Expanding Self Help Show Attracts Artists, Students, Poets and Public to The Turner House

Hadron Press is delighted to be hosting The Self Help Show at The Turner House, Penarth till 5th March 2023, while launching the new 2nd edition of Self Help I(s)land.

Poet Luca Paci and illustrator Chris Glynn are resident on two floors of the gallery for two more weeks, welcoming visitors to an imaginary island, partly drawn from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The show offers space to reflect on the challenges and opportunities thrown up by the pandemic. Paci & Glynn have been joined by a host of collaborators including artist Ivor Davies, photographer David Sinden, poets and performers, including Menna Elfyn and Philip Gross and Mary Anne Roberts, and makers including Duncan Ayscough and Beth Willicombe. As part of the show, a programme of workshops engages members of the public and students from local universities.

The show hosts conversations, using drawings and paintings, book-hacks and collage, costumes, moving images and music to explore the shipwrecked world of characters A & B, re-casting coastal sites from Tremorfa and Lavernock as the arcadian dystopia Self-Help I(s)land. The shows asks such questions as: Where to find help in challenging times? What have we learnt from lockdown? How to process grief and loss, creatively? The exhibitions offers many examples, through collaborative image-making, writing, music, dressing up, games and other friendly exchanges.

Self Help Show began at Oriel Canfas, Canton in May 2022 and will travel on to Poesia Presente lab in Monza, Italy, in May 2023. At Turner House the doors are open Thursday to Sunday 10am-4:30pm till 5th March. To book places on workshops and readings, please visit http://www.turnerhouse.wales

More information about the project and our collaborators is available at www.selfhelpisland.com

Paci says: “We started from a need for conversation, which triggered a collaboration. The show offers a space to reflect on our attitudes towards self-help and unpack its premises. Often we look at these things in a naïve way, because we’re desperate. We need help and maybe we don’t have the strength of capacity of think critically…We found the conversation between illustration and writing helpful in terms of understanding who you are, what you do and what you want.”

Glynn says: “It has been exciting to engage across all age groups at Turner House, hearing shared experiences of the pandemic and its legacies, and some extraordinary life stories and insights. Interaction with visitors and Penarth neighbours has been stimulating and uplifting. It’s great to see people’s contributions to the show growing in the space and online. I look forward to making further work inspired by these encounters.’

Self Help I(s)land contains an illustrated playscript, poems, an essay on book-hacking, music for The Self Help Waltz, and an introduction by Ivor Davies. We will be happy to sign and illuminate your copy in the venue on request. It’s priced at £12. A few first editions are available for £16.99 each.

Praise for Self Help Show:

“I LOVE this space. The beginning of a conversation that has to be had. Objects, memory, living literature. Thank you!” – Dick Johns, actor

“It’s an education just walking through.”– Chris Griffin, artist

“A giant tapestry of two minds, beautiful and open.”– Penny Howarth, Lens Friends Penarth

“Thank you for making us feel so at home on your wonderful island! What a fantastic creation!” – David and Dylan, Cardiff

“I just dropped in as I passed-such a joyous, uplifting thing- it made me smile and taste a sense of freedom!”– Janet, Penarth

“Great fun, great building!”– Simon, Hebdon Bridge

Self Help Show Programme

Date & TimeEvent InformationBooking Information
Friday 24th February (11am-1pm)Self Help for Psychologists. A playful examination of psychological concepts with Paci & Glynn.Bespoke Event for Cardiff University students
Saturday 25th February (2pm-4pm)College Poetry Workshop, with Luca Paci & Chris Glynn. Materials provided.12 places (2 left at 22 Feb). Book via the Turner House website
Sunday 26th February (2pm-4pm)Poetry event with Menna Elfyn, Philip Gross, Lesley James, Mab Jones, Luca Paci and Susie Wildsmith, in association with Wales PEN Cymru. Exploring themes of islands, isolation and collaboration.Ticketed event. Book Via the Turner House website.
Sunday 5th March (2pm-4pm)Closing event with readings and music from Self Help I(s)land. With fiddle player Bob Evans and other guests.Unticketed.

Luca Paci is a translingual poet, translator and lecturer. He teaches Italian Studies at Cardiff University and is widely published as an academic and poet. He is the co-Director of the Italian Cultural Centre Wales ad the Italian Film Festival Cardiff. He has recently translated Bondo by Menna Elfyn (2021 Ludo) and edited two poetry anthologies, Alibi (2022 Ensemble) and Tempo: Excursions into Italian 21st Century Poetry (2021 Parthian).

Chris Glynn‘s illustrates conversations, particularly in health and wellbeing and the arts. He has recently worked with Cambridge Children’s Hospital and Cancer Hospital and is currently an Honorary Senior Fellow with Cardiff University School of Medicine, working with partners in Namibia and Zambia. Chris set up the BA Illustrations at Cardiff School of Art and Design, leaving Cardiff Met University at the end of 2020 to go freelance. You can see his work here: www.chrisglynn.net

Hadron Press was set up in 2022 to draw people into conversation and collaboration across boundaries, through books and live events, www.selfhelpisland.com.