what it is to be there

an on-going exploration of place and grief


March 2020 saw the beginning of a period of reflection on events that happened when I was a teenager growing up in South Wales.

The work is centred around an area of ground in the Garw Valley, South Wales, next to a coal mine and school, neither of which exist today.

The work is about my somatic connection with this earth, my childhood experiences and the exchange of DNA, energy, spirit, feeling. All this has helped me to understand how I am shaped by history, environment, culture and the land.

The time I’ve spent thinking with my body about ‘what it is to be there’ has made me realise that there’s a bridge between narrative enquiry, auto-ethnography and creative arts practice that enables me to speak with a number of voices. It has opened up questions around identity, indidgeneity, culture, marginalisation, geology, nature, the soil and the interconnectedness of it all, of us all.

I was fortunate to work with academics at Bristol and Cardiff Universities (Jan – June 2022), funded by The Brigstow Institute, Ideas Exchange.  This included a workshop, with researchers from the academic and art worlds, to explore ideas around grief, creativity and place.  Following on from this, Professor Louise Steel, Lesel Dawson and myself have been awarded a Research Development Award on ‘The Generativity of Materials: Creativity, Memory and Place’ from the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David as part of the Impact Accelerator Programme (RIAP) Supported by Research Wales Innovation Funding.

In July I received funding from Arts Council England to focus on developing my creative practice. The research and work of thinking with my body is on-going.

visual journal: October 2021 – May 2022 PDF

visual journal: June-Aug-2022 PDF