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THE PEN &        BLOG  

How graphic recording helped inspire a community of artists

Updated: Feb 4


Nestled in the picturesque valley of Tintern's scenic landscape, where a winding river meanders past an ancient abbey, Wye Valley Sculpture Garden is a hidden gem that blends art with nature. This enchanting location became the location for a unique collaboration with a Creative Collective and Monmouthshire Council, and a passionate group of local artists, creatives, and educators. The mission? To explore the possibility of creating a creative hub for the artistic community, a place where they could not only survive but thrive. As a graphic recorder, my role was to capture the essence of this extraordinary gathering.


Gemma's Journey


The heart and soul of the Wye Valley, Gemma Wood from the local Sculpture Garden welcomed us with a story that epitomizes the creative spirit. From her days as a college student experimenting with art to her deep connection with the landscape, Gemma's journey is a testament to the power of passion. She shared how she dabbled in various endeavours, from building walls to launching a glamping site, before the idea of the Sculpture Park took root. Yet, despite the breath-taking beauty surrounding her, the path to sustaining this haven of art has been no walk in the (sculpture) park!


The struggles of being an Artist

Gemma's struggles as an artist-turned-entrepreneur mirror the challenges many creative individuals face. The scarcity of funding and the complexities of marketing one's work can be daunting. This meeting was an opportunity for our group of individuals, representing a diverse mix of artists, educators, and creatives, to gather and listen to the voices of the locals, including Gemma herself.


Capturing voices, visually


The hosts of the event were keen on a unique and creative way to give voice to the community's concerns and aspirations. To meet this goal, we embarked on a visual journey together.

Using the power of graphic recording, I listened and created a map that captured the dreams, challenges, and potential solutions of Tintern's creative community. Every stroke, colour, and symbol painted a picture of their aspirations, transforming the abstract into something tangible. The visual map became a symbolic bridge, connecting the individual stories of local artists into a collective vision.


Feedback for a Creative Hub

Through open dialogue and artistic expression, our group managed to create a host of valuable feedback. This feedback is a stepping stone toward the realisation of a creative hub that could provide the support and resources these passionate artists need to flourish. With these voices at the forefront, we aim to shape a hub that resonates with the heartbeat of Tintern's artistic community.


Tintern's Sculpture Park served as the backdrop for a day of shared dreams and creativity. Our journey there was about more than capturing voices; it was about sowing the seeds of change. The beauty of the landscape, the struggles of an artist, and the power of visual storytelling all converged to create a narrative of hope and community.

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