‘Glyndwr’s rebellion was precipitated by conflict with Reginald Grey, lord of Rhuthun. The two men had neighbouring lands, and dispute arose over a certain piece which Grey seized. When Glyndwr sought redress through Parliament, he was rebuffed. Parliaments response to warnings against such an attitude in the face of growing Welsh dissatisfaction was, ‘What care we for bare foot rascals?
Taken from: National Redeemer: Owain Glyndwr in Welsh Tradition By Elissa R. Henken
This week I took down an exhibition that I had curated and exhibited with at The Sho Gallery in Cardiff, on Womanby St. The exhibition took place within Wales’ first ever Independence festival ‘IndyFest’ and my work was created in direct response to thoughts on national identity in Wales.
The following words are my artist’s statement which accompanied my work:
“I find national identity quite difficult to give shape to as I agree with the notion that there are more differences within cultures than between them. I think there will always be conservative-minded people who want to connect national identity to only the culture of the establishment of the day and I think that this is doing a country a disservice. I found my secondary school to contain within it a clash between cultures that every now and then represented themselves (I think now incorrectly) as Welsh and English and that was quite interesting to be a part of.
I think Wales now has to define itself more than ever as a culturally and historically rich country because corporate homogenisation has been squeezing the individuality from wherever there is money to be made, but now the balance has tipped and progressive individuality is what will gain Wales financial confidence.
Created specifically for this exhibition, this work is an offshoot of a graphic novel I’ve been working on for some time called ‘Box-Son’, a story about an insanely damaged man raising two children; Gwenallt, and Box-son (a son kept locked in a box). ‘Box-son’ deals with various ways that we suspend our empathy for people.”
This exhibition was made possible thanks to a financial contribution by YesCymru. To find out more about their campaign for Welsh Independence, visit yes.cymru
On September 16th in Cardiff, Wales’ first ever independence festival is taking place.
Tickets still available for Wales’ first independence festival –
Lineup available here https://indyfest.cymru/
I’ll announce the Sho Gallery exhibition artists list soon on here and that will carry on into the following week if you can’t make it to the festival itself.
Click on the following link for info and tickets:
Another children’s book launch – today was for ‘The Mouse and the Coal Mine’ by PETRA Publishing which I did the illustrations for earlier this year. Beautiful atmospheric and bittersweet Story by writer/poet/actor/performer Mike Church , written from conversations with miners and families of miners in Aberbargoed – my favourite children’s book to work on so far. The optimism in the story is there but I think it’s optional and for that reason I liked it a lot when I read it and worked on the illustrations with this thought in mind.
Below are photos of a few of the pages. Contact Petra Publishing to purchase.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel is another children’s book I got to illustrate working alongside writer/poet/actor/performer Mike Church. Written through workshops in Church Hall in Bargoed by a community group, the book subtly deals with the experience of being bipolar and of being a friend/relative or spouse of someone suffering with the disorder. The story focuses on Millie the “life and soul of the party” mole and her friend Mollie during a local bake-off competition.
The book launch took place earlier this week at st Gwladys Primary School in Bargoed where Mike read out the story to the enthusiastic children during an afternoon assembly whilst the pictures were projected on the walls.
This was a great book to work on and a challenge for me to visually create truly lovable characters as what the group had written was characters that the readers would be affectionate towards. My colour pallet for this book are different to any i’d used before as everyone on board the project was keen to have this be very accessible to a very young audience.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel is published by PETRA Publishing
British Library ISBN978-0-9957827-0-9
A graphic novel that I’ve been working on for about two years on-and-off is nearing completion. It’s a dark comedy narrative born from my curiosities about restorative and punitive justice measures, and also from my interests in viewers and readers’ empathy for morally bad characters. Any suggestions for relevant publishers would be very welcome. Thanks.