It’s now eight years since we started The Escape Artists – yup, time flies – and a lot has happened since then – especially in the last year.
In September 2018, we were delighted to be able to set upStill Life,an art group, in Conwy town, for people who have been bereaved.
That was followed by a Still Life group in Abergele started in May 2019, which then moved to Rhos on Sea in July of that year.
Funding for the groups comes from the Arts Council for Wales, The Community Foundation Wales,The Wesleyan Foundation, Gwynt Y Mor and Rhyl Flats windfarms.
These are friendly, informal (and free) groups with professional artists running each workshop in a wide range of media – painting, model making, sculpture, paper cutting, photography…
Since 2014, The Escape Artists have run Altered Images, a weekly art group and creative writing group for men in the probation system
This project is supported by the Arts Council for Wales and our group has won multiple national awards for art and writing.
In 2019 one of our members was awarded a Platinum medal in the prestigious Koestler Awards, with the work displayed at London’s Southbank Centre. A joint entry for photography was awarded gold. What a result! This joins awards for sculpture, poetry, painting.and craft over thepast six years.
In 2019 we also ran a poetry competition for people in the criminal justice system in Wales, judged byBardd Cenedlaethol Ifor ap Glyn, writer and boradcaster Horatio Clare and playwright Rachel Tresize. A collection of the work ‘Slate’ was then designed by a member of the writing group and illustrated by our photography group.
Prior to that, in 2014 we ran The Word: Conwy: a festival of words headlined by National Poet for Wales Gillian Clarke.
The two day festival was run on a pay-what-you-can basis and was open to everybody, featuring words of all kinds: spoken, braille, cartoons and graffiti.
And that year we began weekly poetry reading at Clwb Yr Efail in Conwy, a lunch centre for older people from across Conwy county, funded by Conwy Council.