Tag Archives: art

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 …..

Take A Hike

23 Nov

There’s so much going on in Swansea this weekend and I’m going to give it all a plug because there’s a lot of people living in Swansea who are professional complainers and bang on about nothing happening, which isn’t true, so why not get into town tomorrow (Sunday) and take a hike around the city calling in on the fabulous things happening, all of them free.

SPW 1

Art and artists’ cards at Swansea Print Workshop

First off, start with the hidden gem that is Swansea Print Workshop which is having Open Days from 10.30 – 4.00 each day until Wednesday November 27th, with original art, artists’ cards, and amazing antique and modern machines dating from Queen Victoria’s era.

Open Days November 2019[10897]

Then stroll down West Way onto the seafront (about 2 minutes walk) to the National Waterfront Museum which is hosting the Green Fayre – I went today and bought some fab vintage tools and a really nice vintage glass brooch from Tools For Self Reliance Cymru who lovingly refurbish old tools.

tools

Jeweller’s pliers, a burnisher, a scraper (for mezzotint) and a glass brooch all for £7.50

Then round the corner to Swansea Museum , a proper old Cabinet of Curiosities sort of place which is now displaying drawings and screenprints from Swansea Print Workshop with its collection of antique taxidermy.

screens

 

And then if you want more, round the other corner is the Mission Gallery that has just launched its Winter Garden show and if you’re hungry for more – try out the Glynn Vivian art gallery that’s showing the official Swansea City 50 years exhibition and has a fab cafe too. Oh and they’re taking entries for the Swansea Open as well.

PHEW!!!!! If you’ve got a car you can also catch the last day of Deanne Mangold’s Open Studio at Class Glass in Llansamlet.

There, that should fill up anyone’s Sunday ……

Tucked Away

21 Nov

gsa 4

 

Just a quick sketch that I did at GS Artists a few days ago, scribbling people in the audience. These little drawings underpin my artistic practice, I have thousands of them, tucked away in cupboards all over the house.

Blind Contour And Continuous Line

18 Nov

gsa 3

 

Here are some more heads I drew on Saturday at GS Artists. I started with a speed sketch using the blind contour technique, where I kept the pen on the paper and didn’t look at it at all as I drew, keeping my gaze on the person. It’s a good warm-up exercise. Then I moved onto a continuous line drawing.

 

 

Unsuspecting Heads

17 Nov

gsa 2

Here are some heads from my sketchbook. I like to keep sketching, it underpins my artistic practice, so wherever I am, out and about, I like to have a scribble and I like to scribble heads because I love drawing expressions of people who have no idea that I’m visually stalking them!!!!! I did these at GS Artists yesterday, at the launch of the latest exhibition, There Is A Politics Of Space As Space Is Politics….

Controversy, Art And Having A Scribble

16 Nov

gsa1 a

I went to GS Artists on Swansea’s High Street this afternoon for the launch of their new exhibition and a panel talk and a tasty vegan lunch. Of course, I had to have a scribble. I was sitting next to fellow scribbler Patti McKenna-Jones and she was having a scribble too.  The panel included artists Gavin Turk, Debbie Rees, Jane Simpson and Owen Griffiths and there was a lively and at times controversial discussion from the floor.

The Turk In The Dark

15 Nov

Gavin Turk

Husb and I went to the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery this evening to a talk by the artist Gavin Turk which was fun and provocative. It was very hot and very dark. Of course, I had to have a scribble. It was hard to see him as I was right at the back and it was so dark that I could only just see the page in my sketchbook, but I like a challenge. Oh yes.

Being Human

14 Nov

Being Human Cinema and Co 2

Husb and I went to Swansea’s independent Cinema & Co this evening for the first of Swansea University’s Being Human Festival events, about assassination. Nice.

Of course, I had to have a scribble. It was quite dark but that’s good practice.

Chonk!

13 Nov

1573678959072-1817332438.png

I can’t keep the creative juices flowing constantly. I think most artists are the same. It isn’t a 9 to 5 job. Some days I don’t make art, but I still like to draw, even for a few minutes, to keep my hand in. That’s where the cat comes in handy, she’s always around for a quick scribble. She’s getting to be a bit of a chonk!

A Local Hero

12 Nov

Sally

I spent a lovely afternoon at GS Artists on Swansea’s High Street, working with fellow artist Patti McKenna-Jones, running a collage workshop. It was organised by GS Artists director, Jane, and Amina from Fusion as part of Swansea’s second annual 9-90 arts festival. Our theme this year is “Local Hero” and Jane and Amina chose that marvellous actor and philanthropist Michael Sheen as our subject.

 

We had a great group of people, some experienced artists familiar with collage and some who had never done it before. They all approached it differently and brought their own style to each piece. The session was only 2 hours but they worked really fast and did loads of work, although there wasn’t enough time to finish. They took their collages away with their “pallettes” of coloured paper shards so they can finish them at home, ready to exhibit.

workshops-9to90

The 9-90 Festival is inviting people to submit portraits of Michael Sheen to be shown at GS Artists in December. Please click here to find out more.

%d bloggers like this: