Orkney Art Experience: Sacred Geometry & the Scottish Landscape

Plant, Print, and Papercut: Sacred Geometry & the Scottish Landscape

Dates: 4-11 June 2023*to be rescheduled
Location: Orkney *
Tutors: Reni Gower & Melissa Hilliard Potter
Activity: Printmaking, paper cutting, foraging
Cost: £2980 per person (no single supplement)
Suitable for any skills level

*Please note: Sadly our venue for this experience, the beautiful Kristin Linklater Centre in Orkney, has closed down unexpectedly. We’re working on an alternative option for this workshop with Reni and Melissa at a new location that will be equally stunning and inspiring. We’re now looking at dates in 2024- please bear with us. 

Join us on this unique collaborative venture to explore how the principles of sacred geometry manifest themselves in the magical Orkney landscapes. 

What to expect

Taught with a hands-on approach, this workshop fuses the materials and processes of two accomplished artist instructors through a shared theme at the core of their artwork: Sacred Geometry revealed through nature. With an overview on plant-based art practices and the principles of sacred geometry, we use observational and foraging techniques to discover the universal ratios imbedded in plants and botanical-inspired imagery in both natural and constructed settings.

Our location for this experience are the beautiful, remote and elemental Orkney Islands, where the Kristin Linklater Retreat Centre will be our base.

Excursions throughout Orkney will provide an inspirational backdrop for in situ sketching and photo recording as source material for the development of personal motifs that will be developed through papercutting, Gelli printmaking, stenciling and monoprinting. These accessible techniques allow us to create signature artworks with no prior preparation or skills-based learning.

Excursion sites are selected to highlight the distinct neolithic history of the region as well as the natural beauty and importance of the local biosphere (flowers, grasses, trees, and lichens). This workshop presents a relaxed balance between concept, process, and history through process-based techniques that encourage focused mindfulness, peaceful contemplation, and thoughtful engagement.

MS Ring of Brodgar

Your tutors: Reni Gower & Melissa Hilliard Potter

Melissa Potter and Reni Gower We are delighted to work with two outstanding guest tutors on this creative experience. Independently and collectively, Reni and Melissa have taught workshops throughout the United States, as well as in the Middle East, Central America, South Europe, and the Caucasus.

Reni Gower’s art work is represented in many prestigious collections and has been exhibited at international and national venues for over 40 years. She received a 2020 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and in 2017 she was awarded SECAC’s Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. In 2014, she received the College Art Association’s Distinguished Teacher of Art Award, as well as distinguished teaching awards from Virginia Commonwealth University and VCUarts. In addition to her painting practice, she curates award winning traveling exhibitions that include FLASHPOINTS: Material / Intent / Fused, Geometric Aljamía: a Cultural Transliteration, and Pulped Under Pressure: The Art of Handmade Paper. After 37 years, Professor Emerita Gower retired from Virginia Commonwealth University in December 2018. Gower is represented by Chroma Projects, Charlottesville, VA.

Melissa Hilliard Potter is a feminist interdisciplinary artist, writer, and curator whose work has been exhibited in venues including White Columns, Bronx Museum of the Arts, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, to name a few. Her films have been screened at international film festivals, such as the Cinneffable and the Reeling International LGBT Film Festival. Potter’s awards include three Fulbright Scholar grants, which enabled her to build two papermaking studios at university art departments in Serbia and Bosnia & Hercegovina. As a curator, Potter’s exhibitions include Social Paper: Hand Papermaking in the Context of Socially Engaged Art with Jessica Cochran and Revolution at Point Zero: Feminist Social Practice with Neysa Page Lieberman. Her critical essays have been printed in BOMB, Art Papers, Flash Art, Metropolis M, Hand Papermaking, and AfterImage among others. She currently serves as a Professor at Columbia College Chicago.


Our accommodation & studio

We’ve secured an amazing venue for this art experience – the Kristin Linklater Voice Centre. Built adjacent to its founder’s house, the centre lies on a hillside with panoramic views over lochs, fields, coastal cliffs and bays.

Our studio space at the centre is large and airy, with a cathedral ceiling, wonderful natural light and cushioned acoustic flooring with underfloor heating. The studio adjoins a living-room, kitchen and communal dining area where groups eat together, relax and socialize. An adjacent building, The Bothy, completes the retreat-style nature of the centre with custom-built accommodation. Each of the bedrooms has a wash basin and each of the shower/toilet rooms is shared by 3 bedrooms.

Price & inclusions

The art experience includes:
–  7 nights accommodation (everyone gets their own room – no single supplement)
– Programme of art tuition, & excursions to explore Orkney (2 tutors)
– Welcome drinks on arrival
– 7 breakfasts
– 6 lunches
– 7 evening meals
–   Evening of storytelling
– Minibus transport when travelling as a group while on the islands
– Workshop materials
– Round-the-clock use of studio
–  Entry fees for Skara Brae & Italian Chapel
– Wild at Art canvas bag
– Detailed pre-travel information by email.

The cost of this trip is £2980 per person. There is no single supplement and every guest will have a room to themselves.

A non-refundable deposit of £500 is required at the time of booking, the rest is due 8 weeks before the start date. With the detailed pre-travel info we will also send you list of recommended things to bring, such as suitable outdoor clothing.

Book now

Flights and travel to/from Orkney are not included. Personal travel insurance is required.

We offer complimentary transfers from and to Kirkwall airport. Flights depart from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness and connections can be made from Manchester and London.

Alternatively, we will collect you from Northlink Stromness ferry terminal sailing from Scrabster to Stromness. It is possible to leave your car at the ferry terminal in Scrabster if you wish.

Italian Chapel in Orkney

4 Comments on “Orkney Art Experience: Sacred Geometry & the Scottish Landscape

  1. I am interested in this workshop. Please advise if alternative housing has been located. Would be coming form Dublin. From the US before that.

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