Return to source.

Mic drop

I joke that my Mum put a crochet hook in my hand before I could even walk.
In reality I walked at 10 months and by the time my sister came along when I was Two I was already following so many women in my family by experimenting with wool and a hook. Crochet is my first creative love and remains the strongest. It pulls me back whenever I need comforting or reminding who I really am inside.
It felt right to finish this residency with something I love so much and has been with me for as long as I can remember.
I’ve used hooks and thread inherited from great aunty Nelly. Embodying the family heritage that taught me so much.
I’ve been full of mixed emotions finishing up this work. Excitement especially with the crystal spheres and how beautifully crochet lends to the shape and more sad than I realised I would be at it all coming to an end.

I want to thank all my tutors and technicians in UWTSD for the most amazing experience and their continued support. They have touched my life in a way I hadn’t expected and leaving them weighs heavy in my heart.
I felt at the start of this journey that I was in a no mans land. Now writing my last post I feel somewhat lost. But there is still so much to play for. A new course on the horizon with all the new learning and opportunities that will bring.

For all the future adventures, princesses and warriors,
dream big,
the world is ours for the taking.

Middle finger to the sky

And other ways to wear rings.

As this residency comes close to an end, the full circle of a ring feels right.
I’ve used wood, porcelain, wire and crystals. I am very much a hands on artist and enjoy the physical making process so much. I love the repetition of perfecting a design.
The rings we wear (or absence of them) and where on our hands we wear them, can be a sacred bond between people or a misleading impression of our status, a symbol of wealth or our association with a group. They say so much about us to the world.

Into The Woods

I’ve moved from fingers to wrists.
That feeling of being held by the wrist / restrained / trapped.
Taking inspiration from the angles and lines of crystals.
I love the contrast between the hard Oak and the soft Jelutong wood. It feels
like it echo’s the inner dialog of decisions needing to be made.
Working and shaping the wood, I am enjoying the process without expectation of
outcome. My mind is working behind the scene to evaluate my present situation.
The lyrics from Priority Boredom by Kae Tempest have been rolling around my
head these last few weeks. Pushing me to make sure I am being true to Me.

“Build up resilience, build up views

But you can’t build for long on a partial truth.”

Introducing: Claire Jones

Digital Residency Recipient: Foundation Art & Design, Swansea College of Art (UWTSD)

Digital Residency Dates: 01 – 30 July 2022

Mission Gallery is pleased to announce the 2022 Jane Phillips Award Digital Residency for Art & Design Students at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD. We are proud to be working with our partners at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD and keen to shine a light on the high standard of work being produced by students across all disciplines. 

This residency will provide an online space within the Jane Phillips Award website to display and develop work, ideas and research, while offering support and promotion through our networks. 

About Claire

Delving into what I want to see as an artist, I embody my ideas wholly. My working process allows the inter disciplinary process to guide the creative end result.

I am filled with emotional responses to my crochet hook, needle, sewing machine and biro like warm nostalgic feelings of an old friend and all the possibilities they create. Drawing on my surroundings, life experiences and a rich family history of crafting. 

The autobiographical nature of my work spans many themes.  The responsibility of my message and materials (often evident in the fragility of my work) weighs heavily on me. Crafting, refining and capturing this can lead to dark edge responses with pieces that are sometimes awkward and uncomfortable to look at.  This is a place of comfort for me, where I can embrace an inner feeling that people don’t always see when they look at me, allowing a bit of truth to escape.

Fight Me

I would like to thank Mission Gallery for choosing me as the winner of the the Jane Phillips Award.
Digital Residence for Art and Design Foundation at UWTSD Swansea.
It’s a massive honour. I am grateful and really excited for what comes next.

Embracing our worst self in full understanding that we are not only that but our best self too.

The foundation course I have just finished has supported me thru this journey.
Given me the confidence to believe in myself as an artist and renewed a desire within me for education and learning.

The knuckle dusters that won me this opportunity are made from wood and wool (crochet) with crystals.
Exhibited in my end of year show.

This residency is giving me time to develop and progress these designs. Experiment with materials and process.
I have been back to the wood lab in uni and picked up my crochet hook. I already feel a move from the outward powerful statement of the knuckle dusters to a more inward feeling.
I am in a no mans land now. Finished one course and yet to start the next. It is exciting and daunting at the same time. A natural time for self reflection.
The new work I have been making looks inward to Fight ME.
We enter into new stages / relationships / phases in our lives all the time. When it’s something we want, have even sought out and fought for, we are happy and give of ourselves willingly to it. Wholeheartedly blending ourselves with who or what this new situation is.

I have been exploring the part of these situations when I have realised that I am no longer who I was.
Sometimes I have been ok with that. Even more, I have seen that the new me has grown and I am proud of who I have become. Being back in education has brought out the best parts of me. I have fought the lazy, contented Me to bring out the Want More Me.
But other times I have lost so much of myself in situations that I hardly recognise Me and had to fight to get Me back.

It’s the moment that you realise how much you have changed and have to decide how you feel about it that I have been focusing on. Is it good for me? Do I want this? Do I like who I am now? Do I feel trapped? Am I bound to this situation?

“Build up resilience, build up views

But you can’t build for long on a partial truth.”

Digital Residency: Foundation Art & Design, Swansea College of Art (UWTSD)

Mission Gallery is pleased to announce the 2022 Jane Phillips Award Digital Residency for Art & Design Students at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD. We are proud to be working with our partners at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD and keen to shine a light on the high standard of work being produced by students across all disciplines.

This residency will provide an online space within the Jane Phillips Award website to display and develop work, ideas and research, while offering support and promotion through our networks. 

Residency recipients will be selected by Rhian Wyn Stone, Exhibitions & Retail Coordinator at Mission Gallery, Swansea and  Jane Phillips Award committee member.

Digital Residency Dates: 01 – 30 July 2022

About the Jane Phillips Award

Launched at Mission Gallery in 2011, the Jane Phillips Award is a memorial to Jane Phillips (1957-2011) Mission Gallery’s first director. The award is intended as a legacy to Jane’s passion for mentoring and nurturing talent, working with individuals at every level – offering opportunities to students as well as artists at the beginning of their journey. Opportunities that are further strengthened by working with Mission Gallery’s team, Swansea College of Art UWTSD and elysium gallery.

The award became international under Amanda Roderick, Mission Gallery’s previous director, and with further assistance by following directors Matthew Otten and Ceri Jones, plus an enthusiastic board, the award is constantly developing and changing.


The past week I continued to work towards a few graphic design projects to include in my zine. In full, the zine is now 12 pages which I am planning to get printed and distributed very soon. This is my first time creating a full product and I am extremely grateful for the use of this blog to promote my work.

The zine lends itself to a scrapbook aesthetic, with the taped down pressed flowers and somewhat diary entries. I believe this adds to the childlike innocence I am trying to convey. I wanted to make an analogous theme throughout the zine, with each page incorporating organically smooth shapes and twisting lines. The idea was to create a fluid motion which brings the viewers’ eyes to all corners of the spread, and seamlessly transports them overleaf.

Have a flick through the E-zine here.


This week I began to develop a series of mock pages for a zine. I pulled influences from 2000s styled advertising and retro computer games because that was my first experience of graphic design growing up. My initial thoughts on colour palettes was pastel pinks and vibrant blues. I wanted to create an iridescent title and I experimented with a myriad of different coloured gradients until I found an effect I was pleased with.

The main concept and story behind the zine is how I have become addicted to romanticising the past. For me, it’s easy to paint my childhood in such a glowing brush that I find it difficult to appreciate current life in the same light. With each major life change, I am forever believing that those were the good old days, without giving value to the present. With these graphics and words in my zine, I am attempting to fall back in love with my current life, rather than only enjoying the moments when they become memories. Forever looking back is no way to live life.

Have a flick through the digital copy of first pages in the zine.

More to come soon.


My name is Ramona White, and I have just finished my Art and Design foundation diploma at Gower College Swansea. I am extremely grateful for the use of the Jane Phillips Award blog, and I’m delighted to be the first from GCS to do so.


I have always been fascinated by the feeling of nostalgia. A thought of the past floats through your head, instantly filling your heart with warmth while it simultaneously begins to feel suffocated. It’s as though the rose-tinted glasses allow you to fall in love with the past but the bittersweet tinge of reality could burn a hole straight through you. To me, it’s a beautiful and confusing concoction of heart retching aching and carefree love, two emotions which are painfully strong, pulling your heart in two completely different directions. When feeling nostalgic, I never know whether I want to live in the bliss of the memories or to cry forever at the thought of them never repeating themselves.

This photoshoot revolved around the idea of nature and childhood nostalgia.

While growing up, I had a relatively small garden, but it was gracefully packed with overgrown nature. Long grass and wildflowers sprouting between concrete slabs, making a plethora of miniature ecosystems. As a child I would leap face first into this personal landscape. I have always been drawn to nature, compelled by something within me to reach out and adventure into interesting landscapes hidden within the cities I have lived. My inner child yearns to be fully surrounded by wildlife, which is where the inspiration for this series’ look stemmed from.

The makeup, modelling and photography was all done by me, allowing me to have complete creative control over the outcomes. The dried flowers I have displayed on my face were picked from my garden and pressed by myself. The flowers are still aesthetically beautiful and delicate but will eventually become completely stale and lifeless. The knowledge that something will never fully return to its earlier qualities once removed from its original home; that is where the pain originates from in nostalgia.

Jane Phillips Award Residency

Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971) by Reyner Banham

Drawing influence from the horizontal landscape of Los Angeles and Reyner Banham’s observations of the city, in his book Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies (1971), my time in this residency begins to explore the horizontal potential of Swansea and any resulting associated feelings.

Following ‘mobility outweighs monumentality’ (Banham, 1971, p. 5) in Los Angeles, my response will focus on the mobility and modularity of architectural forms within the city.


Visiting the Civic Centre, Swansea

Opened in 1982, the Swansea Civic Centre is a Brutalist landmark of the city and has been an influential piece of post-war 20th century architecture on my practice. However, the building faces demolition and is listed by the 20th Century Society as one of the top 10 buildings at risk.

Aside from being a symbolic piece of Brutalist architecture, the Civic Centre has only been standing for 39 years, questioning the length of time the building has been in use, highlighting a possible sustainability concern.

My time in this residency will look towards a future Swansea, and explore a method of repurposing the Civic Centre, utilising the building’s architectural forms, in order to draw attention to this particular example of endangered post-war architecture and consider whether the structure’s monumentality can be altered for modularity and mobility, if demolition becomes inevitable.

Working Drawings

Working drawings exploring methods of modularity and mobility in existing and endangered post-war architecture.

Possible civic routes for the Civic Centre.

Concept animation

Concept animation exploring a possible method of modularity and mobility for the Civic Centre, creating airborne environments, repurposing the existing architectural forms.

Civic platforms

Modular Civic Centre platforms.

Concept collage

Concept collage exploring a method of modularity for the Civic Centre, altering the building’s monumentality for mobility.

Civic platforms become airborne and operate within the above civic level, offering vistas of the landscape and cityscape and explore the horizontal potential of Swansea. 

Digital Residency 2021

Mission Gallery and the Jane Phillips Award are pleased to announce the 2021 Jane Phillips Award Residency for an Art & Design Student at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD. We are proud to be working with our partners at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD and keen to shine a light on the high standard of work being produced by students across all disciplines.

Following shortlisting, we are please to announce that the successful recipient as:

Digital Residencies:

23 June – 13 July 2021: Nathan Cartwright

The residency will provide an online space within the Jane Phillips Award website to display and develop work, ideas and research, while offering support and promotion through our networks.

Image: Elevating Spaces by Nathan Cartwright

Merged into Nature by Laurentina Miksiene

The day when all days felt like Sundays, we felt emptiness. All the connections with the world we lost in just in one day. At first we enjoyed the ‘’freedom’’… Finally, we had time for our families, we had time for a cup of coffee in the morning, we had time to talk or watch movies together, we had time for kids… 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10…. first you’re counting the days after the 20th day, it just doesn’t matter what day it is, what time it is. You don’t need to go sleep early because you don’t need to wake up early, to shower and rush somewhere…

Nature started to heal herself but how about humans. Sometimes I feel I’ve lost myself and I believe we all have a feeling that we have lost something we can not touch but can feel. All the connections with nature with other humans.

Only nature helped man endure the misfortunes of life and became support in daily life. The connection between man and nature can be found in literature, poetry, artworks, and photography. In my work, I sought the connection between man and nature. I was looking for a compromise between man and nature. That compromise is more uncomfortable than perfect. Through nature, we can see not only ourselves but also a reflection of our soul. Without this connection with nature, man mutates not only physically, psychologically, but also spiritually. In my series of photographs, I was looking for a spiritual connection between man and nature. A man comes from the earth and returns to it. The earth is the basic premise of our existence and its end. This vibrant, pulsating matter is open to both birth and death. A place where a clump can turn into life at any time, and life into a clump. Man is only a temporary particle of the earth cycle.

The photographs I printed on silk fabric to make them more flexible and weightless. I wanted to see the movement of fabric and structure of silk threads. The photographs look as though they are merged into the fabric like we are trying to merge into nature. It is like the fugitive testimony about man’s and nature’s compromise.



To view a short film by Laurentina, please click on the image below:



A project by Laurentina Miksiene

Modern society is surrounded by photographic images. The proliferation and ease of use of photography has made it an integral part of life, as a participant in society. Collection of photographic images in physical albums or on digital media – allowed people to archive their past. It has become a great human proof of past history that he can visually share with people close to him. Photography captures the visual reality and documents it – to capture what is real (visible). But what is that reality? What is her relationship to reality? How much truth lies in the image? The photographer must be responsible for presenting the situation in a fair and honest way, he can’t do manipulation of the technical image, but also can’t manipulate the emotional impact.

My portraits are not about how the object looks, rather it’s about how I feel he looks. I transfer onto the object my beliefs and vision but not my emotion. In art photography, some photographs are more suggestive and remain in the human memory, while others simply pass away, as in journalistic photography, some photographs simply represent an event and some convey emotion, mood, light. Photography has a dual function: it depicts the human exterior and describes his identity. To photograph my grandparents, I kept the vision for two years and only last summer I went to my country (Lithuania) and was able to do this.

Towards the end of the 20th century, Lithuanian photography experienced very important changes: some of the photography created at that time did not continue with previous Lithuanian photography traditions and generally did not match the usual criteria of photographic artistry. My favourite Lithuanian photographers are Antanas Sutkus and Vitas Luckus. Every time I  look at their photography I feel very emotional. I do not only see the photos I feel them. In photos with my grandparents, I was looking for natural emotion and to capture the photos with natural light. I wanted to show their relationship and loyalty, their love and their daily routine. I just had a feeling that I needed to do this for myself. To remember them like this. To remember their eyes, hair, wrinkles, hands, and voices. The photo where they are holding the hands of each other has been selected by Lensculture editors to be featured in the Portrait Awards 2020 Competition Gallery. Some of the photos were featured on Vogue Italia. I kept asking myself why it was so easy and natural to photograph my grandparents and landscape where I lived. And I think I found the answer – it is because of memories! I am connected to this place and these people. Most beautiful memories with grandparents, long conversations before going to sleep. I wanted not only to have digital memories of them I wanted to hear their voices so I recorded my grandmother singing. It is very important to me because we always sang together when I was a child. I still have a feeling that I haven’t finished the project and I plan to go back to Lithuania this year and take more photos. My grandmother will be 88 years old this summer and my grandfather will be 91; it is a solid age for them.

‘’In summary, we can say: The photographic image is a message without a code, it’s continuous. At the same time it is a connotative message, but not at the level of the message itself, but at the level of its production and reception. The photographic image is a sophisticated object selected, structured, built and produced according to professional standards – aesthetic, cultural or ideological.’’(Roland Barthes)

Images by Laurentina Miksiene

Penguin book covers

More to come soon

My final 3 book covers in one style. The style and construction I was inspired by is slightly visible here but mostly its a collage of hand drawings. Image traced images and shapes layered together creating my interpretation of a book  and what I felt.

Visible only defined by calculation and layers of scientific experiments .
Mix of biological, chemical, alien on the deserts of Arizona
That was my favorite one – not sure about this one now, did I take it to far from the original? The 4 square black pages represent the black characters of 4 friends. And one the weight of justice.

Underground world mixed with love, blood, time, and quantum mechanic calculations.

Finding my brand name and identity

This project is called “Me my self and I”. How do you see yourself? How do others perceive you? We all have our own self-portrait in our mind, but are others in tune with us? It’s important that others get the right message.

My name is spelt Grzegorz and no one from outside Poland is able to spell it correctly so I have crossed the “Z” here on the name to see how it looks.

Below is my strategy to develop end explore my ideas.

And some digital explorations of the name created with a strapline


“Go raw” will be

Natural Talent


The concept of talent is firmly engraved in our culture, we often see those great people archiving great things and we wish we could do what they do if only we were that talented.

But what if the people we idealise weren’t actually more talented than us. What if we were just as talented as them? I think an interesting person to look at is Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Because he is generally described as  the most talented street photographer we have ever had but he famously quoted  saying “your first 10.000 photographs are your worst” and that doesn’t seem like the words of someone that was born with a  natural talent, but rather someone that dedicates thousands and thousands of hours to master a discipline.  In 2007 a study was initiated,  which looked at there’s actually no such thing as a natural talent,  just hard work and dedication and making sure your effort is focused on the right areas.  Basically  intelligence  and skill are things we aren’t born with  but things we develop through practice and this is true across the board.

Apart from a few athletic examples where something like weight might be an advantage.

But it’s not what I’m talking about here so what does this mean? Well, firstly it means that you can achieve the same level of skill as the people you idealise,  all those film makers, artists, photographers, you can be as skilled as all those, as good as them. Secondly it means that everything you have already achieved is not by innate talent but through your own hard work and dedication. So well done you, don’t ever give up because you don’t think your talented enough.

We now know it’s not how ability works, embrace mistakes  because mistakes are discovering  gaps in your knowledge that you need to overcome  and you need to find the right resources  in order to help you overcome this. Traditionally  that would be teachers, lecturers and libraries but today we have the internet, we have the greatest resource that humanity ever had at our fingertips, we have phones in our pockets. So stop worrying about what you can’t do

 and just do it .

Beware of feeling comfortable, as soon as you start to feel comfortable, challenge yourself, change something,  try something new, learn to let go of old work, we all have our best work that we feel that is our best but try to better them,  try to forget about them.

And move forward, if you keep coming to old work  it means that you are not progressing.

Try to push yourself, build on what you have already done. Ask yourself questions, ask for feedback and critique on a regular basis, it can be difficult because it’s hard to hear it.

And it’s the critique that’s really gets you  but it’s probably the most important  because you know they are right,

take the temporary pain for the long term benefit.

You need to know what you’re doing wrong,  ignore haters and trolls on line. 

Learn to not be precious your work.

Learn to embrace the criticism and move forward.

always keep learning,  you have never learnt everything

because the world moves forward.

Looking for inspiration

Sometimes it’s a struggle, the hardest thing is to get up and do your stuff . You know what to do but you just want to do too many things at once, and have a great idea. But doing something is completely separate, I always have more important work to do than let my soul flow.

This image I created whilst thinking about blending some textures with iconic places in Swansea in a doible exposure . So I took a bunch and went for brunch to edit them on a mobile app while eating.

Flyer for exhibition. In Alex. Art 🏫 school created on a mobile using double exposure


Blending a portrait I’ve shot of one talented Student with a coloured painting of another one.

Here are some practice pieces with another beautiful student willing to pose.
Shot on 35mm film nikon d80 double exposure. Edited in snapseed


Intentional Camera Movement

It’s a great privilage to be one of the digital residency recipients for the Jane Phillips Award.

During these 3 months I will try new techniques in photography and explore Swansea . My first project will explore a technique called ICM – a technique and an artistic way of expression. Something I have enjoyed exploring recently .

The Mystery of an image. It forces my imagination to work.

A painting with a natural light and I love this.

I am inspired by Claud Monet, french painter .

I have focused on textures and colours seen within the landscape, creating one of a kind impressions of a forest in a longer exposed time frame.

Time is key here, as time is the only thing that is constant. You can’t stretch or squeeze it, only the perspective can change. So this is my perspective of a time, represented in a ICM photography style.


Digital Residency 2: Laurentina Miksiene


Digital Residency 2: 01 February – 30 April 2020

My name is Laurentina Miksiene I’m from Lithuania. I started the most amazing journey last year when I came to the Foundation Art & Design course at Swansea College of Art UWTSD.

I love people and I love portraits. I think it’s amazing when you can freeze emotion. I tend to focus on feelings – which is the most important for me and hope important for viewers. For ‘Tabula Rasa’ I was inspired by hidden feelings – those of people who are close to me and many artists. My portraits are not about how the object looks, rather it’s about how I feel he looks.

We have eyes but we chose not to see. We have voices but we chose not to speak. Sometimes pain covers our body like tight fabric. It’s hard to breathe and hard to see. We need to be alone to feel the pain, to heal the soul. We can see darkness in joy and beauty in darkness. This is the line between sadness and joy, between life and end.


Digital Residency 1: Grzegorz Zalewski


Digital Residency 1: 01 September – 30 November 2019

Hi, my name is Greg. I love photography – there are so many inspiring and beautiful sights. Everywhere.  Many people instead of noticing seem to pass by looking at screens with digital data. I personally love connecting with nature and hope younger generations will not lose that  connection.

Ragnarok initial concept notes

sb1This is the opening shot to the episode, setting the location and mystery the episode will follow.

  1. Ext shot, hill with trees, panning down hill
  2. Follows straight from one, shot up river with buildings in the background, camera pans down into 3
  3. Camera pans down into final position
  4. Camera onto body lying on slab stones/concrete, hold for a few seconds, let music well up and smash cut into next frame



*All p/in/p videos fade in and out*

Half profile shots of the two leads of the episode (a police investigator and the leader/ sub-boss of the biker gang suspected of the murder. Beside each are small videos showing actions of the upcoming episode to give a brief insight to the characters.)

  1. Shot of character getting out of car and talking to colleague
  2. Shot of character arresting/interviewing someone
  3. Shot of character room clearing/searching for clues
  4. Shot of character in a bar with drink (maybe a smoke too)
  5. Shot of character preparing chain/knife/knuckle duster
  6. Shot of character flexing with leather/denim vest on



Main title card for the episode, pic 1 is independent, while 2 and 3 are together.

  1. Black background, title fades in, followed shortly by episode title
  2. Series title fades in as a snowstorm starts to pick up (going from upper left to lower right), flows into pic 3.
  3. White background with vignette around border, episode title fades in black letters (possibly with episode count underneath)

Winter is coming- project notes

I have a new project to complete for my university course, called ‘Winter is Coming.’

The aim of this project is to create an opening title for a fictional anthology series called ‘Winter is Coming,’  with each of us creating a basic outline for an episode and constructing the opening title sequence around that.

Below you will find some preliminary notes I made about the project.

Winter is Coming opening credits

  • Nordic/Gaelic/Welsh noir inspired
  • Typically from the perspective of the police (most commonly dealing with murder)
  • Sometimes deal with corruption of government
  • Slow burn tension and drama
  • Opening title to be 60-90 seconds long
  • Can either be an opening scene with credits or more traditional opening credits (like a montage)
  • Winter is Coming- anthology series style


Episode style/story notes-

  • Cops vs bikers (Ragnarök, name for Biker Gang)
  • Corrupt local government official funding bikers (either through drugs or weapons)
  • Police pick up the trail after a body is found, suspected be a gang killing
  • Bikers preparing for a war with other gangs


Opening credits content notes-

  • Opening shot of dead body central to plot
  • Majority of credits are a close up of the two leads (separately) faces, half on show, over a black background while short clips from the episode fade in and out beside them
  • Leads= lead investigator and biker gang leader
  • Clips showcase the characters personalities through actions (such as arrests for the cop and beating someone for the gang leader)
  • End of credits feature the series title (Winter is Coming) and the episode title (Ragnarök) as a subtitle.
  • Alternative: Main title comes up, a “snowstorm” covers it over in white and replaces it with Ragnarök.