What’s That When It’s At Home?

24 Nov

I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for decades, just getting on with it, doing my art, mostly sketchbooks from reality, life drawing and printmaking, while working with marginalised people – the homeless and the drug and alcohol dependent. As far as I was concerned, these were not two different things, but are inter-dependent. When people asked what I did, it took ages to explain. Now, apparently, I’m a socially engaged artist. So there we are.

Afghan refugee children

It isn’t just about how I integrate living as an artist with working with people at the edge of society – it also informs the artwork I do. For example, I made this monotype (above) from my first visit to Pakistan over a decade ago now. It was a relatively peaceful period and we were visiting the Khyber Pass and I was inspired by Afghan refugees travelling back to their homes.

walking to greenham

In my sketchbooks, I draw from real life, both the ordinary that’s around me every day and the special events like demonstrations and meetings. Here’s a drawing I did on the march to commemorate Greenham Common back last year.

Here Be Dragons small

Sometimes my work is directly political, like “Here Be Dragons” that was commissioned last year by Sky Arts TV channel.

Flag final

And the flag of Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd designed for the AUOB Cymru marches.

b

Recently, I’ve become an artist-in-residence and researcher in the FIRE Laboratory in Swansea University’s Department of Bioscience, working at the interface between art and environmental science.

Or I just draw people getting on with their lives on the streets of Swansea….

 

So when people ask what I do, now I say “I’m a socially engaged artist” and they go “So what’s that when it’s at home then?”

 

And it takes ages to explain …..

6 Responses to “What’s That When It’s At Home?”

  1. Alli Farkas November 27, 2019 at 23:24 #

    Who knew?? Thanks for sharing!

  2. Leonie Andrews November 26, 2019 at 03:10 #

    I’m glad you have sorted out what type of artist you are. I am still trying to work out how to describe what I do. Please pass any insights my way. šŸ˜

  3. louiseaprimeau November 24, 2019 at 14:38 #

    Thank you for the explanation! I wish more organizations and institutions would value the work of artists…

    • Rosie Scribblah November 24, 2019 at 14:46 #

      There are so many misconceptions about artists unfortunately. Thanks for reading and commenting šŸ™‚

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