a walk with the artist Hanna Varga and the beauty of authenticity

One of the most delightful experiences of a wholly magical time at the Creative Countryside Gathering this weekend was doing a workshop with the Hungarian artist Hanna Varga of Ashleaf London.

I wasn’t prepared for the exquisite beauty of both Hanna’s work and her personal presence. It was yet another reminder of the power of doing what we are skilled at, maintaining authenticity in our creative work and the strength of sharing that with others. When we show up as our true selves as Hanna did, it’s transformative. It elevates the interaction, lifts it beyond the mundane, making it both meaningful and memorable. 

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When we show up as our true selves as Hanna did, it’s transformative. It elevates the interaction, lifts it beyond the mundane, making it both meaningful and memorable. 


One of the great joys of life for me is to walk, metaphorically speaking usually, in the shoes of the creatives that I meet and glimpse a little of life through their eyes. I knew as soon as I met Hanna that the experience with her would be a rich one and when we began the workshop with Hanna leading us on a walk, the taper of my curiosity was lit.

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Hanna has an uncommon passion for and love of leaves and she invited us to deepen our relationship with them and look with fresh eyes at what was all around us and could so easily be overlooked. 

a walk with the artist hanna varga

Hanna’s careful choice of words, her considered pace, her humble yet grounded and wholly authentic offering of her perspective was deeply moving and impactful whilst leaving much room for our own journey of personal discovery. 

creative countryside gathering land art with hanna varga

As a group, with Hanna’s gentle guidance, we created a piece of ephemeral land art that was as beautiful in the process of making as it was in the end result. She then invited us to select a leaf and bring it back to the house to prepare it for preserving in sculpture. 

Hanna’s relationship with leaves leads to the creation of the most exquisite bronze castings which form the body of her stunning creative work. The excitement in the group at the possibility of our chosen leaves being cast as part of her ongoing story was palpable.

Why am I sharing this? Inspiration moves us, in all sorts of ways and I was so captivated by Hanna’s process and her work that sharing it with you becomes a natural extension of that. But more than that, I thought it might serve as a deeper reminder. 

As an entrepreneur you can’t underestimate the power of your passions and how passing that on, in your own unique way, will light the fires of wonder and curiosity in others. There is no better vehicle for building the strength of your brand than sharing your gifts and your story with genuine authenticity. 

It doesn’t matter what your passion is either. I love nature as you know and sharing it with kindred spirits, but I was similarly enthralled recently by a friend of my husbands who shared his coffee making ritual with me, and I don’t drink coffee!

The difference that makes the difference is your authentic resonance with what you are sharing or bringing to market. That it is yours, deeply yours and that it moves you in a way that is not dependent on others or influenced by them, but is simply, as I imagine it is with Hanna, part of your very soul.

If you enjoy spending time with like minded creatives who enjoy a deep connection with nature, then the Creative Countryside community has a number of seasonal gatherings throughout the year. You can find more details here.

If you would like to see more of Hanna’s work you can visit her website here.

Elizabeth Cairns2 Comments