• Kirsten Johnston

Immersion therapy

I am mid-immersion. Like soaking in a warm bath up to your neck or plunging into the ocean and, more, knowing that the experience won’t be complete until the cold water creeps through your hair and massages your scalp, it is full in its commitment and rewards with a feeling of weightlessness.

I am in Halls Gap, Victoria, in the midst of six days of drawing workshop with Sydney artist, Jody Graham. Like those other immersions, it is wholly consuming and rewards with an intellectual buoyancy. Time becomes unimportant as the rich mixture of excitement, fear, amazement, disappointment, pleasure, questioning and satisfaction tangles around desperate learning.

There are three hundred of us here, all for various reasons, with various aptitudes and studying in various classes. Each has their own degree of immersion that suits. For me, it is a total plunge and an entire recharge. Being surrounded by like minds and being fed information and tasks to stretch my practice sustains for many months after the immersion is complete. Indeed, some new thinking become incorporated into the vision and may last forever.

There are many types of immersion. Some may not be so positive. I am unspeakably fortunate, however, to be able to experience this type and at this time.

With gratitude,


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