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A Hebridean Creative Retreat

An Island Creative Rejuvenation

21st – 26th September 2020

 

Retreat details

There is a special magic that is embued in the Hebridean islands, a quality of air, light, feeling of sereneness and nowhere can this be felt more clearly than Iona.  Once visited it is forever in your heart and I cannot think of a better way to explore it than through a creative process.  Combining storytelling and art we very much look forward to welcoming you on this special retreat back into nature, a truly uplifting experience.

sea stack mixed mediaFern print

Some of the highlights

  • Learn to monoprint through a series of creative workshops in the surroundings of a beautiful byre by the sea, time to create some special images inspired by your time on Iona
  • Connect to the land through listening to a master storyteller weaving magic into the landscape and bringing ancient tales back to life
  • Learn to become a storyteller yourself a truly exciting experience and option to make your own story book
  • Follow storytelling adventures across the land of Iona walking in the footsteps of saints. Treading on some of the oldest rocks on the planet, understand how these beautiful rocks with their stunning colours were created
  • Explore the mighty Fingal’s cave on the Isle of Staffa, one of the wonders of the world, immortalised in Mendelssohn’s Hebridean overture
  • Delve into the past at the Hermits cell and Well of the North Wind. or take a walk up Iona’s holy hill to the Well of Eternal Youth
  • Relax on the magical white shell sand beaches backed by a turquoise sea, breathe in the wonderful air and absorb the very special tranquil atmosphere that personifies Iona
  • Kick those shoes off and leave this special place feeling really recharged

Find the artist in you!

Create your own story book

 

Your Artists in Residence

Linda Jackson

Linda Jackson grew up in Yorkshire and moved to Scotland to study Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, graduating in 1993. She has been making, exhibiting, and teaching art since then, for several years at Fettes College in Edinburgh. She located to Cellardyke in 2007 and has been Artist in Residence at St Leonards School in St Andrews since then.

She is also one half of The Great Little Art Co, a portable printmaking studio, set up in 2017, with the aim of bringing printmaking classes to local communities and making art accessible for all.

Her work is based around the expressive use of colour and mark making, using a wide variety of painting and collage materials. Most pieces incorporate some form of printmaking as a starting point, either images put onto photosensitive silkscreen stencils or monotypes painted directly onto aluminium sheets and then put through a press. She then cuts, collages, paints, scratches and draws to build up layers to create the feeling that she wants.

Term:
Collagraphy (sometimes spelled collography) is a printmaking process in which materials are applied to a rigid substrate (such as paperboard or wood). The word is derived from the Greek word koll or kolla, meaning glue, and graph, meaning the activity of drawing. … The resulting print is termed a collagraph.

Lisa Schneidau

Lisa is a storyteller and environmentalist based on Dartmoor in Devon. Lisa trained as an ecologist and has worked in British nature conservation for over twenty years, in roles as diverse as farm advisor, lobbyist and conservation director. Since 2012 she has worked with Devon Wildlife Trust, leading the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area programme.

Lisa’s storytelling is a warm mix of ancient tale and keen observation of the natural world, with an eye for the seasons and an ear for the voices of the ancestors. With over twenty five years of experience of working in wildlife conservation, Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge and infectious enthusiasm to her audience. She tells stories at festivals, nature reserves, arts centres and schools, and is a founding member of the Red Alachigh (Red Tent).

Lisa is the author of Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland (History Press, 2018) and the forthcoming Woodland Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland (History Press, due September 2020). 

“…Lisa captivates her audience, and makes you ponder whether the land always has a tale to be told and a voice to be heard…” Beaford Arts
 

Your host

 
 
Sarah Ewing will be your host for the week, she has spent many years exploring the Hebrides and lives on the Ross of Mull and will ensure your week is as relaxing and special as it can be. Sarah is a strong believer in the practice of mindful observation and contemplation to find what lies beneath the surface of an object. Her greatest passion is being able to show others what this beautiful planet has to offer.
 

Week Outline

During the week you will learn how to monoprint and explore the art of storytelling, culminating in the option for you to create your own storybook, just all great fun.

Monoprinting and collagraphy are suitable for everyone from beginners to experienced artists. All materials are provided working in the beautiful surroundings of a Hebridean island. Learn how to ink up aluminium plates to put through the printing press and create your own series of prints. We will show you different ways to apply printing ink onto Perspex with rollers and brushes and how to create impressions with plant forms and textures. Make your own series of original prints.

Storytelling is an age-old tradition. Traditional stories passed down through the generations include folk tales, fairy tales, myths, epics and stories of how it all began. Part of the craft of good storytelling is to really get into the heart of a story, honour the community and the place it has come from, and bring it alive in ways that directly connect with the people listening in the here and now.

West side of Iona beach

Iona’s landscape is full of places to get creative inspiration from the beautiful white sandy beaches to the very atmospheric 12th century Nunnery, the 13th century Iona Abbey and St Oran’s Chapel and the royal burial mound of Scotland’s Kings, St Oran’s chapel has incredible acoustics if you fancy singing!   A walk up Dun I, a holy hill and the highest point on Iona gives you a sense of the whole island.  From the top there are incredible views to the surrounding islands and up towards the Isle of Skye, Eigg, Rum and Muck. Standing on Dun I looking over the Hebridean islands North and South is quite a humbling and fulfilling experience. There is also a sacred holy well perched on its peak named Well of Eternal Youth, with many tales linked to it and we will explore these places through Celtic Mythology and story.  All these places give ample opportunity to fire the imagination for your artistic creations.

View from top of IonaView over the Sound of Iona with boats

 

Arriving on Iona

You can travel to the Isle of Iona, by train, ferry, bus or car. Information on connections provided.   Upon arrival on the island a warm welcome awaits you at the much loved Argyll hotel and time to settle into your wonderful island home…….time to relax, walk on the white sandy beaches then meet with your fellow guests for an evening welcome dinner.

Seafood Storm Island North of Iona seabirds

Day 2 and onwards

Great connection can be made to the landscape through the art of storytelling, we will cover themes from the islands, Celtic mythology and nature in a morning welcome session, then we will head out to explore the landscape and discover stories within the landscape.

Afterwards, we will venture onto the North of the island to visit a very special award-winning island eco croft.  We will meet with the croft owner who will explain how sustainable farming practices and working in harmony with the land can enrich the landscape creating a diverse habitat, rich in wildlife.  The talk will also include tales about the Western seaboard and ancient maritime traditions in the area, you will gain an understanding of interconnectedness of the islands and how the sea is the highway of this place. right the way from Ireland in the South up to Orkney, Shetland, the Faroe Islands and on to Scandinavia in the North, giving you a different geographic perspective of this sea-bound landscape.    Many artists are drawn to this end of the island for its light qualities and the stunning different coloured rocks with ‘streams’ of green and red serpentine in them. It is a great place just to sit and contemplate or gather little finds for your first creative afternoon in which we will begin to explore the wonderful techniques of monoprinting and collagprahy.

Sunset view of Iona

The rest of the week will follow a similar structure with different themes and time to explore including a fantastic trip to the island of Staffa and chance to see dolphins and seals on the way and lots of seabirds.  There will be a morning workshop on learning the art of storytelling. Each evening there will be group dinners and one evening with a special treat of creation tales by the hearth with Lisa. Over the course of the week there will be the option to weave your artworks into a storybook, but this is very much optional – its your creative week and experience and we will help you create it into whatever you wish.

 

 

Staffa

Staffa is an incredible site to behold towering hexagonal basaltic columns and experience the mighty presence of Fingal’s cave a natural wonder matched with the Giants Causeway in Ireland. You will be struck by the colours and majesty of the place. Make sure to stop at the Wishing Chair on the way to the cave, legend says you are allowed three wishes there! A fine place for storytelling and much creative inspiration.  Please be aware the day of this trip might change due to weather conditions.

Staffa

“ I have seen a temple not made with hands”  Sir Robert Peel 1837

Staffa - Fingals and Mackinnon's caves Waves one Staffa

During the week there is also the possibility of a relaxing reflexology session with highly experienced island reflexologist (at an additional charge).

At creative week’s end

Say farewell to your new found friends and catch the ferry back to Mull to return to the mainland and your onward adventures.

“Some feelings are to mortals given
With less of earth in them than heaven.”  

Sir Walter Scott

Accommodation

Your accommodation for the week will be at the very homely Argyll hotel, it nestles into the village street and has wonderful views over the Sound of Iona and is a great place to relax.

As a the hotel was built in the 1800’s you will find rooms in the main building of the hotel all different unique shapes and sizes; the rooms are not the biggest but they are cosy and comfortable. Your accommodation is in Single rooms or a Garden double if you are sharing and are found in the annex of the Hotel. There are a variety of bathrooms, some with just baths, some with showers over baths and some with walk in showers. The retreat week is fully catered, including a two course evening meal from their delicious daily changing menu, with vegetables from their organic garden, local shell fish, sustainably landed fish and local crofters lamb, pork and beef where available. If specific facilities or dietary requirements are needed please add as extra comments when booking.

Bedroom at Argyll HotelArgyll foodArgyll Hotel

Please do get in contact for any further information or to book your place go to the pricing and booking section tab at the top of the page.  The retreat is limited to only 10 places so be sure to reserve early and we look forward to welcoming you to your Hebridean creative rejuvenation. For more information on the Argyll hotel, please visit their website.

 

 

Your artists in residence

 

Linda Jackson

Linda Jackson grew up in Yorkshire and moved to Scotland to study Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, graduating in 1993. She has been making, exhibiting, and teaching art since then, for several years at Fettes College in Edinburgh. She located to Cellardyke in 2007 and has been Artist in Residence at St Leonards School in St Andrews since then.

She is also one half of The Great Little Art Co, a portable printmaking studio, set up in 2017, with the aim of bringing printmaking classes to local communities and making art accessible for all.

Her work is based around the expressive use of colour and mark making, using a wide variety of painting and collage materials. Most pieces incorporate some form of printmaking as a starting point, either images put onto photosensitive silkscreen stencils or monotypes painted directly onto aluminium sheets and then put through a press. She then cuts, collages, paints, scratches and draws to build up layers to create the feeling that she wants.

Term:
Collagraphy (sometimes spelled collography) is a printmaking process in which materials are applied to a rigid substrate (such as paperboard or wood). The word is derived from the Greek word koll or kolla, meaning glue, and graph, meaning the activity of drawing. … The resulting print is termed a collagraph.

 

Lisa Schneidau

Lisa is a storyteller and environmentalist based on Dartmoor in Devon. Lisa trained as an ecologist and has worked in British nature conservation for over twenty years, in roles as diverse as farm advisor, lobbyist and conservation director. Since 2012 she has worked with Devon Wildlife Trust, leading the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area programme.

Lisa’s storytelling is a warm mix of ancient tale and keen observation of the natural world, with an eye for the seasons and an ear for the voices of the ancestors. With over twenty five years of experience of working in wildlife conservation, Lisa brings a wealth of knowledge and infectious enthusiasm to her audience. She tells stories at festivals, nature reserves, arts centres and schools, and is a founding member of the Red Alachigh (Red Tent).

Lisa is the author of Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland (History Press, 2018) and the forthcoming Woodland Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland (History Press, due September 2020). 

“…Lisa captivates her audience, and makes you ponder whether the land always has a tale to be told and a voice to be heard…” Beaford Arts
 

Your host

Sarah Ewing will be your host for the week, she has spent many years exploring the Hebrides and lives on the Ross of Mull and will ensure your week is as relaxing and special as it can be. Sarah is a strong believer in the practice of mindful observation and contemplation to find what lies beneath the surface of an object. Her greatest passion is being able to show others what this beautiful planet has to offer.

Pricing and Booking

The total cost of the week creative retreat is £1575

This price is based on single occupancy due to Covid-19 restrictions.

A deposit of £350 will secure your place on the retreat; reservations are accepted on a first come first serve basis.  The balance must be paid 20 days before the start date of the retreat. If the balance is not paid by this date, we reserve the right to regard the reservation as cancelled.  This special retreat is limited to 10 places only and we expect demand to be high so book as soon as you can confirm your plans.  Due to the extenuating circumstances we are in, there will be a flexible cancellation policy due to Covid, including full refund up to 7 days prior to retreat.

To book the retreat, please click on the link below and you will be taken to a registration form and upon completion you will be guided to a payment page through PayPal’s secure site.

We very much look forward to welcoming you on your special trip to the Hebrides!

 

Book Now

 

What is included in the tour?

  • Overnight accommodation in a beautiful island hotel fully catered for including two course evening meal. 
  • Intimate workshop group 10 people maximum
  • Hearty Scottish breakfasts, packed lunches and two course dinners
  • Personal full-time artists to guide you through creating your art pieces
  • Creative storytelling mornings out in nature and evenings by the hearth
  • Personal  tour guides with expert local knowledge
  • All transportation costs to sites listed on the Itinerary

For more details please see additional information

Additional Information

What is included in the tour?

  • Accommodation in a beautiful island home with its own housekeeper. Fees are based on double occupancy, single occupancy at an extra charge.
  • Intimate tour group 10 people maximum
  • Hearty Scottish breakfasts
  • Lunches and dinner as noted on the tour
  • Artisan food and craft ale/cider tasting
  • Admissions to all attractions listed on the tour itinerary
  • All transportation to sites listed on the itinerary
  • Personal full-time tour guides with expert local knowledge

What is not included?

  • Airfare (we can offer guidance on best ways to book)
  • Expenses before and after the tour
  • Lunches and dinners (except where specified)
  • Any side trips or excursions guest do outside of the set itinerary
  • Gifts, souvenirs, laundry, cleaning, telephone calls, telexes, faxes, cables, wines, liquors, beer, mineral water, soft drinks and incidental expenditures
  • Porterage – we carry our own bags, always
  • Tips for tour guides, hotel staff

Weather 

Scotland is a land of sunshine, mists, wind, rain and anything else it feels like doing.  Conditions can change quickly but tours will not be cancelled due to poor weather. There might be slightly altered itineraries but workshops will still go ahead.  The most important thing is to be prepared for all weather conditions to ensure you are comfortable.  Some of the most amazing photos can be taken just before or after storms the light can be incredibly intense and certainly brings you closer to nature!  Highland locals would say it is possible to experience all four seasons in one day and if you don’t like the weather – just wait 20 minutes!

What to bring

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Walking pole (if required)
  • Sturdy shoes or walking boots
  • Rucksack
  • Diary and paints if you like to record your trip
  • Swimming Costume/Trunks – yes people do swim in Scotland! 

What is the Cancellation Policy

In the event of cancellation before 21st August 2020, full refund after this date, your deposit will only be refunded if your place is filled by someone else, in which case it will be refunded minus an administration fee. 

In the event of cancellation on or after 21st  August 2020, no refunds will be issued unless your place can be filled by someone else, in which case all monies paid will be refunded, minus an administration fee.

All cancellations must be received in writing.

Smoking Policy

Please note all properties we stay in, follow a strict no smoking policy, no smoking is allowed on or near the properties or whilst in transit from site to site.  Scotland has strict no smoking laws.  It is now illegal to smoke in and around accommodation and public interiors. To make it comfortable for all on our tours no smoking is allowed at the tours sites either.

Travel Insurance

We recommend you take out travel insurance.

In line with government and industry Covid-19 standards, Celtic Compass confirms it has ensured processes are in place to maintain compliance with the guidelines and all necessary risk assessments have been undertaken.