Dunsborough Hills Art & Yoga Retreat
7 Day Art & Yoga Retreat around Dunsborough Hills, WA
For Creative and Adventurous Women
Monday March 22nd to Sunday March 28th, 2021
Join us for 7 magical days in hilly Quedjinup, just outside Dunsborough in SW Australia. This is a time for you to reconnect with yourself and nature through art, yoga and meditation. To come back into your gentle and powerful centre, to be nurtured and to have a lot of fun.
After 10 years of running retreats in Bali with yoga teacher Ashlea Wilken, we now have the pleasure of really connecting with our own land here in the South West of Australia. There is a point as we unwind through yoga and art, that the nature around us starts to become part of our heart centre and it easily expresses itself through our art and life. You will have seven wonderful days to unwind, connect and jump into your creative flow. After our first wonderful retreat here in October we are so happy that Heartbeat Retreat have allowed us to run another retreat in March with our highly experienced team
We will be exploring the wild pristine coastline of the Leeuwin- Naturaliste National Park and the Karri forests further south. We’ll hike, paint, play, swim and meditate in nature and in our private sanctuary.
Many levels of art experience are welcome on the retreat. My goal and emphasis is to help you explore your creative expression, by giving you plenty of techniques to play with in representational, symbolic or abstract art. We’ll be exploring colour and light in nature, and your own inner worlds, with acrylic paint, pastels, charcoal, natural resins, impasto mediums and anything else we can get our hands on in nature to explore and have fun with.
Ashlea Wilken is our yoga teacher and runs Yoga West in Perth, WA. She has been teaching yoga for over 30 years, helping people with the many joys and pains that life presents. She is always very attentive to individual needs and is a wonderful teacher to our group of artists who often have little, or rusty yoga experience. Ashlea is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and has been visiting Pune, India on a regular basis since 1995 to study with the Iyengar family, as well as attending yearly workshops with senior teachers here in Australia. She and I have previously run a good 17 retreats together and throughly enjoy working together.
Heartbeat Retreat is our peaceful sanctuary for 7 days. It is a huge family home and perfect for our small group. We have a maximum of ten guests and are more like a group of friends holidaying together. It is set in its own 7 acres of idyllic forrest and gardens up in the hills just 10 minutes from Dunsborough in Quedjinup, meaning Women’s place in Noongar.
Enjoy evenings on the big outdoor lounge and watch kangaroos on the grass at sunset. Bird lovers will love the cockatoos, parrots, friendly magpies and beautiful blue fairy wrens that call this backyard home. Try a morning walk down the beautiful walking trails down the back of the property, taking you through picture perfect bushland.
Monday March 22nd We open our retreat on Monday evening at 6pm at Heartbeat Retreat. You can arrive anytime from 4pm to settle in.
We start each day at 8am with an hour of yoga before breakfast. As Yoga has multiple mind, body and spirit benefits, it also affects your art practice. It opens you up and removes some of the blockages that may clog up your creative flow and is a wonderful way for us to start our day.
On Tuesday morning we will go for a hike in the Leeuwin National Park to blow away our busy lives and to start foraging for our art.
Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday until 5pm, the retreat offers a workshop. It leads to a piece of art that is derived from a series of guided meditations that enable you to connect more fully with your wisdom and heart. It is designed to help you create the life that is really in alignment with your soul. If you have found that you are feeling on uncertain ground from this great time of change during Covid, this will help align you with a sense of self and direction again.
Thursday to Saturday is sketching and painting the magical places that we visit in the National Parks with art classes on location, and an emphasis on your work being an expression of you. You may want to continue working on your weekend workshop piece in your free time too. We will take off after breakfast and either come back for lunch or take a picnic with us.
There will be a series of classes offered on location or at the retreat , depending on the weather.
Learn how to mix and layer colour with acrylics (with glazing too) and pastels.
How to express, capture light and mark make with charcoal.
How to source, make and paint with balga resin from the Balga Tree.
Line making and expressing with clayboard.
Sunday March 28th : After Yoga and breakfast we spend our last morning finishing off our art work and close the retreat
11am Check out from Heartbeat.
There is air conditioning throughout the property in case it gets a little hot, although at this time of year it is usually just perfect.
The itinerary is flexible to make the most of the potential varying weather, with opportunities to work outside sketching nature, and inside, to really experiment with technique and further exploring your work.
You can choose to attend whatever you wish. You can have a day just chilling, or working on your own main workshop piece at the retreat.
Delicious healthy food
It’s a feast! We have the privilege of having Black Sheep Deli catering for us again. Their food is healthy, fresh, modern and delicious – our caterer’s wonderful food will feed the soul. It is often organically sourced or grown locally. All breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas are provided, plus all evening meals except one when we’ll eat out. The meals will be vegetarian, mainly gluten free, with some fish and any special dietary needs can be catered for.
Tea and coffee will be supplied. Just bring any special extras that you like to have.
Julian Silburn has been a balm to the soul for many years. He plays a huge array of instruments as he intuitively tunes into soul and takes you on a sound journey. Julian has been taught by a number of Yolngu elders in Arnhemland and Noongar elders in Western Australia. Having collaborated with them musically and culturally over many years, he has their blessing and approval for using the didjeridu in his healing, performance and teaching work. He will give us a group sound healing session as part fo your package. You will be able to book a one on one session with Julian too. Both experiences are very healing.
Costs per person
Master room with King sized bed with ensuite bath and shower and veranda x 1 room $3500
Queen sized bed x 1 $3250
Twin beds in private room x 2 rooms $3250
Twin beds in shared room x 1 room $2990
Twin beds in shared room x 1 room $2990
One off campus place where you’ll go to your own accommodation just to sleep. $2450
There are two bathrooms in the main house. One in the master bedroom and one for the other bedrooms. Both have a bath and shower.
Ashlea and I will be staying in the studio in the garden.
$500 deposit. Balance to be paid by Jan 1st. All prices include GST.
Rooms will be reserved in order of paid deposit.
Please email to book a phone consult with me to talk about your stay at the retreat and how best we can care for you. All enquiries are welcome.
Inclusions and Exclusions
7 nights accommodation in either twin or single room.
Breakfast, morning and afternoon tea, lunch and 5 evening meals. We will dine out once either at a vineyard or another restaurant of your choice.
All your art and yoga classes.
Group sound healing with Julian Silburn.
Full one and a half hour body massage with Nilanthi Dayananda
Some art supplies. There is a link below for what to bring.
Cold beverages and alcohol. One evening meal when we dine out.
Transport to the retreat and during the retreat. We will be using my and Ashlea’s car for getting to locations but you may also need to use your own car too.
If the WA Law deems it unsafe for us to run the retreat we will refund you in full. If interstate borders close but it is still legally safe for us to run the retreat we cannot refund you if you live outside of WA, unless we can find a replacement for you. If you live outside of WA you will need to pay 100% upfront. I am sorry.
I feel quite humble when I think back to the Dunsborough retreat. As an art novice I had no expectations and to come home with my creation was just the best feeling. Your wonderful sense of humour and art skills mixed with a very generous spiritual soul makes you one very special person Dawn. The 7 days with you and my fellow ‘retreatists’ was food for my soul. You are a very special person and amazing teacher. I look forward to sharing more retreats with you and some art lessons. So thank you and Ashlea for her great yoga sessions.
Dawn organised the most amazing retreat for us. This included yoga with Ashleigh each morning, walking on the Cape to Cape where we had expertise instruction on finding the colours in our environment and plain air painting. We also spent a day painting in the Boronup forest.
Dawn is always available to help us with our paintings and we have so much fun when out and about!
We had incredibly delicious food supplied by Dan from Black Sheep Cafe and felt very spoilt. How could you not when the retreat included massages, a healing sound session with didgeridoos and other instruments with Julien, singing, dancing and so much more!
The highlight of the week is working on a large artwork symbolic of ‘I Am …’ over the week.
On this retreat you feel nurtured and your creative heart opens with light. Dawn goes out of her way to make sure you have all you need.
I highly recommend Dawns retreats. She brings the best out of you creatively and spiritually. I have been on 6 of her retreats and have loved every one!
I am so looking forward to this time connecting with wonderful creative women and being immersed in so much pristine nature.
Please don’t hesitate to write with any questions.