A series of Artist and Printmaking articles
During the pandemic, Swansea Print Workshop set up a new dedicated digital Exhibition space, funded by the Covid Relief fund for arts organizations. It is already showcasing hundreds of prints and drawings from its artist members and visiting artists.
It is a pleasure to connect with this lively creative community during this time. Take a look at the website, Swansea Printmakers: there is an amazing variety of fabulous work showing and, in my articles, experienced printmakers talk about their work and their creative process, offering inspiration and tips too! More to follow throughout 2021.
A pandemic journey – May 2021
Like a lot of people, my plans had to change as a result of the pandemic. Within less than a year, I moved from the south coast to the hills in the Lake District area, and, more recently, north east, back to the sea. Moving is disruptive but can also be an opportunity. In the south Lakes, I used psychogeography practices to inform a more conscious exploration of place. I began new creative journeys with projects in memory mapping, printmaking and artists’ books. I continue to work on the draft of my novel; with its themes of the resilience of the human spirit and compassion, this feels more relevant now we have shared this extraordinary experience.
Catching up and looking forward
Writing this feels like meeting up with a friend I haven’t seen for a few years and throwing into an evening’s catch-up everything that has happened in the intervening time!
It’s been one of those challenging periods for me – of life changes, and coping with ill health, of letting go in order to make new starts. Not everything has gone smoothly or as I expected but along the way I’ve enjoyed new experiences, discovered things I never knew about myself; I’ve made new friends and, what has been a real pleasure, rediscovered old friendships.
People have been unexpectedly, generously kind and supportive, but pushed me too when I’ve needed it.
I’ve had the opportunity to live and travel to lots of different places: from suburban town living, long distance walks, holidays in the UK and France. I’ve spent time in Valencia – with its gorgeous architecture and subversive undercurrents and I’m currently enjoying life on the south coast of the UK with its ever-changing sea- and sky-scapes that never fail to lift the spirits.
These places – their atmosphere and character, their pleasing and sometimes unappealing attributes always offer the possibility of setting. Settings are the connective tissue in my novels and, although they become fictionalized in my writing, a sense of place always play an important role.
And so, to my writing.
It’s true, my creative output has been slowed during these last few years, but the desire, the passion to write and to create has never left me. More recently I have recognized its gathering energy and urgency.
2020 is shaping up to be a creative year. The pages of a new novel are piling up and I can’t wait to introduce the characters to readers. I’ve plans for short fiction too and exciting collaborative works with artist friends taking me on new creative journeys.
I’m looking forward to sharing new work soon.
Coastal Currents September 2019, Hastings
Exhibition – People and Place, the Observer Building: “The Observer Building is an iconic, much-loved building in Hastings with rich heritage and surprising spaces. During its 34 years of dereliction, it remained neglected and unproductive.
This exhibition blends diverse local artist’s responses to the OB’s resuscitation – the people, spaces, challenges and value it creates. The artist varied perspectives give a rich picture of the building’s ongoing evolution. “
People and Printmaking Exhibition – Private View – Swansea – 24 November 2015
An evening of celebration at The Private View for Swansea Print Workshop’s People and Printmaking Exhibition, the final event of their 15th anniversary year. It featured a selection of the year’s work from Swansea pupils, young creators and the local community alongside prints by artist-members. The Private View showcased a special collaborative artists’ book – over 3 metres in length and launched the beautiful Anniversary Publication.
It was a poignant opening night for me as I am leaving Wales shortly. It was a chance to celebrate the amazing artists I have worked with over 10 years and to say a sad farewell to friends. The publication looks amazing and I am delighted that it has been so well received.
I have enjoyed working on many creative projects with Swansea Print Workshop which you can read about on my Creative Projects page.
Dylan Thomas Dialogues Exhibition – Private View – Swansea – 21st February 2014
A packed evening at The Taliesin Swansea for the launch of Swansea Print Workshop’s touring exhibition celebrating the centenary of Dylan Thomas’s birth.
This Creative Project was close to my heart with its aim of encouraging dialogue between visual artists and writers on the creative process around the theme of belonging.
It was great to bring writers in through the Dylan Thomas Prize for fiction and to be able to commission a piece by award winning writer, Rachel Trezise. I thoroughly enjoyed editing the project publication in which each artist has offered a written response to accompany their work.
My latest article How To Finish Your Novel features in the June (2014) edition of Writing Magazine
Leaves and Geese: latest short story
Delighted for my story to be in Honno’s latest anthology ‘My Heart on My Sleeve’
I always love being involved with Honno – a great team: passionate about writing and writers! And thrilled to conclude Janet Thomas’s thoughtful introduction to the collection.
Whatever all our happiness and failures mean, I want to end with this simple but beautiful idea from Sarah Jackman.
‘But you know what, love?’ Gina’s voice is soft, as if it’s travelled a long way to reach me. ‘It was an odd and beautiful thing, whatever it was. And I’m glad we saw it.’
Twenty-five years of Women’s Publishing @ Dinefwr Literature Festival – 30 June 2012
Looking forward to joining Elin ap Hywel and editors Penny Thomas and Stephanie Tillotson at the inaugural Dinefwr Literature Festival. I will be reading an extract from Swimming and talking about the idea behind my story.
This anniversary anthology celebrates 25 years of publishing by independent Welsh women’s press Honno.
We’d love to see you there!
Honno Launch Party @ The Hay Festival
A celebration of 25 years in publishing on 4 June 2012.
Launching All Shall be Well an anthology of a quarter of a century’s great writing from the women of Wales. Edited by Stephanie Tillotson and Penny Anne Thomas.
Hope to see you there!
Writer in Residence – Mountains and Islands Retreat @ Clynfyw Cottages
I am looking forward to supporting new and aspiring writers at the Mountains and Islands Writers Retreat at Clynfyw Cottages in Pembrokeshire, run by Literature Wales.
An opportunity for writers to relax, write, think and talk their way through a long slow autumn weekend.
A programme of creative writing workshops and one to one tutorial sessions over the weekend of 5 to 7 November 2010 Clynfyw, Nr Aberych Pembrokeshire. SA37 0HF