In April 2019 Pitch (hosted by myself and Heledd Evans) invited Daniel-Wyn Jones and Richard Mcreynolds of newCELF to perform a Fluxus takeover on RadioCardiff 98.7fm.
Posters and illustrated poetry collection written in writing and illustration workshops with a group of five (from year 7 and 8) at Abersychan School, with writer Mike Church. The project was organised and funded by Literature Wales.
When I first arrived on the project, Mike had already had a couple of writing sessions with the group who at that stage were still pushing for slime to be made in the workshops.
So far they had been writing poems that if I remember correctly would eventually be turned into the poem ‘Where Do Ideas Come From?’. This had been done by Mike bringing in stock photographs (a door in a tree, a person begging on the street) and images which the group responded to.
In my first session with them, some seemed more forwards in coming up with ideas than others and they were mostly reluctant to read aloud although they were good at reading once encouraged to have a go.
As the sessions went on the group quickly took to short quick responsive tasks, especially with the drawing, which they did in thick charcoal so it got quite messy but it worked as the mess meant that the drawings had to be very simple at communicating what they were.
In the early workshops it wasn’t clear what end form the writing and drawings would end up taking, but as the workshops went on, the strength of the group came from the mix of humorous lines about foods and the like, and emotive sentences about the basic needs and goals in life. From this the sessions proceeded to create poems line by line, with everyone chipping in responses to prompts from Mike.
When some of the early poems had been worked on the group set about drawing the ideas from some of the lines and came up with some unique responses.
The screaming swings and cheeky monster interpretations, as well as butterflies with tails that grew people were all in keeping with the dreamlike world that they had created in the poetry. Everything worked towards communicating a totally bonkers world within an imagination which stayed grounded only in some of the more melancholic lines about homemaking, family, and friendship.
By the last session the group were a lot more confident with bouncing ideas off eachother and by the showing of the book, and posters they were very proud and happy to read their poems out loud.
Personally I’m very pleased to have got to work on this project – the group were lovely to work with and I think what came from it is a really beautiful collection.
Speaking to S4C’s Hansh about my work :
Hansh are available to follow on both instagram and Facebook – please find links below:
Example comic I made for a workshop I taught in Cardiff’s Rawffest this afternoon. The class came up with the most bizarre amazing stories. Essentially we found narratives and characters in our experimental drawings and by adding random word references from our individual memories until we formed some kind of story.
Link to News at Ten coverage of Artes Mundi : https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0c01dxf/bbc-news-at-ten-24012019
The year 2146. Flat-Earthers have taken control of the globe. Knowledge is scarce. Superstition is rife. Geoff Tate is a land worker who’s curiosity overpowers his fear.
2146 was written with Mike Church in workshops in Aberbargoed in mid 2018 with the Innovative Programme. I attended some of the later workshops and the group came up with some visual ideas for the world of the story also. The narrative is a darkly comic dystopian satire. The Illustrations needed to carry this mood.
I’m really pleased to have got to work on this book. One of my favourite projects so far.
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