A series of workshops to activate your creativity 

 at Tullyarvan Mill, Buncrana, Co. Donegal, April 28-30th 2023

(The action-research element of the Inishowen Arts Festival Feasibility Study - a collaboration of Samhlaigh Arts Collective with Artlink, FortDunree)

IGNITE! is produced by Samhlaigh Arts Collective in association with Artlink, Fort Dunree, as part of the Inishowen Arts Festival Feasibility Study.

Creativity is vital to our wellbeing and to our ability to adapt and grow. Making time for creativity also helps us to build connections with each other and form meaningful, inventive interactions.

Over three days, IGNITE! offers a series of workshops that tap into three fundamental sources of creativity: nature, heritage and the playful human body. The workshops are open to everyone, not only artists and creative practitioners.

On Friday, participate in a creativity and nature workshop incorporating mask making, led by psychologist and shamanic ecotherapy practitioner Dr. Caroline Burrow.  Costume technician Amy Roddy will be co-facilitating.

On Saturday, social sculptor Kathleen O'Hara Farren will lead a creativity and heritage workshop looking at heritage in its broadest sense, to include a walking excursion. Seoirse Ó Dochartaigh will be co-facilitating.

Sunday will see multidisciplinary artist Maria Coleman leading a workshop focusing on playful body practices, such as gesture, mark-making, voice and rhythm, to break down barriers to creativity and investigate the body as a route to wellbeing. Tonya Sheina from Echo Echo Dance will be co-facilitating.

The events are now over. 

If you attended, follow the link below to leave your feedback. 

You can also submit your writing/images for publication on this page.

IGNITE! events formed the action-research element of the Inishowen Arts Festival Feasibility Study undertaken by Artlink and its partners. Click this button to find the final report prepared by Samhlaigh for this research.

IGNITE! could be a Creativity Retreat! 

Step out of the everyday into a liminal space ripe for creativity. Dedicate some time to your inner world of imagination, and network with like-minded creatives. Dorm beds and a very limited number of shared and private rooms are available at Tullyarvan Mill. 

Saturday's workshop will include a short walk led by Kathleen O'Hara Farren and Seoirse Ó Dochartaigh. To enhance public engagement, this element of the weekend's activities is OPEN TO ALL, FREE OF CHARGE. Meeting Point Tullyarvan Mill @ 12 noon sharp - 1pm. Dress for the weather.

Workshop Details

Samhlaigh invites Inishowen locals, artists and creatives based in Donegal and everyone who believes in the power of the arts to inspire and build community to join us for IGNITE!

Creativity and Nature

Friday April 28th, 10am-4pm

Seeing with New Eyes – Re-Connecting to the Land and All Beings
We are part of the collective eco-system that is held within this planet and our bodies, minds and souls are connected to all beings which dwell here. Sometimes we fail to see this connection, leading to feelings of separation, disenchantment and disconnect. In connection we can find inspiration, healing and life source energy. In connection we can come home to our place within the web of life and develop a reciprocal relationship with the Earth.

In this workshop you are invited to rediscover your connection to the land and all beings by seeing with new eyes. Through guided meditations, nature based ecotherapy practices and creative mask making you will enter the realm of the other than human world, seeing with the eyes of other beings. On your return to your human form, you will share the wisdom and inspiration gained. 

Costume technician, Amy Roddy will be co-facilitating.

Dr Caroline Burrow is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with over 25 years' experience of  facilitating in groups in a variety of settings in the public, charity and independent sectors. She has a specialist interest in ecotherapy and nature-based practices and also offers equine facilitated psychotherapy. She has trained as an Active Hope/Work That Reconnects facilitator and provides workshops focusing upon supporting activists and promoting ecoresilience. Dr Burrow has also undertaken training in shamanic practices within the Peruvian (Q'ero) and Celtic/British traditions and offers Transpersonal and energy psychology. She has a passion for combining western evidence-based psychology with Ancient Wisdom and Nature Connection to help people to live in right relationship with themselves, community and the Earth. (Biography here.)

Creativity and Heritage

Saturday April 29th, 10am - 4pm

Heritage of the Heart - Dulra an Chroí is a workshop where
participants experience a harmonious co-creative circle which integrates both ancient and new tools & techniques. It's practices and methodologies will support communities to produce quality 'pop up' participatory arts & culture events.

You will enjoy learning (through experience) a model of
communication with a structure based on natures design. 

The activities will demonstrate how, with awareness, doing things at a slow pace can create deep and fulfilling connections. This is regenerative & revitalising with deep rooted foundations that bring forth your true nature and ability to see true nature.

During the day, we'll walk, talk, sing and play. We will have a
look at maps that we might not have seen before - both in ourselves and of Inishowen. We'll experience ways of navigating new ways of learning with natures design at the core. 

We'll experience ways of navigating new ways of learning with natures design at the core. Pronouncing and understanding the deeper meanings of the Irish
language placenames through singing
will feature with our special guest, Seoirse Ó Dochartaigh. 

We anticipate that the music, river walk & Art of Hosting activities will be of use should you go on to host your own creative gathering.

"Being at home in yourself & in community" is our intention, as we nurture a conscious creative community of arts & culture in Inishowen and beyond. All are welcome to join this rare opportunity which may be foundational to co-operative events in the emerging new world! Inspired by the Acorn Model, Cultural Emergence, Social Permaculture, Belvaspata, the Art of Hosting, ATTUNE and Inis Eoghain.

Kathleen O'Hara Farren hosts Participatory Arts events. The Edge School.net and Home Education
have been her recent interests. 
"I'm happy to be offering some top techniques for self-care that bring vitality to your life and to those around you" says Kathleen. "Heritage of the Heart – Dulra an Chroí will introduce us to easeful event management. I look forward to seeing some collegues, friends and new connections." My life in Inishowen has been most interesting with projects like The Inishowen Summer Gathering, Creative Parenting, Anchor Arts Centre, The Circle of Wonder and family life here, on the land, by the sea.

Seoirse Ó Dochartaigh www.seoirse.com

Seoirse's speciality is Gaelic song, poetry & story prefaced by synopses and translations in English if required. The songs are rendered simply through the pure acoustic essentials of voice and nylon-stringed guitar. He has accumulated a number of local songs and stories dating from Inishowen's Irish-speaking past and has even set some of the legends to music.

All who attend the full workshop will receive a (hand-made) Heritage of the Heart badge.

Creativity and Wellbeing

Sunday April 30th 10am - 3pm 

Playful Body - Creativity Self!  

Children place no limits on their creativity. NASA did research on imagination and divergent thinking and it showed that 98% of 5yr old children fell into the "genius" category, just 12% of 15yrs met the criteria, while only 2% of adults exhibited the sought characteristics. 

To coax back our innate playful genius, this multidisciplinary workshop will look at the human body as a medium; from its posture to its tapping foot, from its clapping to its gesturing hand, from its meditative visualisation to its vocal hum.  

Each of us have experienced creative blocks, but this workshop, will function like 'speed-dating' with your creative self and the variety of ways it may choose to express itself. By divorcing ourselves from outcomes and entering into the flow, we reap a harvest of positivity, while also returning to the well of creativity.

Expect a mix of meditation, movement, body-percussion, dance and drawing. No previous experience required. Materials supplied, but a notebook and your favourite drawing materials might be useful.

Maria Coleman is an artist, musician, yoga and sound healing practitioner. She has a degree in Fine Art Sculpture, (LSAD) an M.Phil in Music and Media Technology (TCD) and was a PhD candidate with the DIT. She is passionate about creativity in its many forms and works across multiple disciplines. Her work is frequently socially engaged, and her passion lies in bridging the gap between professional and novice creatives. Read her biography here. See www.comhcheol.ie.

Tonya Sheina (Echo Echo Dance) will co-facilitate.

This is a BYO food event. If staying overnight you will have access to a kitchen, and communal cooking will be facilitated by the Samhlaigh team. Tea and Coffee making facilities are available to all.

Outdoor clothing and camping chairs might be useful.

*DVAN=Donegal Visual Artists' Network. Discount is offered to encourage members to stay overnight and network with local artists. Members are also free to put their names forward for short artists' talks, and open mic events in the evenings.

Part of Artlink's Inishowen Arts Festival Feasibility Study, funded by the Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaíon. Artlink's partners included Samhlaigh, Amicitia, ConsortiaCo, Keith Whittle and Adriana Valderama.

Photographs courtesy of Caroline Burrow, Tullyavaran Mill, Kathryn Daily and Envato.

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