Courses & Worshops
Exploring art, nature and wellbeing.
Painting in Nature
Systemic Family Constellations & Yoga
The courses will be held, in part, in and around our house. The property consists of two houses. A small stone house where Abigail and I live and a larger house which has three bedrooms, a larger kitchen, dining room, living area and large indoor work space (see pictures below in the section Accomodation). There are multiple terraces around, which will be used as teaching spaces.
The houses are on the top edge of the village and blend straight into the forest, so you literally have the wilderness on your doorstep. The courses will be held as much as possible in the outdoors. We will guide you to beautiful secluded places where you will be fully submerged in the sounds, smells and energy that the mountains and gorges have to offer.
Each course will be a collaboration between the teacher and the students. We will endeavour as much as possible to blend other disciplines into the course, to reflect on the connectivity and interdependance of all things. We are strong advocates of stepping away from the system of separation between disciplines.
For example, Leah may take you out for a morning, hiking in nature to stop, look and observe the colours and shapes of the botanical world, perhaps to collect some materials. Then in the afternoon, you will work with Abby, interpreting some of the morning's activity into art and creating your own pigments from your foraging. Maybe the day will end with a meditation, sharing circle or a yoga session to integrate the day's learning.
Another day might involve a lunchtime Greek cooking lesson with a local or a bit of foraging to go towards a shared meal, or a cocktail at the beach in the setting sun.
For longer courses, we will include a day off in the middle with the option of different activities, like hiking, a visit to a remote permaculture small holding or a jeep safari on dirt roads to the highest peak of the island.
You can be sure that it will be a wonderful experience in and with nature. We will laugh, commune and eat delicious locally grown, foraged and prepared food. You will learn some Greek language and custom and most importantly, you will hopefully be swept away by the magic of the landscape which will help you connect deeply with the place and living beings that you share the space with.
The courses will be offering will span a range of disciplines from art to writing, botany and wellbeing. The common thread running through them will be a deep appreciation and exploration of our place and connection to nature. Together we will explore the question: 'How can our creativity contribute to the co-creation of a more beautiful, meaningful & integrated future?'
Abigail and Leah have been running the Water & Rock gallery (formerly know as Bristol Contemporary Art) since 2011.
From the beginning, they had a vision of a gallery that worked with artists passionate about nature and whose work would inspire the spectator to reconnect with their natural environment. As the years progressed, they felt the limitations of the gallery for artist and spectator to fully express their creativity, and so was born the idea to create immersive courses where the artist, writer, wellbeing practitioner would be fully able to explore their different passions and merge them into a harmonious experience.
Abigail McDougall is a painter, writer and musician, selling her work internationally. Her work is concerned with studying the light and flow of water. See her work here.
Leah Heming is an illustrator, art director and qualified nature guide. She has experience working as a local tour guide and has a self-taught passion for ethnobotany and ecology. See her illustration here.
Abigail & Leah moved to Greece in 2019 with the intention of building their project and getting involved with the local community and environmental projects. They are currently collaborating on a local indigenous seed saving project and creating organic vegetable gardens in the village.
Together they write regular essays on their thoughts and experiences of moving abroad and sowing the seeds of new ideas. You can read and follow their writings here.
We are located on the island of Thasos in Northern Greece in a small traditional mountain village bursting with history and surrounded by nature.
Kazaviti is the old Roman name of the village which the locals use, translated as 'House of wine'. The village was famed for it's wine in the days of ancient Greece. In high demand, the wine was exported to Athens for every important party and festivity. The modern village name is Megalos Prinos, named after the 'Prinos' tree (Quercus ilex) which is abundant in the valley.
The houses are exceptionally preserved in the old style architecture of Northen Greece with thick stone walls, stone roofs, narrow paths and limited access to cars.
The whole village is surrounded by old roman terraces and aquaducts, once cultivated and allowing the villages to be self-sufficient. The terraces have now mostly been over taken by forest but you can still see evidence of past cultivation with nut, fruit trees and vines growing wild everywhere, creating a real food forest.
The village faces South West, bathing it in beautiful sunsets over the sea. The coast is only 7km away down a scenic windy road through ancient olive groves, some trees dating back around 2000 years.
Depending on the season, you will be bathed in the beautiful sounds of wildlife. In the spring you can hear many migrating birds and nightingales. In the summer, the ciccadas take over the soundscape whereas the autumn is filled with the shreek of the edible doormouse (once a Roman delicacy) and the winter makes way for the owls.
Accomodation will be dotted around the village, all within walking distance. We will be working in collaboration with people who rent out beautifully restored stone houses, with incredible views. The course participanyts will have the option to share houses with other students or rent their own accomodation if they prefer.
The pictures on the left are of the house where the courses will be held but it gives you an idea of the type of accomodation to expect.
Most of the accomodation for this house wil be reserved for the teachers, as we will often have collaborative courses with multiple disciplines being taught.
If you are on a budget, there will also be the possibility of camping on our land with use of the amenities in the house where the courses will be held.
For a taster, here is a link to houses that belong to people we will be collaborating with:
More to come on this as we prepare the upcoming courses.
Getting to Thasos
KAVALA: The closest airport is Kavala with flights managed by Tui but this only operates in the high season.
THESSALONIKI: The next closest and possibly cheapest with flights by Easyjet, Aegean & Ryanair and Wizz Air.
ATHENS: Possibility to fly to Athens with a connecting flight to Kavala with Olympic airline .
From Kavala Airport:
TAXI: there is a taxi service costing approximately €20 from the airport to Keramoti port. From Keramoti there are regular 35 minute ferry crossings to Thasos town/Limenas.
See ferry schedule here.
HIRE CAR: see below for hire car suggestions
From Thessaloniki airport:
TAXI: there is a group taxi service from Thessaloniki airport to Keramoti port costing €40 per person (this discount is if there are multiple people) which takes 2h30. This is a good, stress free option. From Keramoti there are regular 35 minute ferry crossings to Thasos town/Limenas.
BUS: from the airport you must either get a taxi to the Makedonia bus station (approx €30 per person) or a city bus (approx €4 per person - 1 hour).
At Macedonia bus station there are regular buses to the city of Kavala. See timetables here.
The ferry crossings from Kavala port to Skala Prinos are less frequent than from Keramoti port and take 1h15 mins. See ferry crossings here and click on the Skala Prinos - Kavala tab, but once you reach the island you will be half an hour closer to the village than the ferry crossing to Limenas from Keramoti.
HIRE CAR: see below for hire car suggestions - it is a 2h30 drive form the airport to Keramoti port.
If you want the freedom to move around at your own leisure then perhaps you would like to hire a car. Otherwise, we will pick you up to and from the island ports and take you around on specific organised excursions.
All big main hire car players are around, but we find the local companies much more amenable and better value. Here are some suggestions: