Solo Show at Arusha Gallery: I saw the Waking Fields 2 – 24th May 2024; Opening evening with artist present May 9th….

The title for my show comes from a dream I had many years ago when I first visited Cornwall, before I lived here I believe, around 30 years ago…

I waited and for years my high field was motionless beneath the winds, undiscovered and undisturbed; there was no quivering or opening; there was no ploughing and no witness to any ceremony, awakening or trembling. And he told me over and over again that he would not bring his plough to my fertile ground which was waiting for him. I was the high field left alone, left without the sound of male voices being carried on the wind. And so in the end I came back to my dream and I made my own plough, drawing it out of myself onto paper with my fluids, my pen knibs, my blood and my colours. When I paint I plough with my heart.
– Kate Walters, 2024

More writing which relates to the work in this show…
Thoughts on my work as a whole and the new body of
I saw the waking field.
To do with fields of awareness we encounter whilst dreaming, in a trance, mystic experiences
and whilst painting, or being in nature.

When I teach shamanic workshops I always tell new people the definitions of shamanism :
The sense, appreciation, that all things are alive and all things are connected;
And shaman: one who sees, one who knows; and one who is inspired by or with fire (Spirit).
This relates to my writing thinking and knowing about the seeing of the Waking Field…
This underpins all my work as an artist…and human being…

Ploughing with My Heart.
Inanna and the Waking Field.

A short passage about creativity, dreaming and psychic processes.
Many years ago when I first visited Cornwall I had an experience of how all the fields in the West
Penwith peninsula were alive. I came to know
this fully through making a drawing/monotype called ‘I saw the waking field’. In this small work
I drew myself holding the field as if she were a glass of wine I might drink. It is also a body which
quivers with aliveness. It was through making the drawing
that I was able to articulate my feelings/knowings about the shivering I’d seen the field make, as
if shaking herself awake in the morning, the way a wild animal would, her gossamer coat
glistening in the sun.
A few years earlier in a dream I saw myself opening my chest cavity, taking out my heart, and
stretching it into what I first thought was a
pen-knib; but then I used my fingers to stretch and enlarge the pulpy crimson form, and I saw
within the dream – to my amazement – that it had become a plough, and I began to push the
heart-forged blade through the dark ground of my unconscious; turning it
over, going deeper and darker, revealing her/my fecund blackness…
And one afternoon much later he reached down to a book beside his chair, and he opened the
book at a page he’d marked, and he read me these
‘As for me, Inanna,
Who will plough my vulva?
Who will plough my high field? Who will plough my wet ground?’
‘Great Lady, the king will plough your vulva.
I, Dumuzi the King, will plough your vulva.’
‘He has sprouted; he has burgeoned;
He is lettuce planted by the water. He is the one my womb loves best.
My eager impetuous caresser of the navel, My caresser of the soft thighs,
He is the one my womb loves best,
He is lettuce planted by the water.’
(Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer, Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth pp 37,8)

I sat quietly, every part of my body tense. I knew the text already but I was unsure about telling
him. I wanted him to be the one who would
turn over my darkest deepest earth, to plough me. I couldn’t tell him this, but he knew.

I waited and for years my high field was motionless beneath the winds, undiscovered and
undisturbed; there was no quivering or opening; there
was no ploughing and no witness to any ceremony, awakening or trembling. And he told me
over and over again that he would not bring his plough to my fertile ground which was waiting
for him. I was the high field left alone, left without the sound of male voices
being carried on the wind.
And so in the end I came back to my dream and I made my own plough, drawing it out of myself
onto paper with my fluids, my pen knibs, my blood
and my colours.
When I paint I plough with my heart.
I rarely see the man anymore. But recently he sent me these words:
‘Your question about Inanna ploughing her own furrow makes me
think of Jung’s work exactly: that the work of individuation is a process of exactly that: of
working so that the different aspects of who we are (masculine, feminine, old, young, divine,
shadow etc) can find a way to be in intimate relationship so that we
can come fully into being. This is his work particularly on Alchemy, but also on the
Phenomenology of the Self.’

Ploughing with my heart – The title comes from a dream I had many years ago which I’m only
now coming to work with in a direct way. It was very powerful and is all about the unconscious
and individuation. It also relates to Inanna and the aliveness of fields of being and awareness.

Words in speech marks are written by a friend, alongside drawings in my small found and
altered books…
“Again you are there, where I didn’t expect you to be, in the darkness looking at me.”
“Stretch me out beneath you, let me carry your footsteps over the land
Let your fingers inscribe my skull’s cape, down through my arms and into the ground: your
gentle eye and your sharp beak.” Words written in my books of drawings, by a friend.
“If I bury my face in your flowering womb
Your wounds of the heart, the breast and the sex
Will you feed me or
Will you feed off me?
will we feed off another
Or will something we’ve not yet known
Find their way in
The goddess, this golden icon… would you risk your life, your soul for one moment’s awareness
of this?
I am sad there
….waiting for a time when there is space for me
Sometimes a shattering is the only thing
I can bear: shattering is all that there is
And the brown shawls continue and connect
And there in the debris are you, slowly coalescing
Will you come together
In my
Of my eye
Clouds of semen
For your seat
And your shawl….”
My studio notes:
From book beside the bed
“It is the point of de-creation, when the artist in his unparalleled style no longer creates but
de-creates – that untitled messianic moment in which art stays miraculously still, almost
astounded: fallen and risen in every instant.” Agamben 2002
“This is a downward going path of art, and life, that creates via a descent. This is an art that falls.
This art makes its connections through disintegration, disruption, sexuality, chaos, breakdown,
loosening, loss, trauma, and madness.” Agamben in Naming the Gods by Gary D. Astrachan
Being seen.
Or not seen.
‘Poiesis is a bringing forth from concealment, hiddenness and non-being into the ‘light of
“Poiesis bears within itself as its original mission, this compelling desire for a complete
transfiguration of our natural state.” From Phallos by Eugene Monick
As if I’d been bitten by a shark. The pain around my lower body, the pain of unlove.

Dream of bees (October 2023) in the ceiling of my bedroom. Small black wild bees, they were
nesting. Maybe there was one in my hair. I couldn’t use my bedroom (couldn’t sleep, couldn’t
dream) and I asked my husband to help move them, but he couldn’t do it. It seemed like it was
my childhood bedroom as well as this one, my home.
Note: there are places in Cornwall which harvest honey from wild black bees.
Bees can be seen as divine messengers. They want us to go up, heavenwards. Trying to get
through my ceiling. Maybe I have a ceiling I need to go up, through?

Dream on the following night:
Of a screen/painting with red and white, red flowers from my sage plants. Erotic thoughts of a
man touching me all over with his erect phallus, everywhere he touched me my skin was
marked, bruised, opened, he planted his bulb in me, I grew tulips from all the marks.
Note: reminded me of another dream in which red, wild tulips grew from my bones.

Writing at this time by my Friend:
“In the dark spaces, lost in the dark spaces – and you are also suddenly there sleeping…
I thought you’d gone on, gone away but you were curled up, your aloneness saved in the
wellspring, gold dust shimmering over you – else I would’ve walked by lost, still lost. As I draw
myself up and over to caress the back of your neck, your wings budding over your shoulders, you
know I am here, arriving into form out of the darkness because of you.
Coming into being over you.”
I remember the garden at Clos du Peyronnet, my garden of Paradise when I was a young
woman. I think about creating a garden of paradise with my painting. How beauty, memory, also
trauma are tacked into us, a needle goes through all our layers of being, connects it all, makes us
stronger? We are sewn.
Paint my body as a colorful landscape, the colours are birdsong.
Birds don’t listen to music. Or do they?
The flowers on my tongue.
Flower pregnant with Horse. Flower gives birth to Horse.
Pollinated tears.
Dream of the two eyes that saw everything. Roving, revolving, without lids. Attached to the great
long jaw bones of the eagle, spirit bird of the deeps, night visitor, keep him/her hidden beneath a
dark cloth. Paint the dark cloth, the sea of bones, the tides of skulls.
‘Every time consciousness produces something, even two words, there are always four, because
the unconscious is always there too; something unknown is involved, and that should also be
taken into consideration. ‘ Alchemy, Marie-Louise von Franz, p 153.
‘Horses are liminal creatures who lead humans from the world of the tame into the world of the
wild up to heaven, or down to the artery hell of the cobra people.’ Wendy Doniger Stallions p 17
My paintings know things . They know things about me. They know what to do before I do.
‘I return from trampling upon flowers/And the hooves of my horse smell sweet.’ Emperor Hui
Tsung. (1101 – 1125).
You are the rhizome, I might say to him, the one who hides in the shadows, and behind the
curtain of death. The soul Friend. You with your fingers, your tongue and your phallus buried
deep, I came to know you through the drawing first, and you told me how it felt for you when I
rose from your holy sacrum, Heaven’s Gate. I paint us over and over, your face and fingers
down, and I rise up flowering. We’re lotus too, you my dark roots in the watery place, and the
horse the band of daylight joins us.
I ask about the kind of psychic space I’m painting to house the figures. Should they be in a
From The wisdom of the Ancient Seers p 160
‘His stallions are dark, that is transcendent and of the Absolute, but their feet are white as they
bear the light of the phenomenal worlds.’ And ‘All beings remain forever in Savitar, the Being of
transformation. He is the supreme light of creation that is the free overflowing of the
transcendent and uncreate….Divine creativity which underlies all creation and which recreates
and regenerates us in the light of truth.’
Jonah and the whale: coming out of the body of the animal/fish after an ordeal. Animal body as
place which holds us whilst we are cooked, transformed.
It could also be your mouth, where you gently hold me when I’m painting. Your words are me
emerging; all my colours.
The pregnant man pushes his belly against the belly of his bride. The pregnant man can have
three faces. The man wants my pregnancy, he wants my womb, he summons a heavenly belt and
spins it towards me, he plants a spirit bomb in my womb with the heavenly strike. Later, when I
put the painting on the wall, and I see the insistence of the child taking my hand (pulling me
away), and the fury of the horse: I wonder if he is stealing from me.
Reading ‘in the direction of the bird’s mouth’. Painting ‘in the direction of the bird’s mouth.’
Cannot remember source.
Chiron, the holy outsider.
“The mystery of an innate rhythm.” Holderlin.
“A single celestial rhythm.”

“‘Caesura’ or ‘anti-rhythmic interruption’ when the word, as if checked in mid-flight, for a
moment reveals not what it says, but it’s own nature….the verses seem to fall hugging each other
in the silence.”
Beauty that falls. Giorgio Agamben

Holy feminine, holy masculine; womb envy; inner child knowing; snake energy;
serpent power; vision, seeing, knowing; the shaman’s eye, various kinds of touch; chakras;
dreaming. I have brought my shamanic persona into these paintings more.

A new friend of mine recently wrote this piece below: (December 2023)
I love your art for so many reasons Kate but just now I’m appreciating how dedicated to your
personal journey of becoming you are. It’s important to me as woman, that you take your
guidance from your dreams, intuitions, shamanic connections, relationships, and deeply felt
embodied experiences.
You use your art to be the voice of that feminine power. I and pretty much all the women I have
known struggle to articulate, perhaps to even experience these ineffable feelings. We know
they’re important when they come, but they sound so weak expressed in words through the
steely filter of the rational mind.
We have held back on the unexpressed erotic, messy, visceral, unapologetically cosmic,
profoundly knowing, fundamental parts of ourselves.
At an ancestral level we learned not to expose these powerful aspects of womanhood for fear of
alienation, punishment, even death.
Women themselves can be the most defensive of this shutting down of the essential feminine,
appalled by the risk, the disturbance, the threat of the unknown forces that might be released,
forces of loneliness, poverty, the legacy of a distorted world that threatens unlovability.
The worst fear is of the exposure of our own lack of courage at this time when we are called to
be open and to find strength in vulnerability. I love you and your art for leading the way, with
such POWER. For us all.

Estelle Thistleton Professional Development Coach
February 2024

More than Pink: an exhibition about breast cancer

I’ve been invited by MA Curatorial students at Exeter University to create work for an exhibition in June in Exeter….opening days June 6th and 7th…more soon!

M瀂瀅濸 T濻濴瀁 P濼瀁濾: A瀅瀇 M濸濸瀇 B瀅濸濴瀆瀇 C濴瀁濶濸瀅
T瀅濴瀁瀆濹瀂瀅瀀濼瀁濺 E瀀瀂瀇濼瀂瀁瀆, F瀂瀆瀇濸瀅濼瀁濺 A瀊濴瀅濸瀁濸瀆瀆 瀂濹 B瀅濸濴瀆瀇 C濴瀁濶濸瀅
A瀇 瀇濻濸 濶瀂瀅濸 瀂濹 瀂瀈瀅 瀃瀅瀂濽濸濶瀇 濿濼濸瀆 濴 瀃瀅瀂濹瀂瀈瀁濷 濸瀋瀃濿瀂瀅濴瀇濼瀂瀁 瀂濹 瀇濻濸 濻濸濴濿濼瀁濺 濴瀁濷 瀆瀈瀃瀃瀂瀅瀇濼瀉濸 瀃瀂瀊濸瀅 瀂濹
濴瀅瀇 瀊濼瀇濻濼瀁 瀇濻濸 濽瀂瀈瀅瀁濸瀌 瀂濹 濵瀅濸濴瀆瀇 濶濴瀁濶濸瀅. W濸 濴瀆瀃濼瀅濸 瀇瀂 濵瀅濼濷濺濸 瀇濻濸 濺濴瀃 濵濸瀇瀊濸濸瀁 瀇濻瀂瀆濸 濷濼瀅濸濶瀇濿瀌
濼瀀瀃濴濶瀇濸濷 濵瀌 濵瀅濸濴瀆瀇 濶濴瀁濶濸瀅 濴瀁濷 瀇濻瀂瀆濸 瀊濻瀂 瀀濴瀌 瀁瀂瀇 濹瀈濿濿瀌 濺瀅濴瀆瀃 瀇濻濸濼瀅 濸瀋瀃濸瀅濼濸瀁濶濸瀆, 濹瀂瀆瀇濸瀅濼瀁濺
濸瀀瀃濴瀇濻瀌 濴瀁濷 濷濸濸瀃濸瀅 瀈瀁濷濸瀅瀆瀇濴瀁濷濼瀁濺 瀇濻瀅瀂瀈濺濻 濴瀅瀇濼瀆瀇濼濶 濸瀋瀃瀅濸瀆瀆濼瀂瀁. O瀈瀅 濸瀋濻濼濵濼瀇濼瀂瀁, 濴瀃瀇濿瀌 瀇濼瀇濿濸濷
“M瀂瀅濸 T濻濴瀁 P濼瀁濾,” 濼瀁瀉濼瀇濸瀆 瀉濼瀆濼瀇瀂瀅瀆 瀇瀂 濸瀁濺濴濺濸 瀊濼瀇濻 瀇濻濸 瀀瀈濿瀇濼濹濴濶濸瀇濸濷 瀃濸瀅瀆瀃濸濶瀇濼瀉濸瀆 瀂濹 濵瀅濸濴瀆瀇
濶濴瀁濶濸瀅 瀆瀈瀅瀉濼瀉瀂瀅瀆, 瀂瀈瀇瀆濼濷濸瀅瀆, 濴瀁濷 濻濸濴濿瀇濻濶濴瀅濸 瀃瀅濴濶瀇濼瀇濼瀂瀁濸瀅瀆, 瀂濹濹濸瀅濼瀁濺 濴 瀆瀃濴濶濸 濹瀂瀅 濸濴濶濻 濼瀁濷濼瀉濼濷瀈濴濿
瀇瀂 濹濼瀁濷 瀅濸瀆瀂瀁濴瀁濶濸 濴瀁濷 濶瀂瀁瀁濸濶瀇濼瀂瀁 瀊濼瀇濻濼瀁 瀇濻濸濼瀅 瀂瀊瀁 瀁濴瀅瀅濴瀇濼瀉濸. W濸 瀊濸濿濶瀂瀀濸 濸瀉濸瀅瀌瀂瀁濸 瀇瀂 瀂瀈瀅
濸瀋濻濼濵濼瀇濼瀂瀁 瀉濸瀁瀈濸, 濸瀁濶瀂瀈瀅濴濺濼瀁濺 濼瀁濷濼瀉濼濷瀈濴濿瀆 瀇瀂 濴瀇瀇濸瀁濷 瀁瀂瀇 瀂瀁濿瀌 濹瀂瀅 瀇濻濸濼瀅 瀃濸瀅瀆瀂瀁濴濿 濼瀁瀇濸瀅濸瀆瀇 濵瀈瀇
濴濿瀆瀂 瀇瀂 瀅濴濼瀆濸 濴瀊濴瀅濸瀁濸瀆瀆 濴瀀瀂瀁濺 瀇濻濸濼瀅 濹濴瀀濼濿瀌 濴瀁濷 濹瀅濼濸瀁濷瀆 濴濵瀂瀈瀇 瀇濻濼瀆 濼瀀瀃瀂瀅瀇濴瀁瀇 濼瀆瀆瀈濸.

Exhibition topic and theme
The colour pink has become emblematic of the fight against breast cancer,
symbolising hope, support, and solidarity. However, a thought-provoking perspective
emerged during our discussion with Adriana Ford, a former breast cancer patient and
the founder of the Breast Cancer Art Project. Contrary to the conventional association,
Ford expressed that her immediate association with breast cancer was not pink but a
representation of darkness, reflecting the fear and pain accompanying the diagnosis.
This revelation, shared by many survivors, underscores the complexity of the breast
cancer experience, transcending the ubiquitous pink to encompass a spectrum of
emotions and realities. Thus, our exhibition topic “More than Pink: Art Meets Breast
Cancer ” was conceived with the intention of challenging the conventional narrative.
We aim to offer a multifaceted view of breast cancer, encouraging a deeper, more
emotional engagement with the art. This theme also critically addresses the
phenomenon of “pink washing,” highlighting the adverse effects of the disease’s
commercialisation, and urging a more nuanced understanding beyond the colour pink.

Sex Magic at Arusha Gallery February 5th 2024

I’m so delighted to announce that three of my paintings will be at the launch of Dr Amy Hale’s new book Sex Magic at Arusha Gallery from 6.30 pm on February 5th, in London.
Please see my Instagram feed for more info… there will also be an event in Penzance in mid Feb at The Admiral Benbow pub in Chapel Street…

Solstice workshops and workshops for next year…2024

This mid-winter I’ll be working in the beautiful spacious Anchor Studio in Newlyn. It’s part of the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust, and is one of the original artist’s bespoke studios in Newlyn. I’ll be making work in there for three months, towards my solo show at Arusha gallery in London next May.

I’m planning to hold 2 Solstice workshops in the studio; during the two-day one we’ll visit the nearby wild landscape – weather permitting…! We will share cars: it’s a ten minute drive to Boscawen-un Stone Circle. If the weather is fine we might venture slightly further afield to a beautiful wild place and site of hidden stones near Carn Kenidjack. We will walk shamanically and tune into and draw the energy of the wild landscape and ancient stones.

I’ll give a short talk on my paintings and drawings in progress – with Q & A – and I’ll have some archive works (mostly on paper, some framed) available to buy at studio prices.

Two-day workshop: Dec 20th 10.00 – 19.00 and Dec 21st 10.00 – 17.00.

We’ll make shamanic journeys in a ceremonial way to ask for guidance in this time of inwardness, dark light, and change. We’ll draw, paint, release, write, make an intention, dance (if you wish!) and share food. We’ll mark the Solstice together.

The fee for the two-day workshop is £225 to include most art materials (bring your favourite ones if you prefer) and all teaching.

The two day workshop is now full…but places are available on the one-day workshop…details are below…
For those who’d prefer one day, I’m going to offer a one-day workshop on the 22nd December, from 11.00 – 19.00.

This will take place in the studio and surrounding gardens, and will be similar to the longer workshop in feel but with slightly fewer activities (and my talk will be shorter!). The workshop fee for the one-day gathering is £120.

I hope to see you soon and to share this time with you. Please let me know if you’d like to come and I’ll add you to the group…and let you know what you’d need to bring…

It would be great if more men joined my circles and workshops. They always bring a different energy, humour and warmth to the groups – which I like. If you know someone who might enjoy this work, please share this infomration with them. Thank you.

There is no parking at Anchor studio, but in nearby streets; the access is up a few steps…

If you would like to see my works in progress and archive works without attending the workshop that would be possible – by appointment – on the 18th and 19th December.

Workshops for 2024:

2024. I will run four or five workshops in 2024. Two or three will be held at The School of Art and Wellbeing in Devon , and one or two will be held in Cornwall, probably near Helston. The dates are below. If you are interested in attending, please let me know, as I expect them to book up quite quickly. The prices indicated include all teaching, equipment and most materials (I find some people like to bring their own, and their own sketchbooks). Some bursaries are available. Accommodation is booked separately with each venue.I am beginning to plan these workshops, and themes arising are:

Holy animals: 12 – 15th April (four days) beginning from the teaching which says that highly evolved Beings sometimes incarnate in animals’ or birds’ bodies, we will move strongly into the imaginary world of the Animal and the Bird. We’ll look at symbolism and cave paintings/carvings in Neolithic artefacts from across the globe, referencing John Berger’s thoughts on these, as well as shamanic verses and teachers; make shamanic journeys to Power animals and helpers, asking for assistance for specific personal tasks; we will consider the natural, protective, illuminating and ceremonial aspects of the Horse, Bird, Wolf, Snake and Big Cat (amongst others), working with drawing, paint, words, colour, movement and sound to bring ourselves closer to the worlds these powerful beings inhabit: all to help us in our day to day lives and to help those around us to navigate the fast-changing world. We will send attention to species loss too and consider practical steps we could take to reverse their decline. This course will be held in Devon at the School of Art and Well-being near Honiton. £450

Body as Prophet/ess: June 1-3rd.
A three-day course working with bodily knowing, responding to themes you will bring, which might be unresolved events or relationships, or unfulfilled desires, creativity etc. We will ask animal guides and helpers and the world of spirit to give us insights to weights we are carrying energetically/physically/psychically which tend to drain energy and prevent us seeing our way through. In addition, resolution of weighty issues frees energy enabling other activities such as our creativity, development -personally and or professionally – to move forwards more dynamically. We will work with blessing ceremonies to help and soothe each other, and we will ask our bodies to soften and receive in the safe space we will create together. This course will be held in Devon. £350.

The Book as a body of Love October 19-22nd 2024: a course where you will embellish a found/old/recycled book with words, images, collage. I will supply some vintage/found/hand-made books from which you will choose one or two and you will respond to the imagery and/or words/music notation already contained within the book -or write, draw your own material – to make something new, highly personal, a one-off, a new life for a treasured or found book. I will bring some children’s books too for those who wish to focus on their inner child. You can also bring your own book or books, or indeed make one/more from scratch … I will bring some book-binding equipment…we will also work on loose pages with collage/exquisite corpses (surrealist techniques). Art movements/artists/writers referenced will be surrealism, dada, french symbolist poetry, Arte Povera, Joseph Beuys, Helen Cixous, Carol Rama and Ithell Colquhoun. This course will be held in Devon.£475 to include books I have sourced…two or three each…

The Mysteries of Creativity from shamanic and psychoanalytic perspectives. 13-16th September 2024
For artists, poets and writers who wish to go deep into their own process, and the hidden areas of our psyche – and the wider imaginal worlds – from where some of our best, most illuminating images and ideas arise. We will make shamanic journeys, looking at our intentions from the place of the will, the mind and the heart; we will enlist the support and guidance of our spirit guides to cast light on our true creative voices and paths. If spirit guides are unknown we will make shamanic journeys to find them. We will also look at the role of dreams and dreaming in our work and lives, and how we can make connections (and with what) between the numinous and subtle worlds, and the physical world where we manifest imagery and forms. Writers and thinkers we will look at as part of the course include James Hillman, Carl Jung, Mircea Eliade, Joan Halifax, Henry Corbin, Joseph Campbell, John Berger, Amy Hale, Marie-Louise von Franz, Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Bourgeois, Tracey Emin, Maria Lassnig, Hilma af Klint, Joseph Beuys, Philip Rawson; and traditions from other continents, e.g Tantric art and Aboriginal images/traditions.
This course will be held in Cornwall at Coskewis near Helston.

The Wild in Us: working with the shamanic journey, dreams, our innate creativity, poetry, music and dance to explore symbols, feelings and embodied knowing about the wild world which we are part of… for example trees, plants, animals, birds, rocks, the sea, the air, the earth, metals, planets. We will ask for ways in which we can be closely connected with the wild within ourselves, and in the natural world. I hope to run this course in Cornwall.

All workshops begin on the first day at 11am and finish on the last day at 5pm. I always bring a carefully chosen selection of books from my library which all participants are free to peruse and study for the duration of the course.

All workshops are for women and men: painters, students, writers, thinkers, ecologists, poets, activists….
Full guidance to all shamanic techniques will be given. You will be very welcome if you have never done this work before!
Most art materials will be provided, but please bring your own sketchbooks (I find people like to choose their own size and format). You can book accommodation (including camping and shepherd’s huts) through the School website. All the courses include refreshments throughout the day. We bring and cook/share our own lunches and dinners; there is a spacious kitchen in The Pavilion for us to use.

Drumming in the yurt, Devon.

Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize exhibition

I’m so delighted to be able to post that three of my entries to the TBWDP were selected last week by three judges whose opinion I value greatly:

Laura Hoptman, Barbara Walker and Dennis Scholl
@lhoptman @schollcreative @barbarawalkerstudio

and thanks to:
@parkerharrisco @anitataylor_ @trinitybuoywharf

The works selected are three music books I’ve drawn into, with some hand-written words by me and Joseph Suart.
The exhibition will open on September 27th, in London. It will then tour the UK for nine months. Details soon, or from Parker Harris or Trinity Buoy Wharf.

Here are some of the pages:


Here are a few words about my approach to my work, and what happens in my studio…
“I expected to meet an artist and realise that much more than that you are shaman straddling many realities, bringing back to the rest of us in this physicality the multi dimensional experience of your intimate inner life. It’s one thing to understand inner realities as philosophical theory, or even open up to it as personal practice, and quite another to be such a powerful vehicle for its expression. I am full of respect for the task you are set upon, I think it takes a great deal of courage and talent to be so exposed and expressive. Most of us are on a desperate mission to cover it all up!

Reading the feedback from your workshop participants the extent to which you enable them to access the magical and mystical realms is testimony to your own journeying.

Whilst writing this and wondering how to express how I feel about our meeting The Hierophant sprang to mind. In most Tarot readings this represents the Pope as a figure of ultimate spiritual power, (not one I subscribe to obviously) however, if one explores the symbolism further it is really expressing the Divine Masculine in direct relation to the already initiated Divine Feminine of the High Priestess, and in that meaning I can see why it came to mind regarding your journey. It’s the time of the dark Supermoon just now, so a powerful time of dreaming and insights. For all of us, owning our divine feminine and allowing the divine masculine to rise is an enormous challenge, so little basis for trust when we have all felt so utterly betrayed, thank you for being a truly inspiring and courageous leader in that vital struggle.

These were my first thoughts about your work:

“Kate is at the nexus of what it is to be human. Expressing the most powerful elements of our physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and metaphysical realities, an artist, shaman and alchemist.”

Thank you Estelle. Meeting you and Gavin was such a joy!

Home after The Fruitmarket (Edinburgh) and the beginning of The Unspeakable at Studio KIND…

I’m recently returned from a long weekend in Edinburgh where I had a stand at The Artists Book Market at The Fruitmarket Gallery. I also gave a presentation on my work around adapting found books, with a focus on Trauma and what we find Unspeakable.

I spoke about my dream in Venice which led to a big change for me, and which I have drawn many times…
and I also spoke about my publications with Guillemot Press: Iona notebooks and Shetland Notebooks, and how important the residencies in those wild places were for me…
(we are now hatching plans for a new book…)
I had some very interesting encounters at the market, and some sales. The encounters were the most important, and the new people I met and the old friends I re-connected with…
My journey home was eventful with train chaos, but I was at least able to draw into my books on the journey… and then after two days at home catching my breath and packing, I was away again to North Devon, to Braunton and Studio KIND for my solo show in this lovely Arts Council funded artist’s project space.

here are a few of the works in the show, and details of opening times and of my creative, shamanic workshop on the Inner Child to be held on March 18th from 2 – 5 pm…
and here are some more images from the show…
photo by Studio KIND photo by Studio KIND photo by Studio KIND photo by Studio KIND photo by Studio KIND of the collaborative pages made by me and Joseph Suart

Sweetheart. Darling. Tits.
Installation of drawings in watercolour sticks, oil pastels and oak gall ink on River Tomoe paper.
The exhibition continues until March 17th.
Archive boxes of watercolours are available to purchase at very affordable prices.

Essay by Joseph Suart to support The Unspeakable at Studio Kind, Devon. February 2023.

Unspeakable Joseph Suart February 2023
In 2010 the philosopher Giorgio Agamben and the painter Monica Ferrando published a book titled La ragazza indicible. Mito e mistero di Kore. Agamben’s essay in this publication was translated in 2014 by Leland de la Durantaye under the title The Unspeakable Girl: the Myth and Mystery of Kore. In the first footnote of this translation, with reference to the word ‘unspeakable’ the translator points out that ‘neither the Greek term nor the Italian one with which the author translates it possesses the English word’s suggestion of impish or malicious misbehaviour. Given the alternative between the idiomatic unspeakable and the calque unsayable, I deemed the former truer to the original.’
In the 15th footnote, with reference to the word ‘in-fantile’, the translator notes Agamben is using it in its literal meaning – ‘being without speech’ – emphasising that this is not about limiting the description to a pre-verbal child and pointing out this is a theme Agamben explores in other works. In this essay Agamben uses it to describe the state of being that is experienced by the participants in the Eleusinian Mystery rites once they have been confronted with the presence of the gods. This is not to be conflated with the developmental stage of being pre-verbal, nor with that of being struck dumb or rendered speechless. It describes access to a state of being and not a symptomatic reaction to shock or amazement. We are being directed towards a subverting of the hierarchical arrangement of experience whereby feeling is considered primarily as a precursor to thinking, which then employs words to establish a supposedly more developed understanding. So, ordinarily in our culture, experience that can be communicated through words is privileged over direct experience which is thereby reduced to the pre-verbal. These two footnotes point out that Agamben uses these words specifically to present an alternative to this hierarchy. In this work of Agamben’s there is an exploration of what is not captured by the definition of the human as being the speaking animal.
In the third book of his Homer Sacer series, Remnants of Auschwitz: The Witness and the Archive, Agamben writes about those who were named ‘muselmann’ because of the complete unresponsiveness to which they had been reduced by their utter exhaustion through forced labour and starvation. These people, pushed to the extremity of what could be recognised as human, embody the ‘impossibility of bearing witness to what happened’ (Agamben 1998 p53-54). He quotes Primo Levi’s view that the muselmann was ‘he who had seen the Gorgon’, by which Agamben suggests that the ‘impossibility of vision’ initiated by the gorgon provides the frozen dynamic between that which simultaneously can be neither seen nor looked away from. It is impossible to bear witness to that which remains of the human when all aspects of humanity have been stripped away to the mere state of ‘bare life’. And yet in this condition knowledge of it is simultaneously unavoidable. The muselman is the embodiment of one who can no longer avoid the impossibility of knowing and seeing what is there before him. His state of embodied inhumanity demands the attention of the human and this and only this is testimony. This state is one that would be accurately described as traumatic.
In The Unspeakable Girl Agamben notes that when Jung and Kerenyi published Einfuhrung in das Wesen der Mythologie (The Science of Mythology) in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam they hid its contents under a misleading title. For, far from reinforcing rigid gender stereotypes as the Nazi censor would have required, the contents show that the ‘Myth of the Divine Child and the Mysteries of Eleusis’ are founded upon the inherent archetypal ambiguity of the figure of the ‘Urkind – an originary child’ which is ‘seen […] above all in its androgeny’ (Agamben & Ferrando 2010 p.3). This specific and extensive indeterminacy is repeated in the hermaphroditism of the child archetype and it is this very quality that is shown to be necessary for a progressively redemptive capacity and the ability to supervene conflict.
Ancestral voices calling down the years in and through our culture:

‘Your long golden tongue’, Hermes and Aphrodite coming into one, leaping into and out of the blue under the watchful eye of the horse spirit;

‘She has her stalk he said’, being held one by the other they become, together
Furthermore, Kore, the ‘divine girl’, central figure of the story of Persephone’s abduction and rape by Hades, itself the basis for the Eleusinian Mystery rites for the renewal of life, increases this indeterminacy in a very disturbing fashion. The attribution ‘Kore’ didn’t only apply to Persephone, or young girl, but resists the patriarchal divisions of girl/virgin, (married)woman/mother and crone/grandmother.
Kore: girl, mother and the White haired ones:
‘Conceiving, carrying bearing’
‘Hag’: lost, dissolved, emerging from the brutal blood death/birth

The Greek word, ‘Kore’, derives from a root meaning ‘vital force’ and ‘refers to the principle that makes plants and animals grow’ (Agamben & Ferrando 2010 p 6). The Kore is any untethered girl or woman whose sexuality may be yet budding or budding again and again. It is used to refer as much to any unmarried woman who may be sexually active as to one who has not yet awoken to her sexual life. It is also used in reference to those who are old yet still powerful, ‘children with white hair’ such as the Erinyes.
We have here the story, and the images, of a form of human life that ‘does not allow itself to be “spoken” in so much as it cannot be defined by age, family, sexual identity or social role’ (Agamben & Ferrando 2010 p7). The story was communicated in language only in so much as it is heard as a poem sung from the poetic realm.
The poetic realm is imaginal and it speaks directly from the body to the body.
We read the story of Persephone, Kore, as that of a teenage girl being abducted and raped by her uncle.
‘All the names my father called me’ ‘Tits Bird’
But what if Persephone, daughter of the goddess of fecundity, was overwhelmed by her own burgeoning exuberance and sexuality as it pushed up from inside her like an iris budding in the morning? Pushing up and calling towards the Earth around her with the Sea-breeze and the Sun-warmth. The warming Earth, and the Sun and the Sea, are calling back and drawing the budding upwards and upwards.
She is with friends on the cliffs in the warm Spring sunshine, a gentle sea breeze is ruffling the down on their arms, playing around their ears and their knees as they laugh and bend to smell the flowers, picking them in abundance.
‘Persephone holds the flower’ ‘Persephone, Sunseed’
It is in delight that she is drawn into the face of the flower, kissed into kissing and infiltrated by that irresistible scent; it tickles her nose and slips itself into her, sending a frisson down through her body and out over her skin, spreading and awakening her. What can this be that is stealing over and through her as never before? She doesn’t know what is happening and she can’t stop. Everything is different: the way it looks, the way it feels, the way she feels. Everything is new. Again. Each time she opens her eyes and feels her skin respond. And she is aching for more of it but doesn’t know what it is. This is like it is the very first time. She puts the pomegranate seed in her mouth and nuzzles its sharp flavour with her tongue till it sweetens and creeps down her throat. She is not the one she was before. Everything is gone. No one saw it happen and no one knows where she is. She has disappeared.
‘I love him so’ ‘Lovers’ ‘Making love in every particle’
And with that sexually creative sensuality comes the silent knowledge of death, unnoticed until too late. Unavoidable. Necessary.
Is Trauma what happens when a god takes possession of us without our consent?
‘With Death as my advisor’: prayer child arising from a falling vulva with a contained challenge of aliveness and tension in the line and expression
Trauma: not only the result of annihilatory treatment in the Death Camps.
Trauma: also the silent and unnoticed introduction of death, slipping in where it was least expected and in the very moment when we are opening our budding selves up to the world. The butterfly. Even if predicted, the unknown event lies in wait until long after it can no longer be avoided.
Trauma: unspeakable.
‘Tears of sperm (from his weeping eyes) pour into me, I rise up’
There is a sudden jolt as you realise that you are being treated as if you were someone else. The child has been abducted and given a new name. She is never the same again. Snatched and gone. She, he, they, we, are spoken to as someone else. We have forgotten who they are and we don’t know what happened to them. No memory. He only knows he is here on a temporary basis and one day, somehow, he must find a way back to them. He hadn’t till then known that somewhere below there is a huge space where once his life would have been. The full effect of the destructive moment only becomes known once you are way past the tipping point into the turmoil. I fell through the swirling centre, pulled in and down headlong, unending. All those photos, all those posts, all those likes. Still-falling without understanding; silent scream-rushes in my throat. The one who remains walks under a different name, unsure who is the ghost: them or their other?
The trauma of social media: it offers you the chance to cancel yourself through the lure of constructing who you thought you wanted to be.
Someone has been ghosted. Someone is being cancelled. I can’t remember them. All.

In the story of Wolf Alice a young girl is found in the woods by the nuns and rescued back to their convent. She is filthy and goes on all fours and huddles growling in the corner snarling at them. She doesn’t hear words of love, and never has, but she has felt the tongue of love from her wolf-mother. Though named by Wolf Alice, is she not also vitalised by Kore and so Persephone by another name? Is she not ‘the bud of flesh in the kind lion’s mouth’ (A. Carter 1979)? Untameable, she is given to the Duke who feeds on the dead, exhuming recent graves in the local churchyard at night, lurching off with a recent-bride’s torso slung over his shoulder. Death is all around her and she is unafraid. She watches the moon waxing to full and is awoken by the bleeding between her legs. The Duke of Death is ambushed and shot. And Wolf Alice, newly emerging into herself under the gentle caress of her own care, is able to share that loving touch with him. Her loving tongue soothes him as he struggles to survive the wounds of murderous intent inflicted by the humans ambushing him from the Church.
‘page of collaboration: text with tongue, distress, longing’
In The Remnants of Auschwitz Agamben delineates that which eludes being captured by words: the trauma of annihilation.
In The Unspeakable Girl Agamben’s exploration of the Eleusinian Mystery rites appears to present an alternative understanding of Persephone’s trauma as being one that leads to an experience of ecstatic re-birth. The essence of this experience refuses colonisation or interpretation, is not restricted to an elite or retained for the select, but is open to all. It cannot be transmitted or described; it can only be experienced in the body. The Kore, the young girl, the essence of vital life, is re-born from the trauma. This is Wolf Alice. This is also Little Kate being brought back to an enlivened beingness through the tiny ink drawings and the paintings.
‘Finding Little Kate’ suspended, momentarily
The paintings in this exhibition of the Unspeakable are like still-shot images from a renaissance of life out of the trauma of the once lost. They pulse with life caught momentarily in an eternal present, balanced between an impossibly uncertain past and a tremulously reached-for future.

In another small book published with the title Ninfe three years before The Unspeakable Girl, Agamben quotes Walter Benjamin’s note that the ‘image is that wherein what has been comes together in a flash with the now (jetzt) to form a constellation […] a threshold between immobility and movement.’ (Agamben 2007 p26)
Ninfe, published in translation under the title Nymphs in 2011, appears to track the spoor of the moment of coming into being as it has threaded its way through the work of artists and philosophers through the Renaissance from the Medieval to the Modern. There are instances of suspension at which this moment of coming into being can be witnessed or experienced; and these instances are unspeakable and not unconnected to trauma.
Agamben’s work makes the case that it is precisely and only in these instances of suspension that the image itself can come into being, can come to life, being rescued from what he quotes Benjamin as describing as merely ‘alienated things’ that have been ‘hollowed out’ (Agamben 2007 p28). He is making a subtle but crucial point: hollowed out alienated things are not images, they are signs emptied of all meaning, where ‘meaning’ appears as the opposite of death.
‘Angel with child (self-portrait)’: The nymph begins to acquire her soul
In Kate Walters’ work presented in this exhibition we see these images being nursed into being out of the inchoate uncertainties of her own traumatic experience which is both hers and that of all of us who, confronted with the shock of the not-understood, continue struggling towards awareness, continue pushing and being pulled towards the sun.
‘Rasa watercolour’ ‘Hiding in a wall’
As we can see in the texture and gesture of line, colour and medium, embodiment of ink or oil pigment, these moments of suspension are both powerful and fragile, constantly eluding us and on the point of disappearing. Agamben quotes Benjamin: ‘images are constellated between alienated things and incoming and disappearing meanings – are instantiated in the moment of indifference between death and meaning’ (Agamben 2007 p29). As Agamben says ‘the dialectical image holds its object suspended in a semantic void’ (Agamben 2007 p29/30).
‘Creatureliness and dreaming of you’
Our experience in that ‘semantic void’ is to witness and to have testimony of that moment impressed upon us primarily in, not through, our body’s senses. These works are themselves unspeakable because they have to be understood in the moment of being that is held in the body. They are also moments in which seeing the Medusa becomes revelatory rather than deathly.
Little Kate, as she comes into view through the ink spilling itself over the typed words of little books, brings with her something from her past and ours that gets reworked in the very act of her formation and this process of vitalization, of renaissance, appears almost epiphanic. It is for this that Little Kate is also Kore, Persephone, kissing the flower thrusting into her whole face, overwhelmed by her own sex and so vulnerable to being captured and exploited by the male gaze of patriarchal power and having to find an Eleusinian way to resist.

Persephone’s story comes to us through the Homeric poem called the ‘Hymn to Demeter’. The Hymn was an oral performance which conveyed what had happened to those listening so they would share in the experience and bear witness to its effects. Agamben quotes Albert Lord on Homeric poems: ‘an oral poem is not composed for but in performance’ (Agamben 2007 p13/14). He links this to Aby Warburg’s theory of Pathosformeln in that they too ‘are hybrids of matter and form, of creation and performance, of first-timeness (primovoltita) and repetition.’ (Agamben 2007 p14) Each repetition with which the image is brought to life, is an instance of first-timeness, because it takes place in the performative space between the work and the witness.
‘Kissing the Angel’
Aby Warburg’s theory of Pathosformeln traces the persistent and elusive appearance in pictorial art of the formulated range of gestural instances of passion. One of which, the nymph, is the subject of the 46th plate of Mnemosyne Atlas. None of the nymphs depicted in plate 46 can be considered the ‘original’ and none of them are ‘copies’, each nymph, Agamben writes, ‘is an indiscernible blend of originariness and repetition, of form and matter’ and so is ‘a being whose form punctually coincides with its matter and whose origin is indissoluble from its becoming’ and that a being such as this ‘is what we call time’. ‘Pathosformeln are made of time – they are crystals of historical memory, crystals which are ‘phantasmatized’ (in Domenico’s sense) and round which time writes its choreography.’ (Agamben 2007 p15)
Through the concentrated devotion that enables an opening of the imagination, the ‘hollowed out’ ‘alienated things’ are drawn up by an artist like Kate Walters out of the swirling memorial past into a momentary suspension on the canvas (or page) where they are infilled with the beingness of images that have ‘charged themselves with time almost to the point of exploding’ (Agamben 2007 p4), creating the threshold between immobility and movement.
‘Girl with spirit animals breathing…’ ‘into her crown’
In Warburg’s description of the nymph as also ‘an elemental spirit (Elementargeist), a pagan goddess in exile’ (Agamben 2007 p39) Agamben recognises a reference to Paracelsus’ essay ‘De nymphis, sylphis, pygmies et salamandris et caeteris spiritibus’ which explores the nature of a creature of the spirit. All of these have bodies, like animals, and can reason, like humans, but because they are also of a spirit nature they do not have souls. However, the nymph can acquire a soul by copulating with a man, and any children she might bear will also have souls (Agamben 2007 p 45).
‘I meet my Angel Out Ahead’ ‘Beatrice in Paradiso’
Agamben describes these elemental spirits as constituting ‘the ideal archetype of every separation of man from himself’ (Agamben 2007 p44). If we interpret ‘man’ and ‘himself’ as being an indeterminate gender term, we might see that the joining of the nymph with the body of the artist, and with the body of the witness, is the process by which this separation is healed. Furthermore, it is a re-enactment of the epiphanic moment that renews itself into an originary experience each time we look at one of the paintings in this exhibition of Kate Walters.
‘Third eye, third mouth. Tiny drawing in a book’
Agamben writes with reference to Averroes (aka Ibn Rushd) that ‘imagination delineates a space in which we are not yet thinking, in which thought becomes possible through an impossibility to think’ (Agamben 2007 p55-6), and that thinking is made possible by uniting (copulating) with the phantasms/images of imagination and memory, ‘which are the ultimate constituents of the human and the only avenues to its possible rescue’ (Agamben 2007 p56).
The image suspended and charged with time requires an experiential union within the poetic and imaginal body of the artist and thereafter of the witness. This is the place where meaning comes into being, where soul is made and where psychic reality is enabled to emerge. The psychic reality of who each one of us experiences ourselves to be, the collective psychic reality of our daily cultural experience, is formed by this unfolding process.

The Unspeakable: solo exhibition at Studio KIND, Braunton.

On February 24th 2023 my solo exhibition reflecting on my own and others’ experiences of trauma will open. It will feature works from the past 12 years or so, comprising watercolours, oil paintings, and works in found books as well as tiny loose drawings exploring dream imagery around trauma, loss, love, desire and longing. Some of these works have been made after and during periods of psychoanalysis. Themes of protection and descent will be explored, and an acknowledgment that we can gain great riches if we have the courage, wherewithal and support necessary to dive into the areas of ourselves which might be buried alive, frozen, grieving or wounded.

There will be short passages of writing to support the exhibition.
Here is an extract:
Trauma is being without the ability to protect yourself (you are vulnerable to predators). You allow a man you know only slightly (but have reservations about) into your home at night. He brings cans of special brew with him and you don’t know that’s a red flag. Your father didn’t teach you how to protect yourself. The young man with the beer tells you you’re beautiful before he says he’ll kill you if you don’t make him some tea. You freeze in terror, your dogs do nothing. You think of your young son upstairs in bed. You make tea for the man. You wait in agony placating him and when he’s drunk his tea you somehow get him out of the house (I don’t remember how) then you dial 999 and they come with a big van and they take him away. He makes a lot of noise when they catch him outside my house. The neighbours do nothing, say nothing.

Trauma can be loving someone who doesn’t love you in return. It’s loving when it’s hopeless, it’s loving when he hurts you over and over again, it’s loving the man who must in some way be like your father, that man whose love you needed and wanted but never received.
He’s the man who writes to you and tells you the passion, the charge between you, will never be enacted. You cry in your Venetian hotel room, soft and silent tears. Your grown son is with you, he hears your silent crying and sits up, soothing you, and telling you what you know. In the night I think he’s an angel when he brushes my arm with the lightest of touches.

Here are links to the workshop on March 18th, which will begin with a short talk on the exhibition.

Photographs by Sally Tripptree and the artist.

December 2022 Studio Notes and thoughts


At the Venice Biennale last month the first pavilion I entered was the Belgian one, this year represented by Francis Alys. I looked in the catalogue which was a facsimile of his sketchbook. In it I saw a horse standing over a reclining figure. I was reminded of my times with my horse all the days when she would stand over me as I lay curled upon her floor like hair or straw or air. (And then when I saw the photos I took on Iona on the beach holding the 360 degree camera over my head but it caught my hair laying like some strange grass or weed washed up by the sea or erupting; a strange wave of hair out of the sand).

Reading a new book in bed about dreams and Leonora Carrington I discover that she too had a close connection with horses, and one in particular from her youth: like me. We were both carried as we grew from girls into women, carried on the backs of horses.

Horse’s tongue mothering me, washing and grooming my back, my neck. How I need and needed to feel this.

Art saves. It allows for the expression of what is unconscious and what could damage our bodies. It gives holy expression to our pain and transforms.

Fathers and Animals

I’m beginning to see, thanks to my new painting, that my new father might be half animal and half man. Little Kate will be happy with this I think. She thinks about being washed by a mothers tongue like animals do. I need more Scala Pink.


I dream of watching a whale’s fin rise in the water, swim for a while, then regularly and rhythmically descend beneath the eaves. My shamanic teacher is beside me. I waken and think about the shamanic work and the dream is telling me to ask it to be with me in my work on descending.

Dream, early December

A fragment. Of a tiny hole in a wall of bricks/rubble/partial plaster( as in Italy) and the small square hole has tiny pieces of rubble and sticks in it which I had to take out. I had to go through this hole to descend to a dark place beneath. I did manage to energetically get through he hole by shape-shifting. I’m reminded of a dream from a couple of years ago, in which I had a needle stuck in my throat, and I asked the man in my life (then) to take it out for me. He was unable to accomplish it. So I did it myself, with a mirror. In the end it was not difficult, it didn’t hurt, and there was no blood.


As I drummed I saw my body full of flames, many little fires all over my body, all burning sweetly, steadily, quietly. I was told to let go of anything which distorts the flames, suppresses them or causes them to burn in a distorted or distorting way. There is a connection between the fire, flames, and music which I don’t understand yet. It’s to do with the way things grow when there is harmony; an elegance and an ease in the development of form.

In the meditation around the chakras it became clear that traces of energies which are no longer ours or which don’t belong to us or help us can be released and visualized as tiny energetic petals falling away to dust.

In my own meditation on the crown/headdress and the drawing I can now see how closely it resembles a tree and how far down the energetic roots grow. I was told I need to manifest all I’m given spiritually, and to work with an energetic staff. Having a holy appendage. Crowning different parts of the body. Maybe the breasts, belly, sexual area. Draw this…

Notes from the end of the blue notebook

Gabor Mate p 133 The Myth of Normal.

“Since emotion is the engine of maturation, when children lose their tender feelings, they become stuck in their immaturity.”

“The child’s expression of feelings cannot threaten the attachment relationship with the parents.”

“We have instilled in her the anxiety of being rejected if her emotional self were to surface.”

“By banishing feelings from awareness, we merely send them underground, a locked cellar of emotions, that will continue to haunt many lives.”

You’re shielded from grief but need joy to discover this.

Free play 1:1, agenda free vital for the development of neocortex engaging joy and imagination.


More notes

Dream on 22.12.22 about Heaven coming down into the body. Like a V or birds wings appearing to break the body in half and yet not…the Heavenly energy does not break the body, it imprints itself on the body precisely as bird’s wings, flight, might do. Or it opens a space within the cells of the body to know the vibration of Heaven within the body. This was the sense of the dream. Then I was ill, so had plenty of time to reflect on this.

Drawing Near

In September 2022 I was sitting quietly in my studio feeling vaguely agitated about something when an idea about creating and doing something positive to raise money and awareness entered the top of my head like a wedge. It wouldn’t go away.

I was waiting to see some visitors to my studio; they were bringing their daughter, who is studying at Oxford University, to see my work.
By the time my visitors arrived, I had decided to move ahead with my idea. Indeed, it wouldn’t let go of me until I made that decision.
I told my visitors about my plan, and they became the first to offer a contribution – which was: their daughter, Dulcie Havers would give a talk about her scientific research during the exhibition. (This proved to be fascinating at the event). They also promised to tell their friends… I realized early on that one of the key factors would be getting enough people to come along to buy and give their attention and energy to the event.

The next thing I did was to contact Tom at Tremenheere gallery, and Neil and Jane who own it, to ask for their permission. This was given, cheerfully, then Tom and I met to discuss dates.

I started to tell people, and to ask people to donate work or time or a skill. I became brazen about asking! Something I never could have done some years ago.

I used my network and contacted many people asking them to give talks. One early contact was with Anne-Marie Solowij, ex-Vogue journalist and driver of mini-buses to Ukraine with food and supplies for people still there, and to offer safe passage for those wishing to leave. She told me her own father had been a refugee from Ukraine many years ago. She promised to give an illustrated talk (clips are on my instagram feed).

One of my preoccupying thoughts was about which charities we should support. For various reasons I had given up on mainstream media, and I’d become a keyboard warrior and follower of many charities, scientists, researchers, advocates and activists on Twitter. Through my connections on this platform I learned about the work of several charities and situations of great need which helped me to make decisions about who we should support. As a shamanic practitioner and artist I’m keenly aware of the inter-relatedness of all living beings, so I felt clear that Extinction Rebellion should be supported; in fact it was Ocean Rebellion who came as well as representatives from XR to talk about their work and to show us the horrors – and implications – of the assaults on living systems in the oceans.

In the late summer of 2022 the flooding due to the climate catastrophe was severe in Pakistan so I felt we should support the Disasters Emergency Committee who always help in situations of dire need. Many yeas ago I was part of a team which created a fund-raising show for Freedom from Torture; it felt imperative that we support them again. We had a great speaker -Ian Pye – from the organization too (clips on Instagram).

Sometime earlier in the summer I found a fascinating essay on Twitter about the climate catastrophe and the need for us to begin to embrace catastrophic language – it being the only appropriate one for what is coming towards us, fast – by an academic in the US called Susan Kassouf. This essay helped me to hone my thinking around this topic – I was also beginning to turn my thoughts at the same time to an exhibition I have coming soon which opens on February 24th 2023 at Studio Kind in Devon – about Trauma. Catastrophe and Trauma and the ways we have of thinking about them tend to be ignored, swept under the carpet, shamed, or belittled. I wanted to find a strong (and also vulnerable) way of being with our thoughts and feelings about what is going on in the world. Rates of change are fast and demanding us to be adaptable and wide awake.

In October I taught my usual workshop on Iona, and to my great relief a number of my most passionate and dependable students offered to help run the event. Their help proved invaluable; I couldn’t have done it without them. Other current and ex-students offered to help in so many ways….

Throughout November the pressure built and works started to arrive from all over the UK. I carried on asking. A tiny few said ‘no’. It was a big ask: requesting work from artists who would get nothing in return. A very few people were put off by the mention of XR. Finding an auctioneer was hard; in the end I asked Jesse Leroy Smith who did a wonderful job and gave a stirring speech too….

I began to lose sleep feeling the pressure. I posted almost daily on various platforms to encourage contributions and footfall. I had other work to do at the same time including teaching so it all felt like a lot to carry. Then it was the handing-in day and I arrived late, after delegating. I was out and about in my car collecting work and plants and books for the event. Angela Cockayne provided copies of her new book, and plants she’s raised for us to sell. My car was full!

Newlyn Art School, Tanya Krzywinska, Penny Florence and Falmouth University helped by lending us IT equipment for the film screenings and talks.

I had around 30 emails or messages to respond to daily about various logistical arrangements for the event. I felt pretty overwhelmed. But it was great to see so much work coming in and such a wide variety. Larger pieces were particularly welcome – thank you Sophie and Charlotte!

Then it was the evening and time for me and Jesse to complete the placing. Marie-Claire Hamon and I had already had a first attempt at making some kind of order/beauty from our generous submissions.

Jesse offered a fresh eye and before long it all made sense.

The following morning Dan Pyne, Andrew Swann, Una D’Aragona and Karen Lorenz began to install. They did an amazing job. We had to do it all in one day. It was tough. Other people helped with labels and running things around.

The following day on December 2nd we opened at 11 am and the visitors began to arrive.

Dulcie Havers and her friend fellow Oxford student Jamie Walker gave powerful readings about the scientific perspective on climate change. Delpha Hadson came and entertained us with her light touch and her gorgeous music….

We had a powerful and slightly frightening performance piece about refugees by Ilker Cinarel and Penny Florence on Friday evening; after that my favourite part which was a shamanic ceremony to bring in blessings and prayers for the whole event. Photographer Alban Roinard came along and took great photos of the Friday evening’s events – free of charge….

On Saturday the visitor numbers grew and we started to make considerable numbers of sales. It was so heartening.

Readings and talks followed, by Ian Pye, Anne-Marie Solowij, Katrina Naomi, Sophie Miller, Ben Ross and Neil Scott. They were all powerful and moving. There are clips on my Instagram feed.

Kathy Wray spent two days making portrait drawings of visitors for a small fee, and she performed a dance too, moving us all away from words….

At 5 pm Jesse arrived and shortly after he gave a profound and hilarious speech urging us all to win our heart’s desire by buying them a piece of art…fortunately there were several couples where love bestowed generosity upon their hearts; and high bids. It was great.

By around 6.30 pm it was all over and then the big task of counting and checking began.

And the tidying up!

Most of us were extremely tired but we had to leave the gallery in good order so our cold Sunday morning was spent making good the walls and wrapping and packing unsold works – many of which are still at my home waiting for possibly another event to be run next time by a larger team in another part of Cornwall….

My sincere and unending thanks to all who helped in so many ways.

But especially to Nikki Kenna, Sally Tripptree and Karen Lorenz.

Photos and clips on my Instagram feed: