, click here.
Article by Alumni 2017 on his experience at the retreat: The Daily Vail, August 21, 2017:
Q & A
WHAT IS THE PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER RETREAT?
The Photography Master Retreat is a unique one-week retreat for 14 professional and passionate photographers/artists who desire a break to reconsider and reposition their work – with the help of distinguished professionals who provide individual mentoring as well as lead group master discussions.
WHO IS IT DESIGNED FOR?
The weeklong session is designed for passionate photographers who have experienced critique classes and are confident technically but who desire professional support for taking new directions. The Retreat provides this in a stimulating communal setting, ideal for moving forward intellectually and creatively. Participants in the Retreat will be invited to play an active role in the exchanges led by the mentors.The Retreat is not limited by an ideology or a predetermined aesthetic approach. It engages each participant’s work on its own terms and seeks the best ways to improve and enrich the photographic encounter.
IS IT DESIGNED FOR ME?
Whether you are a professional or thinking of becoming professional, whether you are a passionate and informed photographer, whether you are a fine artist or a documentarian, the important element is that you be committed to your existing personal and creative work as well as be committed to take it to the next level.
It is designed for 14 professional, emerging professional and serious advanced aspiring professional photographers.
HOW WILL IT UNFOLD?
Less a shooting trip than an opportunity to pause and reflect, the Retreat emphasizes intensive looking and discussion. Throughout the Retreat, the mentors develop with each participant an individual Empowerment Plan based on the goal of heightening the work. Portfolio reviews, supportive critique, discussions, shooting exercises and opportunities for introspection are integral parts of the program. They will allow participants to re-evaluate their aesthetic and their trajectory as an artist.
The mentoring sessions focus on evaluating the participants’ work in its uniqueness as well as in regard to other key photographers and movements in the art world at large. The sessions provide an opportunity to frame work in new words and to more effectively connect the photographer with the work. These interactions yield a new perspective on existing work and a stimulus to future projects.
The Retreat also offers optional activities designed to promote engagement with the setting. These include nature walks on local trails to explore the beauty and history of the region.
WHO ARE THE 2017 MENTORS?
ELISABETH BIONDI Visuals Editor, The New Yorker, 1996-2011 and Independent Curator, Writer and Teacher, New York
KATHARINA BOSSE Artist, Professor of Photography, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Germany
MARTINE FOUGERON Photographer and Artist, Faculty at ICP, New York
LYLE REXER Critic, Curator and Faculty at School of Visual Arts, New York
WHERE IS THE PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER RETREAT?
The Photography Master Retreat is held in the house of Martine Fougeron, La Bastide d’Esparon in the hamlet of Esparon – a serene haven with breathtaking views, located near Arles, Avignon, and Montpellier in the south of France. Local cuisine and special wines are provided for the entire week.
WHEN WILL IT BE OFFERED?
The Photography Master Retreat is a 7-day, summer session. It begins on Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 4 pm and concludes on the morning of Saturday, July 14, 2018. These dates have been chosen so that participants may attend the nearby international photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles if they wish, the week before, July 2 – 7, 2018. Participants can view the official website of Arles to visit exhibitions or attend portfolio reviews: Les Rencontres d’Arles.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS AND FEE?
The Photography Master Retreat is a 7-day event. Participation is by application only and at the decision of the selection committee. .
The total fee is US $3,200 (approximately 3,000 euros), which includes lodging and meals. Air fare and transportation are NOT included.
The selection committee will review all applications and contact the selected applicants by DECEMBER 22, 2018. A non-refundable deposit of US $1.200,00 must accompany confirmation to attend by January 20, 2017. The remaining balance of US $2.000,00 is due by March 15, 2018. Single rooms are available to upon request, for a supplemental fee of US $400,00 for the week on a first come, first served basis.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR CREATING THIS NEW TYPE OF GATHERING?
'I look forward to spend a week devoted to photography--exploring with students their individual creative potential in the serenity of the French Countryside with good food in a congenial environment. ' -Elisabeth Biondi
‘I love the idea of a time for reflection and thinking about photography. Seeing each participant’s body of work not just once for a review, but being able to keep looking at the work and the person behind it, exploring together the direction it might take. Focus and Beauty, like the light in the south of France, are precious ingredients in a creative life. The communal experience of a dedicated group of mentors and photographers exchanging ideas is rare outside of art schools, yet I think it is essential for growing your work at any stage of the career.’ – Katharina Bosse
‘I felt the need to create a new kind of gathering where photographers could safely and productively retire for a week, with time on their side. Take a step back and hopefully one giant leap forward so as to reconnect with their work and process in a new light. I dreamt of creating this communal atmosphere where fellow artists could be ‘mentored’ by key professionals and also enrich each other. I wanted to share my family house La Bastide d’Esparon, which has been my creative refuge for the past 40 years. It seemed like the perfect haven for this photographic retreat.’ - Martine Fougeron
‘This is an age of social media and shared images, but rarely do photographers or artists actually get to work together, face to face, to stimulate new ideas and challenge each other creatively. For an educator, this is the ideal environment.’- Lyle Rexer