EDGEWALKERS - our beginnings and mission
It was during a long coastal hike, along the famous Cape to Cape track, immersed in scented Boronias and Honey Myrtle, surrounded by swishing Peppermint Eucalyptuses and low lying prickly Acacias (names I did not know then) that I came to realise two things.
First, I realised that in spite of loving being out in nature I knew very little about the natural world that surrounded me. When I looked at trees I saw, well, trees; when I looked at flowers, I saw colours, red ones, purple ones, yellow ones.
I wondered if other people also felt the same. Whether they were also yearning for a more profound connection and understanding of the natural world, yearning to move like Edgewalkers, effectively across the edge between the structured and the untamed, between the sophisticated and the primal.
Second, I realised that walking, but especially in nature, was, and is, an integral part of my creative process…that I have been doing it for a long time.
I realised that I hiked the mountains around Almaty, Kazakhstan trying to find a way to finish the first draft of my first novel in 1999, and that I regularly traversed King’s Park, Perth, while solving production issues with my first play Trollop(e) in 2002. I understood that I had walked my way out of every single challenge in all the theatre-based projects I created with Act Out www.actout.com.au from 2007 – 2014 and that I am still bushwalking now as a way to solve problems, to let my mind expand and my imagination soar.
I understood, that day on the Cape to Cape with the Southern Native Roses dangling red above the limestone outcrops of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, with Western Spinebills fluttering among the Melaleuca and the Cockies’ Tongues, that walking is how I negotiate the edge between the world of what is and the world of what is yet to be; between the world of the created and what is yet to be created. I wondered whether others also felt a desire to move more freely between these two realms.
By naming my new business adventure Edgewalkers, I am conjuring the possibility of playing a role in bringing people closer to the edges they yearn to walk boldly along; closer to nature, closer to their natural creative and expressive selves; I am conjuring the possibility of all of us having intimate knowledge and competence of all the worlds we inhabit and create.
We are educators, nature lovers, artists & walking enthusiasts who love sharing our knowledge & passion for nature & a deeply creative life. Our retreats are designed to give you focused and uninterrupted opportunities to immerse yourself in stimulating surroundings and discover/rediscover your creative aspirations...and ways to reconnect with them.
Through aesthetic and embodied activities & techniques you will explore your creative aspirations, your desires and hopes and generate ways to create a trajectory to a more creative & self-expressive life.
During the retreats the creative process is harnessed by guided walks immersed in nature through some of the most pristine and biodiverse environments in the world, including sections of the Cape to Cape track & Boranup forest in southwest Western Australia & in the Altai mountains of northwest Mongolia. In addition, special workshops with contributing local artists during each retreat will enhance your creativity experience.
When you walk with us you are not just walking with a tour guide, you are walking with a philosopher, an artist, a writer, an environmentalist who offer a unique perspective and sensitivity to the experience.
Dr. Erika Jacobson
I am an educator, a community development theatre practitioner, and a curious & passionate adventurer...and I love to write and a dance. I have a BA in writing, a MA in community and international development and a PhD in transformative learning. Part of the year I lecture at Murdoch University on creativity and innovation, run workshops and retreats helping people (or groups of people) reconnect with their creativity and self-expression and facilitate community development projects. Sometimes I speak about it all. Part of the year I travel and write. All year around I walk.
I envision, design & facilitate retreats that give participants immersive opportunities to recover, realign & reignite their creative aspirations. I bring together powerful aesthetic, embodied & applied theatre tools, knowledge from my research in transformative learning, practical creative thinking tools, my own creative & reflective practice & over 15 years of experience helping individuals, organisations & communities access creative solutions to complex problems.
My strength lies in harnessing the collective creativity of a group to give all participants access to useful & individual insights.
Donna Livingstone - outdoor education specialist/writer
I am a walker, writer, education assistant, wife and mother of two. I have a Bachelor in Leisure Science, majoring in Eco-Recreation and am partway through a sectional end-to-end on the Bibbulmun Track. Since I was a teenager, I have been immersing myself in the time and space that the outdoors give me, and when outdoors I find that the creativity and relaxation flows on a totally different level to when I am at home. I love to show others our amazing corner of Western Australia, there is so much to observe and learn about what it shows us.
Elaine Clocherty - environmental & site specific artist
As a Site Specific artist I work directly in the landscape, using found local natural materials and allow the stories and characteristics of a place to directly inform the work. My work aims to reveal the often unseen and I try to follow my intuition to genuinely collaborate with the landscape.
During the last 17 years my art interventions in the landscape and gallery context have been shown locally, nationally and internationally. I have been involved in many outdoor exhibitions including winning the Helen Lempriere Sculpture Scholarship for Emerging Artist 2014 at Sculpture By the Sea Bondi, jointly winning WA Sculptor Scholarship at Sculpture By the Sea (SBTS) Cottesloe 2014 and Andrea Stretton invitation at SBTS 2012. I have exhibited at SBTS Bondi, Byron Bay Sculpture Biennial 2010, the Southern Forest Sculpture Trail Northcliffe, Floating Lands Queensland and ‘This is Not What you Call Sculpture’, Glasgow with a BA (Fine Arts) and BA Hons in Sustainable Development/Social Ecology including study at the Glasgow School of Art, Scotland.