Pitch / Illustration Radio, Arts and culture for Cardiff and beyond with guests Rhian Bennet, Keely Harries, Oliver Davies and Mike Church and hosts Osian Grifford and Jamie Stevenson
On Saturday I was hosting an illustration/writing workshop at CardiffMet for teenagers aged 15-16 years old. I’ll write about the stories that came from them when I have more time maybe as some of them were instantly interesting and bizarre.
After creating the outline of the tasks of the workshop in the fortnight preceding I made sure that I would sit down at some point and create a zine by following the guide of my own workshop.
So, at first I created a face, very quickly sketched. From this face I imagined a character and a life being lived. The face that I saw resembled a stern headteacher so I went with that.
The headteacher probably came to my mind at the time because I was supposed to be showing these pupils the difference between their secondary school education and an art school education, where. as I see it, your imagination is supposed to run riot.
Also with this in mind I remembered a Frankie Boyle comedy sketch in which he talks about how the meanings of words have been changed to control us. giving the classroom example of how the word ‘thinking’ was exchanged for the word ‘daydreaming’ so that children could be told not to do it. “Don’t daydream” meant “Don’t think!”.
So with this routine in mind, combined with this story-less headteacher character, I looked at Christopher Brooker’s seven basic plot outlines, and settled on trying to fit my character into an ‘Overcoming the Monster’ plot-line. So who is the monster in this character’s life? Obviously it’s the children who are veering from the strict school curriculum with their constant exercising of their imaginations…
This plot was to be fitted onto eight panels so that I could draw it out on one side of an A4 sheet (so that reprinting would be cheap, and then cut and fold it into a small booklet.
‘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.