What do you take pictures of? well where do I start!
I was never an high achiever in school, maybe I should have listened more, maybe I should have had better teachers but that was a long time ago now.
When waitressing at the age of 19, a customer called Ken Reed also a friend of my father’s said, Sheree what are you up to now?
I said nothing really not sure where I am going or what I am doing?
He said Sheree there must be something your interested in?
I thought hard and I said ‘ Well I am quite into photography’
And that was 22 years ago since then………………………..
I went to art school, completed a degree on Photography in the ARTs at Swansea then entered the real world.
This is what I got up to
have used the tool of art making to work with people who are often on the edges of society and struggle to have their voices heard. I have worked in various health, educational, care and social settings. From my experience I have seen with my own eyes the benefits of making a space to be creative can have upon a person to overcome many obscures and develop wellbeing which not only impacts the individual but also the carers, family members and friends.
My emphasis is all about the process of making this allows for the person to be self-directed and intuitive which is often the opposite to the settings that they are in which is often monitored, programmed and recorded for example, in psychiatric hospitals, educational and residential settings. The creative process allows the individual to feel a sense of freedom and belonging that is a seed bed for ideas, thoughts and feelings.
What I do in the sessions range from a variety of art making techniques print making, painting, collage, drawing and photography. I also use real life artefacts as tools for inspiration. I worked on a project with Arts Care in a nursing home setting with residents living with dementia. I used a selection of objects of history from Swansea Museum. Each object acted as a trigger, a physical record of history that is part of the Swansea community, the objects ranged from a Victorian Jubilee flag, snuff box, iron kettle, and a 1960’s radio, the latter I learnt about radio Luxembourg, and listened to the wonderful stories of people’s musical gatherings and parties. We also made a selection of Mono prints as well.
|About Us – Arts Care Gofal CelfWe have a small but dedicated team here at Arts Care Gofal Celf, who are ready & willing to help you with any enquiry. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss any questions or needs you, or your organisation, may have to see whether we can work together or support you.www.acgc.co.uk|
Another project I worked on in 2018 was the Cefn Coed Remembered with The Swansea Bay University Health Board Arts and Heritage4Haelth Team. Using medically related artifacts from Cefn Coed dating back to 1800 to present day, I ran print making workshops using the objects as inspiration individually recreate using a Mono printing technique. The participants I worked with were from a local mental health community group in Sketty, Lyndell House Nursing home, Uplands and Swansea Days Service, Gorseinon.
|Cefn Coed Remembered – An online multimedia exhibition celebrating the legacy of Cefn Coed HospitalThis exhibition was made possible through the contribution of many individuals, organisations and institutions. It is a testament to Cefn Coed Hospital that ABMU Heritage Team received such an enthusiastic response.cefncoedremembered.co.uk|
I have also worked collaboratively with other creatives for example, The project called T.A.G at Ysgol Maesydderwen engaged with young people who had experienced bereavement and loss and were struggling to participate in mainstream classes. I worked alongside a musician, actress and another visual artist. The project was programmed for a whole year, but cut short after 6 months (due to covid). The project was an eye opener in regards to the young people’s everyday lives and their resilience, we did a range of workshops ranging from visual arts, costume and set design, acting, and experimental music making. As a practitioner I discovered that many of the young people needed to focus on the importance of play because a lot of the young people didn’t seem to have the time and space to embed this into their everyday lives due to their roles at home for example being carers or behavioural issues which dominated their focus and affect their ability to learn and progress.
|The Arts GroupT.A.G THE ARTS GROUP TAG is a Community Interest Company based in Pontardawe, South Wales offering Creative workshops and training to people of all ages and abilities. The four partners can work as a group or individually. We can also source the skills of additional freelance artists if required. We offer participatory arts projects andtheartsgroup.org.uk|
In 2015 I started working as freelance arts facilitator with The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery with adults Swansea Day Services who are adults with learning disabilities. The sessions ran twice every month, which would co inside with regular exhibitions of work from members of the group. Please see the link below which is an interview with ‘That’s TV South Wales’ in 2018 about the exhibition which the members of the group curated and produced. 2021 I became an Associate Artist researching accessibility, equality and disability.
|||A exhibition at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery displays art from artist with learning disabilitiesA exhibition has opened at the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery displaying works of art from artist with learning disabilities. The group of artist was not only resp…www.youtube.com|
With a reference to the impact of Covid my practice completely dissolved, we lost contact with the young people from Maesydderwen school and Swansea Day Service, the latter I tried many phones, calls and emails but struggled to make a connection. I believe in part to obvious issues that covid brought but also the perception of art and it not being recognised for what it means, does and how it impacts a person. Art is not just about making aesthetic images its far more than that is a tool for resilience, self-expression and wellbeing.
I am also a practicing artist I have exhibited my work National and Internationally and am representing the UK at Florence Biennale in October 2023. My work is inspired by a fascination in human behaviour I specialise in painting, collage and photography. I am currently working on a project at the moment transcribing the oral history of a journalist and broad caster. I was privilege to record his oral history spanning an incredible career, he shared with me his experience of reporting on the last hanging at Swansea Museum and being one of the first on seen at the Aberfan disaster, he them became the Head editor of HTV news. I met him at photography workshop I was facilitating for people living with dementia, he sadly passed away in November last year. The oral history forms part of a collaborative project called Age & Legacy. Not only is this body of work about the perceptions and stigma of dementia it is also has challenges regarding ethics and consent. When producing this body of work the challenges I face are the importance of a person’s right to consent, participate and to be supported to allow the individual to engage on a personal level that is unique to them and in so doing they combat social isolation and stigma.
|Age & Legacy (2017-18) — Social Art LibraryBy Sheree Murphy & Rich Thairwww.socialartlibrary.org|
To summaries I would say that my practice has three strands to it in no particular order I am an arts facilitor, practicing artist and researcher each strand informs, challenges and inspires my practice . Please have a look at my website The Drying Room to see my work.
Finally, the reason why I would like to collaborate with academics like yourself with similar interests is to study, challenge and empower my practice with your research and knowledge that is very grounding to artists and also accredits strengthen and value that is adaptable and engaging with individuals and communities.
One of the important factors I have learnt is that when we ask people to be creative it’s important that this opportunity has longevity, that organisations are invested in its long term, to develop trust, opportunity and wisdom, for example, arts on prescription and social prescribing. We need to make time to be creative in our communities and overcome barriers and obstacles making dementia friendly communities a priority not just a gesture, easier access for people with disabilities and people experiencing mental health issues because the amazing art galleries we have are not just places to look at art they should be places to experience art in which ever form that takes.