Thursday, 12 April 2012

I've just discovered the charity Fine Cell Work which:
 "trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells to foster hope, discipline and self esteem. This helps them to connect to society and to leave prison with the confidence and financial means to stop offending."

Several years ago, I worked as a volunteer in "B" Prison Visitors' Centre, via another charity called PACT  - the Prison Advice and Care Trust. While I was there, I also attended a couple of art classes within the prison, run by a rather wonderful and enlightened teacher. 

And having now discovered the calm industry and satisfaction of cross-stitching (see my step-by-step tapestry developing!) the very real and practical benefits of these quiet disciplines are clear. Following a pattern brings with it a kind of security; it forces a focus that leaves little room for other thoughts as you become totally "in the moment". But you're also creating something tangable and real and lovely.


My mother, looking pensive

Which confirms yet again, the place that art, in all its shapes and forms, has within all parts of society; not simply as something that can be beautiful or evokative or thought-prevoking, but something that is absolutely necessary if we are to survive and thrive. 


BACKGROUND information...

My first picture book - called A Possum's Tail - is a collaboration with brilliant illustrator Alex Barrow and came out 6th February 2014. A second book called London Calls! is a whistlestop tour of London, led by a Pearly grandma and her granddaughter. London Calls! came out on 4th September 2014 and is my second book with Alex Barrow. A Possum's Tail was nominated for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal.
Both books are by Tate Publishing.

As well as writing children's books and for children's television, I do both private and commercial art commissions, a selection of which you can see here.
The children's shoes are part of an ongoing series of "first shoes", including several cards commissioned by the Almanac Gallery.

Hand-drawn, bespoke invitations, announcements, portraits and menus, such as the examples here are also available upon request..

Any enquiries please email: gabbydawnay@gmail.com

OKIDO MAGAZINE AND TV

I've been a regular contributor to children's art and science magazine OKIDO since 2007. HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY (WOW) beautiful Okido!

An Okido animated kids tv show, based on characters from the magazine is currently in production with Doodle/Squintopera http://www.doodle-productions.com. The original adaptation of the show (co-created/adapted by myself, producer Ceri Barnes and Doodle Productions) was acquired by CBeebies. 52 x 11 minute episodes will be coming to a screen near you soon in 2015.......... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .............................
N E W S F L A S H! MESSY GOES TO OKIDO Series TWO is now in production, following a super-successful 52 episode first series!

CBeebies

CBeebies
OKIDO

Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet

Cartoon Forum 2011 Okido booklet
Okido Cartoon Forum 2011

Happy Birthday OKIDO!

Happy Birthday OKIDO!
Okido was 5 years old this issue...the wonderful art and science magazine for kids I've been lucky enough to have worked on for the past - 8 - years now