All is Not Well is a project developed collaboratively by comics and modern languages scholar Ryan Prout (Cardiff University), and Cardiff-based comics writer, Jonathan Clode, co-editor of the Eisner-nominated graphic novel anthology To End All Wars (2015). It has been supported by grants from the ESRC and Cardiff University’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
The project grew out of the sense that there was a gap in comics and graphic novels for visual narratives that represent care givers and the paradoxes of the post-Care in the Community social landscape.
Graphic medicine has already become a significant genre within the graphic novel and the focus until now has often been on particular conditions and the people who live with them. One of the main objects of All is Not Well is to reorient this focus towards care giving, and to highlight some of the contradictions that have underpinned the social and family provision of care giving since the Thatcher era.
Care giving is an essential part of the fabric of society and yet care givers are poorly paid; held in high esteem by those for whom they care, care givers as a collective are undervalued socially. The services care givers provide are essential, and yet, outside occasional sensationalist stories when things go wrong, the work they do is rendered all but invisible. Using visual narratives to address some of these issues is what All is Not Well is about.
This exhibition complements the All is Not Well website, developed for the project by Cardiff-based web designers, ProperDesign. For the website, the project commissioned new and originals stories about care giving from graphic artists and story tellers from the UK and abroad.
On display will be enlargements of frames from the comic strips created for the website, including work by Lucy Bergonzi, T.O. Walker, Eliza Wolfson, Michi Mathias, Jonas A. Larsen, Jonathan Clode, Brick, Jacob Phillips, Rita Patel, Ryan Prout, and Bern Campbell. The exhibition will also represent the results of interviews with care givers in the local area, and spaces for members of the public to share their reactions to the artwork, and to contribute to making the debate about social and family care provision in Wales and the UK as important as it should be.
Developed by Cardiff University and a group of independent comic creators, our aim is to reflect the reality of life as a care giver via the medium of short graphic ...
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