Hello. I am a multimedia storyteller and designer, creative practitioner, lecturer and illustrator so I wear many hats! Primarily I run an art school called Henry Hedgepodge Academy of ART in Pembrokeshire, Wales, UK, a children’s safe space for self-expression for healing, growth, creative learning and exploration. As well as therapeutic, my sessions are led through expressive arts engagement for literacy + numeracy.
I am BAAT (British Association of Art Therapists) trained to work through the medium of art and drama with Looked After Children and with individuals of any age with ADL, ASC, low self-esteem, aphasia, grief, and transgender adjustments.
Since emigrating to Wales in 2009, I have led educational and therapeutic workshops for Pembrokeshire County Council’s Adult Learning and Springboard family programmes, Arts Council of Wales’ Lead Creative Schools, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Criw Celf, Farms for City Children, and have been a guest speaker on art and aphasia at the Stroke Hub Wales lectures, Cardiff Metropolitan University, and on art and dementia for the Department of Nursing, Swansea University, as well as other UK and American organisations and charities. The last two years have been full-on working as an Artist Mentor for Age Cymru’s award-winning cARTrefu programme in care homes, delivering workshops with residents and training sessions for care staff development.
In 2017, I was invited to lead a state-wide design project in North Carolina, USA. While there, I was approached to spearhead a 12-week programme for artist residencies for Total Life Care Centres in Raleigh, NC. During that pilot residency, I worked through the medium of art with adults with additional learning needs, aphasia and dementia, and curated and showcased our work in Raleigh’s most-respected public gallery. This high-profile exhibition of creativity and self-expression raised awareness in the community at large that quality of life can be reached after stroke and in dementia.
I haven’t always worked in creative social care, my work since university has been as a designer, illustrator, lecturer and design director in the field of transmedia journalism. But in 2012, still mid-career, I received the International Society of News Design’s (SND) highest honour, the Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in my craft and leadership in the field of visual journalism education. That honour gave me the courage to leave the journalism career I loved to pursue another love, helping individuals with learning, physical and emotional difficulties to tell their own stories. And it is this love, that motivates and drives all the work that I currently do.
It is my engagement with individuals that inspires my work as a printmaker. Paint, ink, colour, textures and movement together with paper and natural finds create a thrill of making for the residents. Printmaking empowers them to create without a fear of drawing or "doing it right". In my own creative expression, I want to capture the ethereal essence of the marine and river life I print through the Japanese method of Gyotaku (fish printing). In monoprinting, it is the serendipity of the technique which fuels me to create my own interpretation of the Welsh coastal landscape through memory and present moment, sorrow and joy. My work is held in private collections in the States, Canada, Colombia, UK, Spain, South Africa and Australia.
JOURNALISM CAREER 1986-2009
– Deputy managing editor for visuals + joint ventures, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk,, Virginia, an American publication with an international reputation for excellence in conceptual illustration, photojournalism, and narrative journalism. Led creative team of 70+ journalists and multi-award-winning redesign of The Pilot in 2006.
– Design director for Knight Ridder Publishing Corporation, USA
– Design director, Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Michigan, USA
– Gold, silver, awards of excellence, for art direction, page design and illustration, Society of News Design
– Five of her newspaper designs chosen as the “World’s Best-Designed Newspapers”, Society of News Design
– Awards of Excellence, illustration, page design, New York Art Directors Club, Print Magazine, American Illustration.
– Charlatan Ink Art Prize, New York, for Gyotaku wet paper monoprint “Life, Forms, Merge”.
– Majeri Award for Innovation and Leadership in Graphic Journalism, Ball State University, Indiana, USA
– “Outstanding Civilian Service Medal”, United States Department of the Army, for her illustrations for “Children of Valor”, a book conceived and published for military families who lost loved ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
– Magna Cum Laude graduate, BFA Visual Communications, Syracuse University, New York
References are available upon request