Tag Archives: Greenham Common

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 …..

Revolting Women

10 Jan
teaser 1

Drawings from the Greenham Common commemorative march: left by Patricia McKenna Jones; right by Rose Davies aka Rosie Scribblah

Patricia McKenna Jones and I are revolting women. We are working together to do an exhibition of our work for International Women’s Day in March. Watch this space!

Walking In Their Footsteps

1 Sep

peace 4

 

Here’s the final drawing I did last Bank Holiday Monday, when I joined a group of women from across South Wales to remember the original women’s peace march that led to Greenham Common back in 1989. We set out from Swansea really early, then had speeches, songs and a short march around Alexandra Gardens in Cardiff; sidestepping the preparations for the Cardiff Pride event later that day. One of the original marchers, Ann Pettitt, spoke of her experiences, so interesting. Of course, I had to scribble her! I didn’t go on the original protest but I joined 30,000 others at the huge “Embrace The Base” event in 1982, where we all linked hands around the perimeter fence, I think it was about 9 miles.

 

severn 1

 

Then off to Chepstow for tea and Welsh Cakes in the Drill Hall and then recreating part of the march onto the old Severn Bridge on the M48. I’ve driven across that bridge many times through my life but never walked on it. There’s a very good pedestrian and cycle path and I was surprised by how many were walking it on a lovely day. Here’s a view of the new Severn Bridge from the old one with sheep walking across the land below the bridge.

 

Banners And Badges

29 Aug

peace 2

 

Here’s another drawing I did into my A4 hardbacked sketchbook on Bank Holiday Monday, during the celebration of the anniversary of the first women’s peace march to Greenham Common in 1981.  This is at the first part of the commemoration, at Alexandra Gardens in Cardiff, and there’s one of the protesters with her cap covered in vintage political badges peeping from behind one of the wonderful embroidered banners. Here’s my fellow artist from Swansea, Patricia McKenna Jones, who also loves to scribble in public and draws an artblog.

 

peace 3

 

I didn’t go on the original protest but I joined 30,000 others at the huge “Embrace The Base” event in 1982, when I was a young whippersnapper. I didn’t realise how many women were there because we were spread out along the perimeter fence, holding hands. We didn’t know at the time that this was historic, you don’t, do you? You just do what you think is right and then decades go by and suddenly you’re history! And how did those decades fly by so quickly?

 

Commemorating The Peace March

28 Aug

peace 1

 

Yesterday I went on a journey, leaving Swansea by coach at 8.30 am, heading to Cardiff to commemorate the start of the Women’s Peace March to Greenham Common, way back in 1981. Organised by Women’s Archive Wales, there were speeches and songs in Alexandra Gardens and we took a walk around the area with some of the gorgeous embroidered banners. Then back onto the coach to Chepstow, where we were greeted with tea and sandwiches and Welsh cakes ….. aaahhh ….. Welsh cakes …. and more speeches and talks from some of the women who had been on the original march and historians. Then we walked through some woods and emerged onto the old Severn Bridge, which was spectacular! More on that tomorrow ….

 

tinkers cakes

Here’s a drawing I did a while back of Welsh cakes cooking on the griddle….. mmmm …. Welsh cakes …. mmmm ….

 

 

 

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