- Photo by Cara Denison -
A few weeks ago my Instagram feed suddenly exploded with beautiful shots (including the one above) of The Sou’Wester Lodge & its grounds in Seaview, WA. When I was growing up, my family spent a long weekend at the Sou’Wester every July and the memories we made are some of my most treasured; after spending the day reading books in our little cabin (No. 10), collecting sand dollars and studying washed up jellyfish on the beach, we would head to the lodge to bask in campfire glows while cooking up big batches of bouillabaisse and then it was back to the beach to set off bottle rockets at the ocean and gaze at the stars from the dune grass. Roused by nostalgia, I looked into it a little further and found that Instagram was giving me a glimpse of the first Full Moon Gathering.
The brain child of local creative, Caroline Marie Griffin of Atelier Cornelia, the Full Moon Gathering is a workshop retreat for women creatives and takes advantage of the renewing energy of the full moon to inspire creative growth. Hosted at The Sou’Wester Lodge, attendees spend two days enjoying conversations, intention setting, workshop activities, live music, and even a pop-up shop. The next workshop, which is scheduled for March, will be co-hosted by designer Kate Rutter & photographer Cara Denison and promises morning yoga & meditation, a bonfire, sauna time, and delicious meals in addition to everything else.
I asked Caroline to share some of her background, what inspired The Full Moon Gathering, and what attendees of March’s workshop can expect -
Could you tell me a little about your background and Atelier Cornelia?
Atelier Cornelia is my personal brand, founded in 2010 while I lived on Cornelia Street in Bushwick, Brooklyn. I started out in illustration and after a job offer at Mr. Boddington’s, I sweetly declined a commission based income and accepted the fact I didn’t want to work on just one type of project. I landed in creative consultation and design work. Co-creation and creative convergence are at the heart of Atelier Cornelia.
What inspired the Full Moon Gathering series?
The concept originated from a long soul search, this gnarly internal battle I kept experiencing. I would go from feeling total creative contentment and satisfaction to a sense of emotional depletion and doubt. I would feel like my work needed more and I needed to create something bigger – the yo-yo act was exhausting. I realized, I didn’t really love what I did and I was headed upstream, against my natural abilities. I was determined to find the place where my creative strengths and my passions unified. I am a Jill of all trades, and a master at none, but I get shit done. As an artist, I want to have my hands in many things, but for discipline sake, I wished to find a “need” within the creative market – a cause, a positive purpose and tackle it. I wanted an experience, a live project. The workshop was born.
Celebrating and bringing together female Creatives and offering a platform for strength, support and fueling inspiration was the dream. What is unfolding as this project reveals itself is an incredible response and the collaboration that is coming from it is unreal. It’s a long-term series, and the Workshop Society (an off-shoot of the workshop) is an invitation-only creative cult for artists that are invested in creative growth and co-creation. Meeting once a month, we elect 2 women from each workshop.
The Lunar aspect is far from fad, we incorporate astrological elements and use the full moon’s awesome energy to set powerful intentions that drive us in the best direction. Co-hosted by Kate Rutter of Heartcave and killer photographer, Cara Denison, the workshop offers an opportunity to recharge, re-set and focus on what inspires us. Workshop classes, meditation + yoga, group meals, down time and breathtaking views – the experience is emotional, physical, spiritual and mental.
Why the Sou’Wester?
The Sou’Wester offers a balance of personal and public space that is vital to the success of the experience. Guests need time to rest, think, write, work on a project, or have a cup of tea. The suites in the lodge allow guests to create their own environments. Most rooms have private kitchens and baths, so there are opportunities to feel as if you’re on vacation as well as being connected and actively participating. The lodge and trailers encourage exploration and the ability to connect with the coastal environment is unmatched. I love the aesthetic and I love the owner Thandi, we work well together. It was an effortless choice to have the lodge be the hosting place.
What can we expect at March’s Full Moon Gathering?
The last workshop explored honest self-expression, a chance to connect with ourselves in a way that would help fuel creative work, creative inspiration and growth. This workshop will dive into that concept further, we will be explore balance, grounding and rekindling the flame with oneself. Early morning mediation + yoga, variety of workshop classes, unique ceremonies, delicious meals, some tarot/physic offerings and the ocean shore will allow you a time and place to get back to the simple state of inspiration, if you are willing to do the work and be vulnerable. Creating in any form of the arts takes courage and bravery, this workshop is here to support that. You’ll make fast friends too with some radical women. The friendships are the best part of joining in.
to register for March’s gathering and I’ll see you there!