“The Mouse and The Coal Mine – My favourite children’s book so far this year!”
Book review for The Mouse and the Coal Mine, from August 2017. Click on the link below:
Cardiff – All the colours of the grey rainbow!
A couple of weeks ago I met someone who was quite fiery about a lot of really dodgy local politics and it was good to see their enthusiasm and get some inside knowledge.
But then they told me they’d also been campaigning for years to get all the graffiti painted over, with navy blue paint.
Last night I finished drawing and editing the images for a book written by Young Carers, through workshops with writer Mike Church in Bridgend – I’ll post relevant links and couple of pics of the physical book when it’s in print – This one was a really good story to work on – basically together we just smashed out a Jungle Book.
I wish my head was filled with good thoughts instead of bad. And that I didn’t think that lots of people weren’t worth bothering with. I wish I didn’t get so cross with helpless people. And that I wasn’t so angry at burglars and letting agents, and people who don’t pick up after their dogs. Because really I know that I’m no better than them. Really I think that if we were all sent together to some concentration camp, I think we’d get along.
You asked me how my night went.
I smeared what looked like dog shit from my chin and asked you how the meds were working.
You said you weren’t sad anymore.
Well that’s a shame I said and I went to pick up the kids from school.
They’re not my kids, but the mental health crisis team wouldn’t take me seriously so I thought this should help them along.
“Where are my parents?” The boy with the vimto stain asked me.
That’s what I was thinking.
Don’t they care that you’re missing?
The vimto stain was getting on my nerves so I took the kids to a shop and bought them baby wipes, and crisps and fruit (they were hungry). Looking after them was hard work, but it was harder watching them grow up and move out to go to university, because I knew that that they didn’t have the work ethic to succeed at anything.
You always told me that I cared too much.
I couldn’t tell if that’s what you were saying when I buried you alive. but when I dug you back up u shrugged the soil off and agreed that the meds were working.
Am currently working on the illustrations for a children’s book about Young Carers. Written by Young Carers in workshops in Bridgend with writer/poet/performer/actor Mike Church, the book hopes to communicate, through a fictional tale about a bear, the struggles of a young carer, hopefully to children and adults that are not young carers.
These images are photoshop edits of fineliner drawings that i have created for the book so far. The end versions of the drawings will look very different textureally, as i will be colouring the characters using acrylics and ink to give them a more textural feel that I think i remembered enjoyingseeing in my books as a child. I think these black and white foreground images would suit an older reader looking for a more energetic and possibly fear-based narrative so hopefully i’ll find a way to us this kind of finish in the future for another project.
I’m really looking forward to seeing this book as a whole as I like the story a lot and am very pleased with how the illustrations for it are coming along.
‘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
The following images are my drawings for 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.”