I’ve been reading a lovely article today written by London-based arts organisation Collect Connect. They described me as “the poster girl for the Swansea art world” which is a humbling tribute although I’m sure I don’t stand out any more, or less, than other artists in this fair city.
There are a lot of us artists trying our best to make our voices heard. It’s a long hard slog to try and make a headway with something different. It doesn’t matter whether it’s new art or a new exhibition I’m putting together, it’s a tough old world out here. But it’s not like I’m working in a front-line service or doing anything life-saving with my art so perhaps I’m not due for any medals quite yet. I’m just muddling along trying to get my art seen and be as inclusive as possible in helping other people in the same predicament as myself.
Meanwhile, the community work I do has a similar ethos of inclusivity against the odds. In a world governed by statistics and spending justifications it’s hard to get recognition and financial backing for therapeutic photography workshops based on qualitative values. The work I do boosts the well-being of those on the edge and the Collect Connect article recognizes that my “participants have shown great resilience in overcoming their problems and [my] workshops often inspire them to learn other new skills and tackle other obstacles in their lives from a new position of strength.”
I don’t often get press and I don’t go looking for it either. I’m very much of the attitude that recognition is not something you can go begging for. This review has made me take stock of where I’m at and I’m happy to take a step back today and have a little grin of pride. It’s nice that somebody has noticed that I’m trying my very best at being the best that I can be.