“The Creative is Round, the Creative is Heaven”: Workshops for 2023 (and thoughts, themes about 2024) with Kate Walters
Feedback from participants on my recent Iona course (October 2023). Scroll down for more…
“The Iona retreat with Kate was an incredible opportunity to shape new ideas and learn how to track and pursue colours, creativity and inner knowings. Kate is an amazing artist and mentor – with a very special ability to help you ask good questions. Then, with drumming, music, ritual, laughter, sharing and respect, she helps you feel brave and supported enough to pursue them, and let yourself be surprised by where they take you. The result was that as a group we grew a true sense of kinship, while on an individual level I learned trust as a way of knowing, and discernment as a way of looking. Now I approach my art and poetry as part of a more interesting and intentional conversation, and feel I can better find my way to the wellspring.” Emma, University of Dundee.
“I have worked with Kate on several workshops, most recently on Iona and in Devon, my third time working with her on Iona.
On her workshops there is a weaving of richness, knowledge and generosity from Kate that I have rarely encountered elsewhere. Much of my own work is inspired by an emotional response to the landscape and when working with Kate I continue to be surprised how much of an opening and deepening to a different realm of creativity there is as the threads of journeying, meditation and creation come together, thus I found myself stitching local woven wool, with found shells and bone from Iona’s North beach!
I would highly recommend working with Kate to anyone who is interested in an authentic way of exploring their creativity and their relationship to life. The work is held in a vessel of safety, compassion and openness and people new to this way of working are always welcome.”
‘Kate’s Isle of Iona course will I think remain a significant and valuable life experience for me for years to come. Drawing together the threads of landscape, spirituality and creativity Kate guided our group with openhearted acceptance to journey into ourselves and our possibilities. A week flowing between solitary exploration of a ‘thin’ place ,of Celtic, Christian and ecological significance and transformative group sessions of shamanic practice, contemplation and art. Brilliant and highly recommended.’
Terese Tubman , GP and artist
Solstice Workshops in 2023:
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 https://artandwellbeing.co.uk/ , 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.
photo by Sally Tripptree
Course outlines with dates for 2023:
Little child, Inner child.
April 15th, 16th, 17th (Saturday, Sunday, Monday).
“No law shall be passed that will harm the children.” Native American ancient law.
We each have an inner child. Some inner children feel happy and safe and are well integrated. Others may be less happy and can affect our adult waking lives in ways that are less productive. Artists who thrive are in touch with their inner children and indeed being an artist means that you need to have this part of yourself very alive and ready to play, explore, be attentive to new things, and see connections in a creative way.
On this course you will practice ways of giving a voice to your inner child. You will listen to your inner child and check on his or her needs and wants. You will work with your dreams, with play, with drawing, writing, colour and maybe dance too.
You’ll draw pictures of – and for – your inner child at various stages of development, and will invite her or him into age-appropriate dialogues.
£325 This course was fully booked.
Eros, Psyche & sacred sexuality.
June 10th, 11th and 12th – Saturday, Sunday, Monday.
In this workshop we’ll explore the potency of the erotic life of the body and where it overlaps and intersects with the erotic life of the earth. We’ll think about areas of our lives and bodies that have been numb or injured.
We will bring our shamanic, dreaming bodies to meet our creative-in-the-world-selves; we’ll feel into experiences which burst open on the edges of our awareness, in a dream or trance state. We’ll consider how the erotic life of the earth – as manifested in creatures, plants and invisible beings – shows itself to us in images of interpenetration; we will find our own organs of perception and we will tune them to the humming of the earth and the invisible ones.
We will work with life force and selected texts including Psyche and Eros as interpreted by Erich Neumann. We’ll think about what it could mean to descend, to be tested. What we might find there, in our own cave or underground chamber. We’ll look at the myths of Persephone, Inanna, and possibly others such as Medusa. We’ll think about the imagery of natural cycles, and our own creative responses in drawing, painting and writing. We’ll work with shamanic journeying to help extend and ignite our imaginations and inner knowing.
We’ll think about the importance of Eros in our lives: The Sacred Lover – we’ll make shamanic journeys to aid us in drawing, writing, feeling our way into our sacred sexuality; and to understand further the gifts of sacred darkness and ineffable light (in the body/world/solar system/star).
Dreaming and ways to deeper Vision.
October 21st, 22nd and 23rd 2023
In this shamanic workshop we’ll consider portals to Vision and transformation as well as the need to periodically rest and hibernate. We will learn how to look for ways through, where it is darkest and perhaps most frightening. We will consider myths around Queens and Kings, mares and stallions, as well as other creaturely helpers with creativity and vision. We’ll reflect on cycles and re-birth. We will work with the forms of flowers and crystals to help us.
On this course you will learn how to work with spirit and animal guides and we will use drawing and color and maybe dance too. This course is fully booked.
In all the courses we will tune into our dreaming world; animal voices, spirit voices, plant voices; we’ll ask them to help us expand our awareness of numinous worlds.
We’ll look at sacred texts and images and read them in a new way; we will respond creatively to words and music, perhaps making our own icons and passages of writing which reflect our sense of approaching the sublime. I will supply a range of images and texts which are considered iconic for you to work from, or you can create your own, perhaps inspired by automatic drawing in a shamanic journey.
Photos credit Sally Tripptree
I dreamed of you painting; you were ecstatic. 2022
Isle of Iona dates for 2023: October 3rd – 10th (Tuesday to Tuesday, as for most years). This course is fully booked. Please contact me to be placed on the waiting list. Double, single and shared rooms are available.
The work we do is deeply immersive and transformative.
Here is some feedback from recent courses.
“I don’t think I’ve ever found a creative course or retreat so helpful, deep and stimulating as this. It was a perfect balance of being caringly held with structured activity and being set free to explore inner and outer landscapes. I was amazed by the power of the drum to bring mythopoetic imagery so quickly and vividly to mind, and the prompts you gave for our questioning were profound and clear, and they built up progressively over the days of journeying. I particularly appreciated walking as a serpent, painting to music, and browsing books, as well as the Hollow Bone session.”
Feedback from Inner child course in April 2023
Here is my review of your marvellous healing course (from Zillah Harford):
Kate Walters’ course called Little Child, Inner Child truly hit the mark. Throughout the three days, Kate skilfully took our eager group of 14 people into intentional journeyings and meditations with her shamanic gifts and guidance. During these experiences, I seemed to fly with an angel, catching glimpses of shimmering white and flashes of red feathers amidst the delicious taste of free-flowing imagination, creativity, and stillness.
On her course, I was excited by synchronicity, surprise, and inspiration from the multitudinous abyss. I wholeheartedly embraced my infant/child self through music, poetry, dancing, and painting. I unburdened myself from past wounds. Indeed, the whole time with Kate was like an invocation of acceptance, hope, and self-discovery that left me feeling uplifted and renewed.
Feedback from the Warrior Workshop. April 2022 (more feedback is below, please scroll down)
Well where to start… There are no words to convey how grateful I am to you, I wish I could explain what I’ve been going through these last few days since I left the tent with you wonderful women! I know you made me complete in our healing session, but since then I know know how complete I am. What you did for me is the ultimate kindness and compassion that a human can have, and the world is blessed to have you walk the earth. Since our healing session I can’t explain to you how much joy I feel sparkling in my heart and a thirst for life is bursting out from within…..
I am seeing the world with new eyes, seeing it for the first time again. The first day back I went straight to the forest and I can’t explain how much magic I witnessed. The forest was my playground and I was dancing through it with pure joy and excitement and absolute AWE. I don’t feel any deep rooted fear or anxiety that has been a constant shadow over me for so long. Both my assistants even said how calm and rooted I feel and that they don’t recognise this version of me 😂. I am so used to living with a lingering fear of ‘something’, I can’t quite believe it is simply not there anymore . And it isn’t ! It really and truly isn’t 😁 all I feel is pure joy and excitement about every little thing around me. And awe of the world. I used to write stories and poetry since I was a little child… books and books of writing! And since my mid 20’s I stopped writing (never knew why, just assumed I was getting old so losing my free spirited magic). For years I have said ‘I miss me’ … and I never pondered what that actually meant. I just really really missed ‘me’. Well the first day back after the healing session with you, I went to the forest and lay down in the midst of nature and my first poem just flowed out of me like water dancing out of an ocean. I want to give you that poem. I can’t believe I wrote. I haven’t written anything spontaneous in years – I’ve only been re-writing over and over again my old writings. And now everything is just flowing from Heart.
I’m also having a difference in vision, like I am looking through new eyes (or not ‘new’.. I can’t find the word for it). I was walking through the forest and ended up walking through the most magic and divine and beautiful part that I have never ever been before. I felt inexplicable joy there and an overwhelming sense of honour to be faced with such Beauty. The forest kept showing me little gems of glistening magic. As I walked away I turned back for one last glimpse of it and I couldn’t believe it is the exact route I have literally walked through every day for the past year. I can’t explain what this was, but it was definitely somewhere I hadn’t seen before, like the most beautiful magical fairyland you play in as a child.. yet it was just the same path I have always walked ..? Ah sorry I can’t explain this in human words, I wish I could but I don’t think it matters. I guess I’m just trying to say thank you, because this definitely comes from you. My new eyes. And open heart. Joyful heart. It’s like my eyes can see a more delicate thread/web of life, our world, that my dense eyes haven’t been able to see for a long long time. Maybe ever? And I am most certainly dancing through my days now with childlike sparkling JOY. That I absolutely thank you for and will remember this gift of kindness from you for the rest of my life. Lots and lots and lots of pure Love to you Kate 💖 From Hana Shahnavaz, Artist.
To book or for further information about venues or bursaries please email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
My background and training in Shamanic technique and practice:
My first introduction to shamanic practice was through my dreams, around 35 years ago. I experienced ‘big’ dreams which seemed to be transpersonal and were highly instructive to me. When I moved to Cornwall 22 years ago I sought a shamanic trainer: Chris Luttichau, of Northern Drum. I worked with Chris for some years, learning so much from him, and after a while I worked alongside him as a healer-practitioner. I also devised my own way of working with the ‘hollow bone’ by employing my drawing and writing skills alongside the shamanic reality which opened for me.
Here are some notes about my ‘hollow bone’ drawing process:
Becoming the hollow bone is a shamanic term which describes the process whereby the practitioner applies her focus to becoming a vessel or channel for images and messages to come through. The ego and personality are respectfully asked to stand aside.
I’ve learned to work with my intention to go into numinous and hidden areas.
I use my left hand, closed eyes, and rapid drum beat to explore the pathways of images’ arrival in my awareness. I do not ‘hunt’ them, but rather invite them to arrive.
With co-creators I ‘ride’ on my drum (also known as the shaman’s horse) to invite their inner lives to come forward as the drawn mark.
Co-creators sit near me, after they have told me the aspects of their lives which they require help with. This could be bringing understanding to a traumatic event, or to be released from such an event; bringing comprehension and forgiveness to a parent or partner, or help with de-coding a dream or memory.
After a short period of intense ‘tuning-in’ with my drum (and usually, shamanic journeying), I notes which I then speak about, and to the person I’ve been working with.
Duration: Each session takes approx. 45 minutes.
On ‘becoming the hollow bone’….
“Kate Walters’ fascinating new departure, which she brilliantly calls “becoming the hollow bone”, takes audience participation to a new level. Showcased in the summer in Hoxton, and most recently at the Espacio in London, participants are brought into the making of the work. The artist sits with her subject in the gallery (or indeed, anywhere) and “channels” them to create a unique monotype, which the person can take away with them. This is much deeper than setting work up to which people can respond in various ways. Yet – and this is the real master stroke – though the “audience” is brought right into the making of the work, the artist remains in the key rôle. This is no dilution of the artist, but rather a true sharing of her talent. Gallery, visitor, artist, artwork: they are all changed. I felt privileged and moved to witness it.”
Professor Penny Florence
I’ve performed my ceremonial ‘hollow bone’ work in many places, here is a selection:
At The Ghost Tide exhibition, in London; Glasgow School of Art, Jam on the Marsh Music Festival (three times); The Big Art Herstory Project in London, and with Marc Almond to create all the original drawings for his album Velvet Trail.
Here is some more feedback from recent and current participants:
Having Kate as a mentor has allowed a fundamental shift in my wellbeing as an artist and how I view both myself and my creative path. Whether on a workshop in Iona or on a one to one in person or by Zoom, I always feel held, always feel listened to and have always been guided gently to the point I am meant to be at. Its always about the art… but yet its not. Thats what I love and appreciate.
Today I pay tribute to the mesmerising work and soul of artist Kate Walters. I met Kate a few years ago when she led a painting workshop I attended at the Newlyn School of Art and I fell in love with her work and her fascinating approach to her art. For me, Kate epitomises the fearlessness of a warrior goddess, she is bold and brave, warm and generous hearted. This, and much more, is represented in her work, which calls you to step you into a deeper relationship with yourself and the world around you. In some ways she may well be ahead of her time, but I think she is one of the most exciting artists to be creating out of Cornwall right now. Kate is a true inspiration and it is an honour to be featuring her work on my new website. Thank you dear Kate.
Dr Alice Laskey
If you are looking for authentic ways to consider and develop your art practice, I highly recommend anyone who is thinking about taking up the opportunity to work alongside Kate. Her workshops will enable you to tap in unknown energies , if you allow yourself , and your work will take on a different life and a new journey will begin. Kate is kind, respectful and her workshops are well planned and considered. Kate provides you with access to a wide range of relevant reading and resources that can support you in th development of your thoughts and ideas. Kate is generous of self and always willing to offer you extra space and time to consider you work … I would recommend any workshop she facilities , she welcomes all levels of practice and mediums, the experience will be life changing.
I cannot wait to attend her new workshops in Devon and meeting likeminded artists , as Kate is excited to begin her new journey, I am also excited to be part of her new experience and will be attending with and an open heart and high energy curiosity.
‘Kate is the most grounded and challenging mentor I’ve had in my life, her powerful reflections always bear some heavy fruit.’
Artist and Director of Studio Kind
‘Kate has been the most influential tutor on my work and development as an artist; and though I can count the time we spent together in hours, her guidance, ideas and sensibility continue to guide me today. That this is happening two years on from when we reviewed my work I think is remarkable, and a testament to the quality of her teaching.
She does not instruct you, although she can (her knowledge of art history and thought, materials, processes and techniques is hugely impressive and she is more than happy to share it to resolve technical problems). Rather I found her to be the best kind of tutor : I think the Japanese word is sensei – a master practitioner who encourages through insight and example, and who, from an authentic connection with what she does and the limitless natural and spiritual world around her, helps you understand and find your own voice.’
Abstract Intuitive Artist
If you want to access those spiritual places, thought processes and energies that are so vital to setting free the creative process then sign up for a course with Kate Walters .
Over the last two years I have been privileged to have her as mentor and experience with her shamanic guidance the unique island of Iona, which was thrilling .
She is gifted with steely resilience to plough her own artistic furrow and inspires you to free yourself of the inhibitions that hold you back. I am very lucky to have found her.
Kate creates the most inspiring and magical space in her workshops. Her approach is holistic and goes far beyond simply teaching a well-rehearsed technique. She is attentive to everyone’s particular circumstances and is incredibly perceptive and gentle. I’ve attended many of her workshops and each time I leave with a renewed sense of wonder and creative enrichment.
Professor, Digital Games
Editor, Games and Culture http://gac.sagepub.com
I just want to thankyou for the amazing time I had with you in Newlyn. I’m not sure exactly what happened but I feel like I’ve been gently nudged back into the groove that I’m supposed to be in.. It was a lovely group of women and the landscape was astounding. I think I said at the time that it was really interesting to be earth focused as usually for me (and almost everyone else) Cornwall is all about the sea. I felt very earthed and connected and profoundly aware of all the people who have lived and worked and worshipped and danced there before us.
You are such an inspirational woman and artist, so powerful and authentic that you elevated the whole experience to way beyond just learning to monoprint.
On my journey home I decided to try for the MA (something I’ve pondered for a while but previously lacked the confidence to act on) and it was entirely due to being with you and the others. I had a taste of how it would feel to push boundaries and deepen my quest to unleash my true voice which is something I ordinarily have neither the time nor the head space nor the fearlessness to contemplate .
I do my very best to run all workshops in a Covid-safe way, with much of the work outdoors; if indoors masks will be worn, good ventilation employed, and every care taken. For everybody’s safety I prefer it if participants have been vaccinated, but I cannot insist on this.