Who are you, what do you do and why did your organisation get involved with Renew?
I am a poet, a visual artist and a workshop leader. I have been working as a professional sculptor for 20 years and have shown my work all over the world as well as being regularly featured in the Royal Academy opens. I am a multi award winning poet, my debut collection “Ghost writer” is on its 6th publication run and I tour the U.K with my own 5 star solo show as well as regularly supporting John Cooper- Clarke. I have run inspirational workshops for 15 years with Big Ideas Wales, a role modelling programme funded by Welsh Government, and I also work on a freelance basis for Oriel Myrddin running arts and craft workshops and for Sculpture by the Sea an environmental arts organisation whose main priority is to see people engage with nature in a creative, non impactful way.
Why are you drawn to this area of work and/or how have you helped community groups take their first steps to action in the past?
I love working with and facilitating groups to engage with previously un-tapped skills within themselves and particularly to show how art and craft can act as a vehicle to empower people and groups to think and therefore act in more careful and ecological ways within their own homes and communities.
I have worked with young people from areas in Pembrokeshire as a representative artist with Sculpture by the Sea and have used recycled materials to create beautiful artworks that have an ecological message. Plastic pollution was gathered from local beaches and turned into murals depicting thriving ocean life. I’ve also used spoken word to talk about the dangers of single use plastic when I was commissioned by Sculpture by the sea to write and perform a piece live on 10 different beaches two years ago.
What is your vision of your region in 2050? What will have changed and how will we have got there
I visualise a total ban on single use plastics and every single household having access to their own vegetable plots, I would also like to see clothes and toy libraries where people can borrow and return re-usable goods. A continuation of education around the issues of plastic and re-use and renewable energy sources is essential, and I would like to see government and local councils offer reward systems to encourage people to change their personal habits. I would like to see policy where unused land is converted into allotment space for families that don’t have access to their own gardens, and for children to be educated from a very early age on the importance of self sustainability through arts programmes, so that learning is fun and creative.