top of page

Zarine Katrak and Helen Chadwick
The Drawing Breath and the Singing Hand

Zarine 2022_edited.jpg
HC by Hazel Holder.jpg

A Creative Weekend for Women
3 -5 November 2023

The Drawing Breath and the Singing Hand is a Weekend retreat for ten women to nourish themselves through creativity and reflection.

We will move between drawing, painting, writing, breath work, movement, contemplation, talking together, singing and improvising, both creating alone and in collaboration with others.


These creative activities allow our thinking brain to take a back seat and let our intuitive brain come out to play. They may also lead us to discoveries and renewed insights about ourselves and our world.  


We can then step back into our lives with a refreshed sense of mindfulness and of what is important to each of us.

All this will take place in the beautiful Autumn landscape of Hill Cottage Retreat Centre.

Zarine and Helen have been friends for over twenty years. They have shared significant life events, performances and work projects as well as collaborating to run singing and songwriting residential workshops at Hill Cottage over the last nine years.



About Zarine

Zarine has a degree in Educational Psychology and Art and a Cert.Ed in Art and Drama. She worked for many years as trainer, facilitator, and writer for national charities such as FPA, National Children’s Bureau, Brook and MIND in the field of Sexuality and Sexual Health as well as Anti-discriminatory Practice.

She devised and delivered a range of courses in continuing professional development, group work in practice courses, teambuilding and creative personal development work for statutory and voluntary sector professionals, young people, and community groups.

For over a decade, from 2000, she worked on a values-based project delivering training to teachers that stemmed from a resource she co-wrote with Simon Blake, “Faith, Values and Sex and Relationships Education” commissioned by National Children’s Bureau. Her commitment to the power of explicit core values arose from this work.

Zarine, along with her husband Jeremy Bruce, runs Hill Cottage Retreat Centre in mid-Wales. In her creative personal development work, she uses aspects of visual arts, voicework and metaphor to help participants reflect and connect with a positive sense of self.

She has held a regular supportive space for people to sit in stillness together and she currently collaborates with a women’s group involved in vocal improvisation and singing. She is exploring the benefits of Polyvagal Theory for balanced living, with another group of women.

Zarine follows a Buddhist path and practices, including daily chanting, as well as singing and vocal improvisation. When not organising retreats and workshops, she designs, paints and prints fabrics and makes practical artifacts for the retreat centre, children, grandchildren and friends.



About Helen

Helen’s background is in theatre and song. She loves to walk and move, and brings her seventeen years of experience running revitalising movement, voice and singing workshops for actors at the National Theatre. With the Oliver award winning choreographer Steven Hoggett, she has created song-theatre shows for the Royal Opera House, theatres and village halls, and has created site-specific choral events in Salisbury Cathedral, the Paul Hamlyn Hall, the British Museum and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Along the way she also dreamed up Sing For Water. 


Songwriting, performing and stories are at the heart of her work: the stories of those she interviews for her shows, and the stories inside or behind the songs she composes. 


She has been leading choirs and singing workshops since 1981 (when there were almost no community choirs!)  and has written around 400 songs for theatre, concerts, community choirs and song theatre. 


Helen draws cartoons and loves to combine images with words and colour. Alongside her creative work, she sometimes works as a coach and facilitator on leadership programmes for women. During COVID she has also developed new online courses for all to nurture creativity, wellbeing and songwriting.

For more information visit

Some comments from participants 2022.

“Thank you for a beautiful weekend. I have come away with many gifts from all of you and from Hill Cottage - a huge thank you.”

“I had such a lovely time. I am still processing the ideas and images that you all helped me to experience.”

“The work is still percolating ... we made a winter crucible to hold ourselves during the weekend, thank you Zarine and Helen, it’s a lovely group you gathered for the offering.”

“It was so good to meet you, and all the rest of you lovely women at such a very special and unusual weekend, and to share so much. I felt very nourished and reassured by the work we did.”

“I felt very nourished and reassured by the work we did, you and Helen are some of my favourite people. The work gave me so many ideas - I’m still spilling them out into my journal in the early mornings.  I came out with an almost fully formed workshop of drawing and singing and letting go in my head… !”




Friday Arrival  from 3.00pm - 5.00 pm, Supper at 6.00pm

Followed by an introductory evening session around 7.00 pm - 9.00pm; Saturday 10 am – 5.00 pm and a gathering 7.30 - 9.30 pm; and Sunday 10.00 am – 4.00 pm  

Cost: £310

Includes retreat, full board (vegetarian) and single room accommodation

The deposit of £80 will be payable at the time of booking.

There will be up to 10 residential places

£20 of this deposit will be non-refundable as a contribution to our fixed admin costs. The remainder of the deposit is refundable if you cancel up to 8 weeks before the event. After that time it also becomes non-refundable unless we have to cancel the event and then your whole deposit will be returned.

The balance becomes due two weeks prior to the start of the event which is non-returnable. If there are circumstances that create a risk of cancellation for you, it may be helpful to look into cancellation and/or travel insurance, in case you are unable to attend.

In the unlikely event that we need to cancel or postpone, a full refund of what you have paid to us will be offered. Our liability is limited to what you have paid for the retreat or the workshop and does not appy to any travel cost you may have.

Booking: please contact Zarine for a booking form or more information using the email address

DSCN4517 (3).JPG
Listening 1.jpg
bottom of page