artQuesting: The Landscape and the Imagination

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  • artQuesting: The Landscape and the Imagination
    September 10, 2015 - September 15, 2015
    08:00 - 17:00

Apparell'd in Celestial Light

“Ah, faeries, dancing under the moon,
A Druid land, a Druid tune”, W.B. Yeats

“The Landscape and the Imagination” is a four night artists’ retreat set in the ancient landscapes of the North West corner of County Donegal.


It’s Different Up here!

donegal2The county of Donegal, retains a unique sense of place and history.

The landscape is steeped in folklore and the powerful Celtic tradition. The mountains, lakes, sea, dunes, forests and bogs all sit side by side.

W.B. Yeats and his contemporary, AE (George Russell for the uninitiated), frequented these parts and called it ‘The Spiritual Centre of Ireland’.




Emanating from this rich and spiritually resonant landscape, laden with Holy wells, can still be heard the echoes of the past – the deserted castles and inauguration stones of the clans and high kings; once home to the Fomorian giants of Tory Island; Bloody Foreland and The Poison Glen; Sheephaven Bay and the Wild Atlantic Way.


Through your own artistic and creative experience of being in the landscape, push the frontiers of your creativity and tap into this rich pathway to the imaginal and mythological.

The retreat is your invitation to take time out and focus on your personal creative journey and activate your imagination, while working plein air. The place and situation will stimulate your creativity and generate ideas in your work.


The trip starts and ends at Derry airport and over the four days takes in Tory Island, Glenveagh National Park, a megalithic site, all framed by spectacular coastline and forests.


The itinerary is specifically chosen to evoke the spirituality and mythology in the landscape and to influence your work and stimulate your imagination.


A group of artists working independently, with a tutor, and informally and naturally sharing skills and experience, provides a rich platform for creative development and your own reflection on your work.


The days are filled with making artwork, in a different location everyday, with a tutor and knowledgeable local guide on hand. The evenings start by critiquing the day’s work and finish by sampling the local cuisine and enjoying the authentic Irish craic!


The tutor Sonia McNally is adept at challenging you artistically and creatively.


Getting there

We will collect you and take you back to Derry airport. You may choose to make this part of a longer trip in Ireland with many wonderful places easily accessible from Derry.


The accommodation is in an historic cottage called Dundrudian (‘the fort of the Druids’) and has magnificent views over the Bay. The group is limited to 8. There is 1 single room, 1 double room (both on a first come first served basis) and a shared dormitory. The large lounge with a wood burner can be used as a studio in case of inclement weather.






For dinner, we will eat out locally in a fine selection of restaurants and pubs. Breakfasts and lunches will be self-catering with provisions made for shopping trips to facilitate this.


Dundrudian, Port-na-Blagh, County Donegal