In January I was commissioned to create graphic recording and visual notes of the Denbighshire County Council’s Local Children’s Safeguarding Board conference, held in St Asaph in March. It was great to be approached by forward thinking people who were already aware of the benefits of visual communication in their organisation.
The day included three key speakers and workshops: the audience heard from senior lecturer Wulf Livingston from Glyndwr University, Di Jerwood from NSPCC and a group working on a multi agency protocol for best practice. The topics also included case studies and how children are affected by their parents’ situation whether it is in relation to domestic abuse, substance misuse or mental health issues. You can watch all three talks on YouTube – here’s a link to Di Jerwood’s talk.
The audience feedback was great – many people said I managed to capture the key details of the specialised professional subject matter and the recordings became a key focal point during breaks to promote further discussion. LSCB will use these recordings at their training events in the future so they get even more value for their investment in visualisation.
You can view more photos of the event on my Flickr page. And if you would like to discuss a potential project, please don;t hesistate to get in touch.
A few weeks ago I started my role as a resident graphic recorder of Rapid Cycling, a programme of artists residencies at the new ATTIC gallery in Roath, Cardiff. The gallery, founded by artists Sara Annwyl and Julia Thomas, is committed to an exploration of how emotional distress, cognitive ‘dysfunction’ and ’madness’ are understood, treated and experienced scientifically, personally and culturally.
The first event was a hosted day of dialogue, with artist Sara Rees and with contributions from the other Rapid Cycling artists, MARGIN, their resident writers group, and their group of responders. Other guests included Gareth Williams, Professor of Sociology from Cardiff University, Rose Thompson, Digital Storyteller and Dr Jamie Lewis a social scientist who works with the Medical Research Council and acts as ATTIC’s academic consultant.
The event started with people looking around Sara’s work and then being divided into two discussion groups thinking about responses to the work and questions to ask from the artist. The thoughts and questions were then shared with the whole group resulting in interesting conversation.
For more photos of the graphic recording please visit the Flickr set. There will be more updates with other discussion sessions and at the end of the project I get to create a wall mural of the whole thing inside the gallery. For ATTIC info and updates, keep an eye on the ATTIC blog, ATTIC Facebook page and Twitter!
Next week I will be taking part in a workshop providing a space for mental health service users to discuss their thoughts on stigma. The event is organised by artist Julia Thomas whose exhibition ‘Aletheia: In Unconcealment‘ is on at the Arcade Cardiff empty shop gallery space in Queens Arcade, Cardiff.
My role will be to illustrate a graphic recording of the discussion as it unfolds and provide the participants a visual reference point. I’m looking forward to it as I have wanted to see how people from so called vulnerable groups perceive visual facilitation and tools – I will post more about the process afterwards.
The title of this blog post refers to posters I saw at the Harlow Town Show in September. They were displayed at the local NHS stand and grabbed my attention straight away.
I thought this was such a good example of simple messaging and design. It stops people in their tracks – we all have people with mental health problems in our circle of friends and acquaintances even if we are not aware of this.
I have a personal stance in talking openly about mental health problems after witnessing too many occasions when they have been brushed under the carpet or they have cause feelings of shame, despair or even guilt in people close to me. My stance is strong also because there is really hardly any honest publicity about raising awareness of these issues. In social situations, it’s not “appropriate” to admit to one’s weaknesses, especially if those feelings of weakness are in one’s head. Mention therapy or the thought of getting help, things get awkward. Read more…