Talented Taibach

Today has been our last visit to Ysgol Hendrefelin in Taibach, Port Talbot. The aim of Consider Yourself  has been to challenge students at the school to think of different ways to express themselves whilst working closely with the local environment. Our student* was given the task of trying to outdo himself and create images better than the previous three weeks. We demanded beautiful clean ambitious images suitable for a magazine or advertising. We wanted pictures that could hold their own in reception areas in important venues. Above all, we wanted our participant to be over the moon about what he had achieved over the course.

Our beginner has already shown that he’s got a natural aptitude for photography and I hope he continues to use his new-found skills in the future. It’s been a real pleasure to work at Ysgol Hendrefelin. I really hope we can go back soon and help another talented young person to realise their creative potential.

*Small class, big ambitions!

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Movement and Chance

Over at Ysgol Hendrefelin this afternoon in Port Talbot and we’ve been exploring ideas on chance photography. Using a set of rules and a dice our photographs were dictated by where our feet ended up at any particular moment. Being inventive with what you have means it ‘s a real challenge to get something good but it really does make you investigate more closely what you have around you.

Being resourceful with what you have is the name of the game. Looking for that one perfect photograph was the next task. We thought back to the early days of photography and imagined what it would be like to have only one shot left on a roll of film. How do you make that shot count? Well we found a way and the results here really speak for themselves.

Nest week who knows what we’ll find. It’s going to be really hard to top the standard of this week’s photographs.

Today’s ASDES World Premiere

ASDES have been holding their 5th Annual Autism Day at Tapestri, Swansea. It’s been a day of talks and discussions about how best to understand and support people with autism. Parents, carers, professionals, and people with diagnosis got together and shared best practice and great experiences.

We ended the day with the world premier of the film Animated ASDES. This film was the culmination of a month long project in which we worked on ways to enable our ASDES ambassadors to get their voices heard. We recorded messages to employers with ideas on how to get the best out of people with autism when they reach interview. ASDES works closely with individuals to ensure that they’re best supported when entering the workplace so it was important we got the message right.

The Animated ASDES film was received well by everyone today and it will now go on to represent the charity in the best possible way. It’s great working with such smart, funny, animated, intelligent, articulate, caring people who deserve to be listened to. This project which has been funded by Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

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Let’s Dance

We’ve been working with Ysgol Hendrefelin School in Port Talbot to enhance their creativity curriculum. Students here are full of expression and individuality. The school’s approach is very much tailored to that of the individual so it’s great to be paired up with a student who knows what he likes.

After looking at a few ideas on selfies we let our participant loose with the camera to show us his moves. We discussed how the camera can make you feel strong and empower you to share your best side. Selfies are all about control over your own image, your own dreams, and your own abilities. Let’s dance…

Working with who you are

We’re working with a school in Port Talbot on Mondays for the next four weeks to improve their creative skills. Expression and creativity is a massive part of the school curriculum which helps young people develop who they are, and better explain how they see the world. Rather than imposing our ideas, or a framework for creative learning, on our participants we’re including their ideas and adaptations from the get go. We’re working with who they are and what interests them so that we can help them to take their skills into an area that suits them.

We’re very lucky that our participants are able to work with us on a one to one basis. This means that we can tailor make what they need very quickly. They have already said that their influences include Pablo Picasso, music from the 1950s and 1960s, Andy Warhol, and graffiti. These teens really have a diverse and interesting palette and it’sreally exciting for us to see what they’re creating. Some of the photographs our participants are taking will help them to enhance their GCSE portfolios. If this is week 1 I can’t wait to see what they’ll produce next week!

Spiral Treasures

Ever wondered what’s inside a snail shell? During the damp night the snail comes out to play, but what hidden treasure could these shells hold?

I’m reworking the insides of found snail shells and imagining what fantasies could be within. Each shell is returned to the place where I found it and photographed. I’m unsure at the moment if I should leave my spiral treasures in their natural habitat where snail colonies can reconnect with their lost relatives. Or perhaps I could leave them in a place to be found by humans so that others have the chance to connect with my art and keep a little treasure of their own.

The photographs have a potential all of their own. I’m considering framed prints but I would want each print to be unique; just as each Spiral Treasure is unique.

Now Showing in Canberra!

I’ve been really slack lately in updating you about my own art practice. I’ve been so busy promoting the great work of the organisations I’ve been doing workshops with I completely forgot to mention what I’m up to. It’s hard to remember to blow your own trumpet sometimes when there’s such a beautiful orchestra of people out there making their own music.

I’m currently in a show which opened last night in Canberra, Australia. Twitter Art Exhibit 2018 is being held in Strathnairn Arts Gallery and is curated by Kylie Fogarty. Postcard sized artworks are donated by global artists with 100% of the proceeds going to a local charity. This year it’s the turn of Pegasus Riding for the Disabled to benefit from the sale. In 2016-2017 Pegasus delivered more than 2600 riding sessions for people with a disability in the Canberra region. Twitter Art Exhibit is now in its 8th year and is getting bigger every year. Last year the exhibition was held in Stratford Upon Avon and raised more than £24000 for a charity in the UK so I’m really hopeful that Pegasus will benefit massively from the generosity of all involved in this year’s exhibition.

I can’t remember for the life of me what I entered for this show because I mailed it so long ago. Sometimes it’s nice to forget because it’s a nice surprise to discover my art in the photographs have been taken at the gallery. I love looking through the thousands of pictures that other artists have donated. With the artworks being so small it’s interesting to see what other people have done with the restricted parameters. There’s some amazing talent on show at Twitter Art Exhibit. Once they’re sold, they’re gone so if you’re in the area it’s worth seeing sooner rather than later. The exhibition runs until 29th April but don’t worry if you’re not in Australia. This is the Twitter Art Exhibit so you can follow the exhibition on Twitter HERE, and on Facebook HERE  and via their website HERE.  If you see my art then please let me know!

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