Iona Workshop October 2016
Dates : Arrive afternoon October 21st ; course begins around 5pm, before an early dinner time.
Course closes Tuesday 25th after lunch; in time to catch afternoon ferry if required (you would be able to stay on at the hostel – or arrive early- if you make arrangements with the owner John Maclean http://www.ionahostel.co.uk/ telephone 0168 1700 781 . It would be fairly quiet there then – approx. £21 per night accommodation ).
Transport: Flight to Glasgow then train to Oban, ferry to Craignure (Mull), coach to Fionnphort, ferry to Iona; Drive to Fionnphort via ferry, park free at Fionnphort, ferry to Iona: If several friends came together sharing the drive might be the easiest. Train to Glasgow then as first option; Coach to Glasgow then as first option (cheapest). I will be going up early in my car via Halifax where I have an exhibition to install so cannot offer lifts, I apologise. If you need to stay the night in Oban The Caledonian Hotel is opposite the station and they do a very good breakfast.
We will work in a ceremonial way, but without undue strictness. The work we do there will have power and be gentle; the emphasis will be on the feminine. We will walk around the island, ‘tuning in’ to how it feels to us individually. We will spend time on the North Beach pictured above, working with the natural holiness of the place. In the hostel there is a large work room which we will use for practical activities such as guided drawing, monotype, writing, and painting. You will be encouraged to keep a sketch/notebook to record all your insights, dreams, and processes. The beach is clean and we might work with things we find and gather to make little totemic objects or sculptures. Iona marble and serpentine is quite easy to find and is very beautiful. You will have time alone to walk and work, and there will be work in a circle and with my shamanic drum.
Teachings from the local Saints, nuns and monks will be shared, as will teachings from indigenous peoples where relevant. We will look at a facsimile copy of The Book of Kells, and learn about local stories and mythology. We will visit the Abbey and other holy sites on the Island.
Iona is a most impeccable place, seemingly untouched by modern human ways. As such it invites an opening of the body in a wonderful way, which led to great illumination for me when I worked there last October. It is also known as a ‘thin’ place where the veils between worlds are diaphanous. Your dreams may well increase in their clarity and colour; mine always do.
There is also the likelihood of seeing golden eagles, white tailed eagles, and otters – which live on the North Beach.
Food will be mostly vegetarian and simple. We won’t be able to cater for very special diets; in such cases you would need to bring your own items. Contact me with any requests please!
A reasonable degree of physical fitness will be required if you wish to take part in any optional (longer) walks; there isn’t a doctor on the Island, so please bear this in mind. For this reason this workshop isn’t suitable if you are recovering from recent surgery or illness.
You would need to bring warm, waterproof and comfortable clothes and boots; and a sketchbook.
The group size will be small – a maximum of eight participants (not including Hostel/workshop staff).
The price for all tuition, materials, accommodation and food (but not travel) is £500.
http://www.katewalters.co.uk/blog https://ionaartresidencies.wordpress.com/tremblingonthebrinkoftransformation http://www.ionahostel.co.uk/
“Kate is a listener. She listens to her psyche and dreams and an to altogether more ancient response to the land than that which we currently know; what Thomas Carlyle described as ‘ the ancient dialect’. Her work is in part an exploration of this dialect. It explores place through archetype, symbol, the animal world and the older religions. This is home territory for Kate -she is quite comfortable in the company of the ‘Sheela’s (the Sheela na gigs).
Kate’s work isn’t easy in the sense that it neither makes assertions nor statements. It seems to be deliberately un-emphatic. The effect is to unsettle, to make us alert and create a pause. We find ourselves listening. The image that comes to me of her work is of that moment, in the stillness, when you hear a faint and tremulous bird call. You ask yourself if you even heard it (was it your imaginings?) and are silent and poised, listening for it again. You are completely present. In a review of her work art critic Laura Gascoigne gets it dead on when she says ‘It is this sense of trembling on the brink of transformation that lends Kate’s shadowy forms psychological substance’. ” John Maclean, Lagandorain, Isle of Iona.