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The Rainmaker
Art, Animism and Restorative Practice

21 – 28 June 2024

With Hanien Conradie & Colin Campbell

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Course Structure & Fees

An Residential Retreat

Structure

Dates: 21 – 28 June 2024

Location

This art making retreat will take place in a sacred and beautiful landscape in Loweswater the English Lake district, the home of the Romantic poets. We will have access to woods, fells, lake and waterfall, and be joined by, among others, owl, fox, rabbit and sheep.

Fees

Single room: £960
Shared Room: £895
Camping: £735

If you are not able to attend for financial reasons, we do have a small bursary pot that allows for people to come who would not otherwise be able to. To apply for a bursary please fill in the application form.

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An Invitation

The Rainmaker is the one who works with hidden forces and flows of nature to restore balance and harmony into the world. Through making beauty, through repair of damage on the earth, through subtle attunement, deep listening, careful allurement and humble propitiation, the important work of co-creating, healing and making new is done.

In African traditions, the Rainmaker would send people onto the land to create beauty, to paint tree stumps with ochre, to replant where the earth was exposed, to make offerings at the rivers and springs in gratitude for the rain. By making art in this way, even in damaged places, the earth would become so beautiful that the clouds could not help but be charmed and release their waters from the sky.

In this time of transformation and potential, a time when we need to repair damage, make beauty and allure the powers that bring the restoring rain, we invite you to summon the Rainmaker within. We invite you to step beyond the known, into the liminal spaces of spirit, ancestors and the creative force of nature herself, to make art, to create installations, to bring down the “rain”.

This is a retreat for artists of all kinds, for those who wish to make beauty on the earth – with no experience required. We will be exploring art-making as a way of restoring and creating beauty in order to call for harmony and healing. It will take place within an overall container of ritual and ceremony that will help us make ourselves more permeable to the place and the forces and flows that run through it.

What to expect

During our time together we will be working alone and together to create ephemeral art, within an overall container of ritual and ceremony. The following is an indication of what we will be covering and sharing:

  • Breaking Waters: Animism, Art and the act of Creation.
  • Still Waters: Calling for the Salve of Rain – the role of ritual and art within the context of climate change
  • The Voice of Water: Re-sounding a Silent River – rivers, water and rainmaking
  • Singing the Sun into the Sky – healing with poetry, chanting and ritual
  • Making Ephemeral Art Interventions, Creating a Ritual, Writing and performing a poem or a short writing piece
  • Cold Water Swimming and Writing Experience
  • Ceremony and Ritual, Vigil and Pilgrimage
  • Practices for making permeable the boundary between ourselves and place and for experiencing the creative flow of nature in us and how to work with it

Is this for you?

This is a deep exploration and place-based retreat for art and beauty making for all artists regardless of your chosen medium or your level of experience. It is for those who wish to deepen into a conversation with the unseen forces of nature and creativity, and explore how those are expressed through making beauty, with the overall intention of restoration and healing.

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Hanien Conradie & Colin Campbell

Your Guides

The lead guides of this apprenticeship are Hanien Conradie and Colin Campbell with space holding by  Rachel Fleming.

Hanien is an earth artist known for her diverse creative practice centered around ‘sense of place’ and ‘belonging’. Her practices include landscape paintings in natural pigments, ritualistic performances and ceremony, meditative pieces in natural pigments and installations in organic matter; all in relation to special places she knows intimately.

Hanien is an active contributor to interdisciplinary symposiums, online organizations and artists’ residencies where ecological research is conducted through creative practice. She has a Master’s degree in Fine Art (with specialization in painting and ecology), holds a degree in Architecture and she is a teacher who has taught at the University of Cape Town’s art school, Michaelis, and at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She has participated in numerous ecological exhibitions located in Southern Africa, Europe and the USA. In addition, Hanien runs private workshops focused on the discovery of new ways of relating to natural places, to other human beings and to herself through creative practice.

For more about Hanien please visit www.hanienconradie.com

Colin works with the wisdom traditions of South Africa, specifically those that are based on our relationships with the ancestors and spirits of nature. He looks at where these ancient indigenous practices collide and coalesce with the knowledge and belief systems of the west.

One of the most unique and precious treasures Colin Campbell bears is that he is one of the few who were accepted, taught and initiated by some of the wisest pre-industrial African knowledge carriers who lived in Southern Africa. Sadly, due to the decline of this indigenous culture and its associated natural habitats, Colin and his younger brother Niall, are now amongst the rarest-known custodians of ancient sacred African knowledge systems.

He now works around the world as a diviner, teacher and public speaker, developing forms through which to bring this knowledge to the modern world.