The Your Future Alphabet

The design and production of a series of illustrations to be used in touring exhibition and printed post card form.

This work was commissioned through Your Future – an arts based project working with families in Gloucestershire who have experienced domestic violence.

The 26 images are my personal interpretation of a snapshot of domestic violence, summarised and presented in visual form.

Working in collaboration with writer Catherine Mitchel, my data base was a mixture of fully permissive transcript conversations from adult survivors recorded in small groups of art-based activity; alongside media coverage at large and my personal understanding of this huge underlying social monster.

In a touring exhibition, the resulting images took people by storm. Stopping them in their tracks. Putting into words and pictures the unsaid, unsayable and socially taboo. I wanted to reflect back to society in an objective stance, that ‘this happens’.

The postcard sets went on sale as stand alone art commentary, and as vitally useful recourses for social centres and staff working directly with victims and perpetrators alike.

Making the Your Future Alphabet

‘Working with the Your Future Project has been a profound experience for me. I have been moved, inspired and heartbroken: it has been a true reality check. These strong people have been through so much and yet are here, doing something positive for themselves and their children.

The Your Future Alphabet was drawn from the heart. I worked from transcripts of conversations shared during the project by participants, pulling quotations, ideas and emotions from the page. All I could do was to trust myself to do the very best I could to capture, represent and nurture a recognition of both the complexities and simplicities of finding yourself in a horrific cycle of domestic abuse.

26 drawings allowed me to explore a good few aspects, although I am aware that I have just touched the tip of the iceberg. I feel honored and humbled (not only to have taken part in the project as a tutor,) but to have spent so much time with the testimonies of these survivors and to have had the privilege to put them into a visual language for us all to take note, take solace and to take on board their plight.’

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