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UK Islands Project 2017




This year's Creative Adventure is all about UK Islands.

I will be visiting a minimum of one Island a month around the coast of the UK as I explore how these islands have inspired various creatives - from literature, music and art to the islanders that live there today. I’ll then create some artwork in response to my experience of the Island. 

What’s this trip all about then?

This whole trip is all about the UK and what’s on our doorstep. How you can find inspiration and adventure nearer than you think.

I’m not an extreme adventurer, I’m more of an ‘Everyday Adventurer’ encouraging folks to get out there and have adventures no matter what their fitness or physical level!  

I’m also a firm believer in Creativity, Adventure and Nature for wellbeing. These are my 'power of three'

One thing that does make this a challenge for me is the fact that you could say I’m Bionic. I have a walking implant called a STimUSTEP which helps me due to having had a brain hemorrhage when I was 12 (I'm 42 now). 

Why Islands?

I’ve always had a love of Islands since reading many Famous Five books as a child (and adult!)  I even ran my first Creative Adventure Retreat on Lundy Island in 2015. The idea to visit the small Islands around the UK was really born whilst I was sitting on an Island in Thailand in 2014…

I was there on a volunteer placement with Art Relief International and the last part of my trip I went in search of a less well known Island, which I found called Koh Mak, I stayed there for a week. It was here that I started to think about the fact there were lots of Islands around the UK that I had never visited and I began to wonder what they were like and if they offered anything like – or better than travelling all the way to Thailand (cultural differences aside) what adventure lay on my own doorstep?

Why Now?

After returning from Thailand I already had another Creative Adventure that I wanted to complete.

This was a 190 mile journey from Brecon in Wales to Morwenstow , North Cornwall following ‘roughly’ in the footsteps of the 5th century saint Morwenna. I completed this as a fundraiser for The Stroke Association (as I had a Brain Hemorrhage when I was 12.) raising over £900. The furthest I’d ever walked and gave me the walking bug. Also believe I’m the first person to have walked this far with a Stimustep implant.

The brain Hemorrhage left me with a condition called Drop foot which means walking is challenging. In 2008 I was lucky enough to be fitted with a StimUStep at Salisbury Hospital. This is an implant in my left leg below the knee that ‘plugs’ into my nerves that help to lift and turn out my foot. This has helped me so much with my walking that I could attempt something like B2M. This trip was 55 miles cycle, boat crossing and then 122 miles walking along the South West Coast Path. I’m in the process of finishing my book about this expedition at the moment.

So now that has been done and dusted (well once I finish my book) I am onto my next Creative Adventure – UK Islands.

My Islands List – (read about how I chose these islands here)

January - Isle of Portland - Tick!
February - Isle of Sheppey (via the Tate) - Tick! 
March - St. Agnes (Southernmost settlement of the UK) - Tick!
April - Lundy - Tick!
May - Skomer - Tick!
June - Avalon - Tick!
July - Anglesey Tick, Skokholm Tick & Caldey* - see below)
August - Bardsey
September - Looe
October - Jersey
November –Brownsea aka Red Squirrel Island & Isle of Skye - For my Birthday! Yippee!
December – The Island of Reflection


*Caldey - My retreat with the monks was cancelled as they have decided to close the retreat house for an upgrade (and I think the current managers left with short notice). I've yet to get all the details, so I'm going to 'carry-over' this island to next year - or when their retreat centre is open again. 

I plan to walk around them, talk to those who live there, discover something of the history and who the Island has inspired, if the island is Wildlife Trust owned, I’ll be highlighting the work they do and why it’s important although this isn’t a charity fundraising trip as such. Then I’ll create something in response to the islands character. That could be artwork, written word… I won’t know exactly until I’m on each Island.

Funding

As with my B2M trip this is self-funded. I work part-time for a charity called Creativity Works and I will also be repeating my ‘Postcards’ offer where by people ‘sponsor’ me to create a unique postcard for them whilst on an island and then post it to them. Quite a few Islands have their own stamps.  If you'd like your own ‘Postcards from An Island’ follow this link: http://www.morwhenna.com/2016/12/postcard-from-creative-island-adventure.html

I’m also looking for other ways to help towards the funding of my trips and have discovered some potential pots of funds to apply for. ;-) I’m not relying on this though. 

Any ideas - always welcome!

One Island trip will be run as a Creative Adventure ‘Retreat’. This I have yet to decide.

I am being supported by Great Art who are supplying my arts materials and Pulsin who will be supplying me with their healthy treats! In fact I was pretty much ‘Powered by Pulsin’ for the first few days of my B2M trip as I’d misjudged the food options available on route i.e none! So their bars kept me going!!

Thank you!



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