Collage Workshop at Ty Pawb

Workshop at Ty Pawb Wrexham
As part of ‘Aildanio’
Portraiture Using Collage


Many years ago or  – BI – Before my illness, I was a primary school teacher, and I don’t think it’s something you ever lose – That buzzy brain and way of ‘explaining’ things.  Though I have to say on being asked by DAC  if I’d like to host a workshop, I was quite… scared.  Teaching kids how to read is a bit different to teaching adults how to create something from collage.

The theme was ‘Aildanio’ or reignite – so rather than making it disability related I decided to concentrate on someone ‘famous’ who would appeal to the masses, and was very recognisable and would be an easy subject, and who had a ‘spark’ or Aildanio.
I choose 2 subjects (Not Frida Kahlo for a change!) Dylan Thomas

Young Dylan Thomas

and David Bowie, after some discussion with Ty Pawb we decided to use Bowie.
I had to pick images that would ‘allow’ themselves to be good bases for collage – so I went to artist Edward Bell  and the amazing cover he did for Bowie’s album ‘Scary Monsters’ – the stark clown face with a lot of white make up would be perfect for paint and collage.

With help from the lovely & Talented Gail Howard from Made In Roath and DAC,  people who booked to take part in the workshop were sent a parcel of materials to use.
I knew that I couldn’t use any photos or drawings of Bowie because of copyright, so in order to use his image, I would have to provide the Bowie template, which I really enjoyed doing. Producing 2 portraits of him  – One shaded, one with room to ‘create’. I then wrote a simple ‘How to’ using photos which was included in the packs sent out to participants.


I was asked to talk a bit about collage, so instead of giving a potted history, I talked for about 10 minutes about how I use collage – Which I use a lot!
I think in a lot of ways not having an ‘Arts education’ frees you up, so when I create something I never feel like I should or shouldn’t DO a certain thing because it’s ‘wrong’ – I just do it, and that applies to the collage I use. Several of my paintings have morphed into college.

The workshop was an hour long – and I now know it should have been at least 90 minutes. It was so enjoyable, and the ladies and gentlemen who took part all fed back to Ty Pawb and DAC that they enjoyed it oo! (Phew). Also quite importantly it was ALL online, done on zoom with a 2 camera set up (One pointing at my face, one downwards at the collage).
Thanks to Dave Robinson for helping me with a 2-camera set up, sound and vision (Oh bit of a Bowie nudge there!).
Thank you to Ceridwenpowellart for allowing me to show you the collage she produced at the session!