Pod Clare

community artist
Creativity collaboration engagement participation achievement communication involvement fun empowerment

Who / what / where / how

I am happy to work in partnership with anyone – an individual, a group (large or small), an institution or organisation, or even whole communities (in recent years I have come to specialise in working with the population of an entire town or area to produce collective visual representations of their locality or history)

I have extensive experience of working with a great diversity of people, such as (amongst others) children and adults with learning difficulties and special needs, environmental groups, the unemployed, training groups, offenders, the probation service, women’s groups ( including Women’s Refuges), drugs rehabilitation, volunteers, university students, the elderly etc. I very much enjoy working with children of all ages from nursery to teenagers, in schools or clubs, as well as children on the 'at risk' register or excluded from school. Ten years of being chairperson of Haul, an arts in health organisation based in Ceredigion, has given me an insight into the value of the arts to promote well-being and motivation, and counterbalance the isolation and discouragement that ill health can bring. I have worked with a great many people with health problems, and their carers, both within hospital settings and in the community, ( thru the many support groups for people with cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, visual impairment etc ), as well as the terminally ill and the bereaved. Mental Health, both in the statutory and voluntary sectors, is an area of particular interest to me, and I have worked in this field perhaps more than any other.

I work most often to produce, in collaboration with these groups, large scale artworks for public places such as schools, hospitals, day centres, museums, art centres, theatres, public spaces such as parks, and ecology centres and tourist attractions. I have done numerous residencies in such places. However, I also often run one-off workshops (such as at festivals), training days or weekends, taster sessions, classes or any other creative enterprise that someone approaches me about!

I am multi-skilled and work in many different mediums, equally comfortable with mosaics, textiles, printing, painting murals, making land art, collage, sculptures from wood or scrap etc. I am happy to work in whatever art form is appropriate to the venue or wanted by the client group.

Both process and product are equally important in my practice. Working together to conceive, design and make an artwork brings the opportunity for shared ideas, conversations and laughter, while producing an outcome that far outstrips the participants original expectations promotes a sense of achievement, self esteem and the possibility of further growth. For many, especially those who have come to feel marginalised, having their work displayed in a public space – literally becoming visable – is as valuable and rewarding as the experience of engaging with others, making new friends and learning new skills.