I originally created the cartoon characters of buccaneer Long John Solva and his companion, the hapless Bosun Noson, for the social-care charity Solva Care as part of their ‘toolkit’. This is aimed at helping other communities to replicate the service offered in this north Pembrokeshire harbour village. Long John Solva’s face adapts the striking Solva Care logo.
They have been revived for the 2020 Solva Stories blog – set up (with help from Solva Care volunteers) to provide the readers with an outlet to share stories, poems and artwork during the Covid-19 emergency. The pirate duo’s care-related ‘duties’ expanded to include (light-hearted) messaging about life under lockdown.
From my Welsh base in Pembrokeshire, the last couple of years have seen me expand in subject matter into neighbouring areas of west Wales.
I produced a set of Carmarthenshire images for the Origin Dyfed gallery in King Street, Carmarthen town – including the striking Paxton’s tower, bordering the National Botanic Gardens, and the eccentric town hall in Dylan Thomas’s old writing base of Laugharne on the Tâf’s ‘heron-priested shore’.
A Ceredigion series for the visitors’ centre at the newly revamped Cardigan Castle takes in Cardigan town itself as well as the unique chapel and hill on the coast at Mwnt and a surviving old cottage in the planned Georgian port of Aberaeron.
I’m also in the process of expanding my Asia set of B&W prints to include subjects from eastern and Middle Eastern trips. A traditional Russian timber church and a Giza pyramid have joined the temples and tombs of India and Southeast Asia in my ‘Eastern Horizons’ series – with more to come!