Shamanic Work

I recently held a Solstice shamanic workshop in my studio; I do this each year, every December Solstice.

   Photos credit Sally Tripptree

Here are some notes about my ‘hollow bone’ drawing process:

Kate Walters: Becoming the hollow bone

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 trained in classical shamanism for seven years, completing my training around 12 years ago; since then I’ve worked with groups and individuals to bring healing and vision to hidden or problematic areas of people’s lives.

I 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 make a drawing/monotype or watercolour and /or notes which I then speak about, and I give this drawing to the person I’ve been working with.

Duration: Each session takes approx. 25 – 35 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
March 2015

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.

    Photos credit Sarah Sparkes

My next shamanic art course will be held at The School for Art and Wellbeing, from July 24th – 27th, with an optional day on the 28th, to have a 1:1 ‘hollow bone’ session with me.

In the course we will focus on trees, plants and the creatures they support, from a shamanic perspective. We’ll draw, listen, make notes and paintings about our experience of tuning into this excquisite, balanced ecosystem.

Here is the link:

Kate Walters – Working with the wisdom of trees, plants and creatures | 4 Day course | July