Please tell us who you are and what you’ve been working on recently.
TR: I’m Tina, a self-taught contemporary artist from Wales. I began drawing after a long illness. As a kid I was lucky to have a neighbour who introduced me to the Pre-Raphaelites and she took to me to Lady Lever Gallery in Liverpool. Seeing ‘The Beguiling Of Merlin’ by Edward Burne Jones at 13 was life changing, but I didn’t know anything about creating art. I had no idea that someone poor like me could draw or paint, I really thought that only the posh kids got to do that. So I used to draw all over my bedroom walls, much to my father’s annoyance. The last few years has been an epiphany for me and I’ve been on a voyage of artistic self-discovery, from how to paint in chromochromatic inks to finding a real love for expressionism. I draw and paint in ink, oils, and acrylics. I use collage, mixed media and I also like to paint on reclaimed wooden boxes (my ‘box of delights’).
S D-B: I am Samantha, an emerging multiply neurodiverse artist from Pembrokeshire, Wales. Growing up, undiagnosed ADHD and autism dictated any opportunities for me to do art. I became an artist four years ago when trauma and lack of support resulted in a huge breakdown. So I began to paint over anything, reclaim etc. I became the lover of the unloved, much like myself, and during that time my practice has grown through using mixed multimedia, especially incorporating my art and poetry as one inspires the other for a truly fantastic immersive experience. Discovering Disability Arts Cymru (DAC) has been life changing for me. My work is woven together from trauma growth recovery, darkness and light thematics and years of living in the USA and other travels. I am ignited with passion for being an disability rights and human rights advocate, activist and ally to all who have known the pain of isolation, marginalisation and general hatred we have experienced as a collective.
What drew you to each other’s practice?
We are both members of Disability Arts Cymru (DAC) and met through them. Coming from similar working-class backgrounds with no formal art degree education we began our friendship through our feeling of ‘otherness’ and of not being a part of the ‘art world’ because of so many factors, disability, poverty and class. However the one major thing we have in common is our sense of humour and giving ourselves the title ‘Council Kids’ we began to talk of a joint art project about our ‘exclusion’.
How will you use the 1:1 FUND?
We will use it to further enhance our art practices by finally being able to purchase some digital tech and truly form a collaborative space by continuing to work together online.
What is the one thing you most hope to gain from undertaking this work?
S D-B: A wonderfully collaborative, inspired, period of growth. Networking together is powerful, and so empowering us despite our limitations from disability, Covid, distance and self-limitation. I hope we can also have a lot of fun too!
TR: The one thing I know with certainty I will gain from this fund, is the opportunity to learn something completely new and foreign to me, but something that I am sure will stretch, challenge and change my art practice, and hopefully give me some confidence!