Living on the Edge: An Expressive Arts Retreat for Navigating Difficult Times
We are living in particularly challenging times. This retreat is a gift to yourself of a beautiful container, a safe space to explore, draw, play, experiment, rest, release and let go.
You will be held in this space by Hillary Johnson (Chicago, USA) and Katie Sollohub (Sussex, UK) - both highly experienced Arts and Meditation practitioners, who will guide and nourish you over the course of two and a half days, while you immerse yourself in the spectacular landscape of the Seven Sisters Country Park at Cuckmere. No experience necessary, all materials and food will be provided, just bring yourselves, an open heart and a willing mind.
As sensitive, creative souls we might often find ourselves walking along that edge between heartbreak and beauty. This course is for you if you answer yes to any of the following:
are you constantly holding space for others?
would you love someone else to hold space for you, a safe space for all your emotions, the comfortable and the uncomfortable?
do you feel like you are living in a state of high alert?
do you crave some time for yourself?
are you feeling stressed, in your life or in your art practice?
would you like some practical support and guided exercises for you to work with in everyday life?
do you need to heal your body, heart, mind, energy?
would you like to connect more with nature/beauty?
This retreat offers a restorative weekend of deep rest, healing, and creative expression through guided meditation, walking the land, silence and a range of experimental drawing exercises to help you reconnect with yourself and the beauty of your surroundings.
When: From 4pm on Friday 5th August to 4.30pm Sunday 7th August 2022 (Accommodation is not included but we can offer advice on where to stay locally. All food and materials are provided)
Where: Coastguard Cottages, Cuckmere Haven, Near Seaford, East Sussex - directions will be sent to you on booking - please note there is a 12-15 minute walk downhill to the cottage from the carpark, uphill on the way back!
Registration and Cost: £378 including all materials and food (early bird price £324 if booked by 8 July 2022) Booking via Eventbrite
We are inviting you to join us at one of the Coastguard Cottages in Cuckmere Haven, perched on the edge of the land. Built in 1822 the cottages have been a protective presence for 200 years. The cottage only hosts one or 2 retreats a year, so this really is a unique opportunity to visit such a magical location.
Being part of a Nature Reserve, a natural floodplain and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), the location hosts phenomenal birdlife and fantastic views. The quiet pebble beach nearby is dominated by the white chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters, sitting at the mouth of the meandering River Cuckmere. Here you can literally surround yourself with natural beauty so that you can reconnect with the beauty of yourself.
You will be held with care as you enter the sacred space of this spectacular and fragile place. Throughout the retreat you will be gently guided and supported as you prepare to re-emerge into the world. The retreat will give you an opportunity to:
Unplug from all the stresses, demands, media (the cottage is off grid)
Make new friends and meet like minded people
Immerse yourself in one of the most beautiful spots in the world
Enjoy simple, nourishing, delicious vegan food prepared with love
TIMETABLE for a full timetable see below
Friday 5 August 4pm - 8pm
Saturday 6 August 10am - 4pm
Sunday 7 August 10am - 4mm
TIMETABLE - FRIDAY EVENING WELCOME
4pm arrive for tea and cake and a 5pm start
Walking tour and grounding/meditation activities
Small vegan meal of soup, salad, and fruit around a fire
7-7.30pm Closing ritual
7:30-8pm Depart while it is still light for the walk back to the carpark
(You are welcome to stay until 9pm if you wish)
9:30am arrive for coffee and flapjacks for 10am start
Morning Activities including meditation, drawing and writing
12:30 - 1.30 lunch - salad, fruits
Afternoon Activities - starting with WALKING IN SILENCE, plus meditation, drawing, writing
4pm 4.30pm Closing Ritual
9:30am arrive for coffee and flapjacks for 10am start
Morning Activities - meditation, drawing and writing
12:30 - 1.30 lunch - salad, fruits
Afternoon Activities - 1.30-2pm WALKING IN SILENCE
2-4pm Closing Rituals
4:00-4:30 Q&A and farewells
Katie lives in Shoreham by Sea in West Sussex, UK, where she revels in the coastal landscapes and swims in the sea every day. She has a background in Anthropology, Fine Art, Yoga and Meditation, and has been teaching and facilitating workshops for over 25 years. Her current research and creative practice has brought all these disciplines together, working with people both as a teacher and as a socially engaged artist, interested in the capacity for risk and the psychological, spiritual and physical health of herself and others.
Katie says: “I like to bring things alive through my creative practice, animating objects and spaces. Observation, sound and touch help me feel present, anchoring me in a place from where I can dream.” In 2020 she was awarded 1st prize in the Derwent Drawing Prize.
Her work is often marking time through ritual and routine. Working in series, connecting her daily practice of meditation to the creative process. Her current practice includes a self portrait made in the bathroom mirror straight after her routine dip in the sea each day. She has done this for 18 months now, and is continuing indefinitely. In 2021 she received Arts Council funding for Immersed, a project about cold water swimming and wellbeing, for which she swam with and painted over 70 sea swimmers in Sussex, honouring a shared love of the experience.
Katie runs regular one day workshops face to face, weekly Drawing and Meditation sessions online, and occasional short courses. You will find news on the About page of her website www.katiesollohub.co.uk/about, or follow her on Instagram @katiesollohub
Hillary Johnson is an international, interdisciplinary artist, meditation teacher and healer living by Lake Michigan in Chicago, USA. She has been facilitating workshops, teaching and offering individual coaching for over 15 years. Growing up by the ocean imbued Hillary with a deep love of our ever changing seas where she enjoys sailing, swimming and wool-gathering.
Her work and research investigates the tensions and challenges created when drastic upheavals transform or destroy delicate beauty. Her work also explores the potential for deep personal and social transformation through the healing power of art. Her life purpose is to help others evolve and expand their capacity for love, abundance, and creativity through photography, immersive installations and embodied transformational practices.
“I love to hold space for others' healing, helping them become better witnesses to their own evolution so they might discover and fulfil their potential. I believe our greatest work is creating the most beautiful lives we can, so we can heal and share our gifts with others. To me the greatest tragedy would be getting to the end of one’s life and not having fully done what one was put here to do.”
Hillary’s work often involves creating experiences and rituals to witness, name and celebrate the deep inner process of healing and connecting. Her current practice is a global movement called, The Waters We Swim In, a ritual of transformation which combines meditation, powerful questions and immersion in water for deep healing. The resulting photos which each participant receives serve as daily reminders of their inner beauty, expansive capacity and sovereignty.
Participants in Living on the Edge Retreat are invited to radically deepen their healing experience with a private session of The Waters We Swim In with Hillary before or after the retreat, at a special price just for those in attendance. The Waters We Swim In is a peaceful, bespoke experience that creates space for you to reconnect with your own inner goodness so that you can unleash your gifts and do the work you were meant to do. To inquire and arrange your session, book a complimentary consultation with Hillary.
Hillary leads meditation and creativity workshops online and face to face, as well as periodic retreats around the world. You can learn more about her on her website https://www.hillaryjohnsonphoto.com/ , and follow her on Instagram @hillaryjohnsonthephotographer
“Katie’s breathing exercises were surprisingly powerful, connecting with a feeling I didn’t know was there. With my eyes closed making marks in response to the rhythms of my breath I felt a greater connection to my inner self”
“ Thank you Katie for being so daring and honestly so. It is for me your voice which holds the space in silence. Thank you so much for sharing your journey and learning with us as it is happening.”
"I’ve had the best January because of you Katie…it’s just been brilliant. Tuesdays are now like the magic tuesday. You’ve unlocked something, so thanks a million"
“Thank you Katie for reminding me what's important and what's not.”
FOR THE WATERS WE SWIM IN
“Hillary immediately put me at ease and I placed my trust in her completely. Even as the waves were pushing me towards the shore. This water experience was beyond anything I could have envisioned.”
"The Waters We Swim In" is a retreat toward calm and reflection during these turbulent times.”
“I am still swimming in the magical experience we had this morning. Being part of “The Water We Swim In” is incredibly meaningful. Thank you for a magical experience that healed my soul and reconnected me to the universe.”
Daniel Martin Is the current steward of the property and will be taking care of the container as you practice. He will also be preparing the food (vegan) throughout the weekend. Although not leading this retreat, he has 20 years of experience as a yogi and meditator, and is training as a yoga therapist.
* More information, location map and how to reach the cottages will be sent once you have made your booking