Planning exhibition events for people who are blind or partially sighted

June 19th, 2019

Very productive visit from Alastair Sill of Word of Mouth yesterday, further developing plans for the audio and touch tours of my forthcoming exhibitions, Painting Dance, at Ffin y Parc Gallery and Wales Millennium Centre, supported by Arts Council of Wales.

As mentioned in an earlier post, these events will be a first both for me and for the galleries, and – with regards to visual art, at least – a first for Alastair too, though will very much be building on Word Of Mouth’s established relationship with Ballet Cymru and Alastair’s experience delivering touch tours and audio descriptions of performances with the company over recent years. I think it’s going to be very interesting.

Discussing the project and looking through many of the pictures I’ve made so far, Alastair recorded audio and video which, together with information from dancers and others, he’ll refer to over the coming weeks as he begins outlining the scripts for the tours. We also considered how touch, smell and sound can be incorporated into the experiences, including the possible use of music used in the pieces I’ve been responding to, and the inclusion of objects such as ballet shoes, brushes, oils, and the panels I paint on, which may be handled by those taking part in the tours.

An audio flyer will also be produced, describing the project and the events being planned, and providing practical information about participation. This will be distributed to various agencies across the country involved with supporting people with visual impairments and/or promoting wider access to the arts, so it can be shared with their networks.

The tours will be relaxed and conversational, lasting around one hour, and will be free to attend. I’m very much looking forward to taking part, and to discovering how people with unique and unfamiliar perspectives respond to my pictures.

The Ffin y Parc events will take place on Saturday 28th September at 11am and 3pm. Those at Wales Millennium Centre will take place during the exhibition there in December (details to be arranged).

Booking information will be released nearer the times.

Please get in touch if you have any thoughts or questions, or would like to receive the audio flyer.


Goodbye to 2018/19 Ballet Cymru Pre-Professionals

June 15th, 2019

Great evening at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama on Thursday. Beautiful self-choreographed pieces by Ballet Cymru’s Pre-Professionals – accompanied by the Welsh Chamber Chorus and Orchestra – marking with a flourish the end of nine months’ training and performance with the company. Huge congratulations.

Very sad to see everyone leave, though grateful for the opportunity to have met and worked with such a dedicated, inspired and inspiring group of dancers, and excited to see where the next stages of their careers take them. Many thanks, and best of luck to all!

A selection of paintings made with the group will be exhibited in forthcoming exhibitions at The Royal Cambrian Academy, Ffin y Parc Gallery, and Wales Millennium Centre.


Work with Giulia Rossi and Renan Manhães

May 26th, 2019

Most of the pictures I’ve made so far in my Arts Council of Wales-funded project with Ballet Cymru have involved dancers taking part in the company’s Pre-Professionals Programme. Last Saturday I was able to work with two of these dancers, Giulia Rossi and Renan Manhães, developing ideas inspired by their very bold and expressive piece Untitled Yet, choreographed by Renon.

It was a hugely fun and productive session, during which I was able to explore some new thoughts about responding to dance on paper and canvas – ideas I’ll be taking further in coming work, and in further collaborations with Ballet Cymru dancers and choreographers.

Many thanks to Giulia and Renan, and very best of luck to them, and to their fellow pre-professional Anaïs Gentjens, as they premier Untitled Yet at the Sayawan Festival, London, on June 1st – 7pm, St Augustine’s Hall, Oxford Rd, NW6 5SN. Cardiff performances TBA.


Get Creative workshops with Ballet Cymru

May 15th, 2019

Really enjoyed yesterday’s figure drawing workshops at Ballet Cymru’s studios – participants from eight years old, ranging from experienced artists to complete beginners working from the figure for the first time. Beautiful work, often in response to some very challenging poses!

Big thanks to all who took part, Ballet Cymru, Get Creative, and to fantastic dancers/models Kiby Forcos, Caitlin Liston, Emma Ikavalko, Giulia Rossi, Anaïs Gentjens and Renan Manhaes – all with the company’s Pre-Professionals programme.

Pop-up exhibition at Ballet Cymru’s friend’s event on Friday 17th May. Tickets available via their website.


Figure drawing workshops with Ballet Cymru

May 8th, 2019

As part of next week’s Get Creative Festival, on Tuesday May 14th I’ll be running two figure drawing workshops at Ballet Cymru’s rehearsal studios in Rogerstone, Newport.

Free to access and suitable for artists of all ages and experience, the workshops will be an opportunity to explore dynamic figure drawing in an inspiring setting, working with dancers from the company’s Pre-Professionals programme.

Charcoal, paper, drawing boards and refreshments will be provided, though participants are also welcome to bring their own drawing materials/equipment.

Workshops will be two hours long, beginning at 1.30pm and 4pm. Younger children to be accompanied, please.

Participants will be invited to exhibit a selection of their work in a pop-up exhibition at the company’s Friends’ event on Friday 17th.

To book, please contact Jenny Isaacs at Ballet Cymru on (01633) 892 927, or email, specifying which session you’d like to join.