A local illustrator is embarking on a project to unearth food stories and recipes from the community in Wrexham after winning a £2,500 prize.
Rhi Moxon has been named as the recipient of the Eirian Llwyd Memorial Award for 2016/17 by the Arts Council of Wales.
The 26-year-old Wrexham Glyndwr University graduate says the award will allow her to press on with a project which she started last year, working with Wrexham primary schools.
“I asked students to bring in a recipe with a reason or story as to why it was important to their family,” said Rhi. “And I was astounded by the quantity and diversity of recipes we got back.
“It was a true representation of our town’s cultural diversity and I loved that. It made me wonder about how many stories and recipes there are within the community so I want to work with local groups to create a body of work which represents our vast cultural makeup.
“I was absolutely over the moon to discover I had been nominated for, let alone won, the Eirian Llwyd Memorial Prize. I couldn’t believe it when I found out I’d won.
“It’s an Arts Council of Wales award so it’s very prestigious and has given me the confidence and financial support to push forwards with the project.”
Rhi spent a year studying for a degree in Spanish and Politics before deciding her passion lied elsewhere and joined Wrexham Glyndwr University’s BA (Hons) Design Communication: Illustration course from 2010-13.
Her work is inspired by travels in Eastern Europe, sparked initially by a placement which Rhi completed at Katowice in Poland as part of her course.
She said: “I’d always wanted to study a creative subject but while I was at school I wasn’t exposed to the different avenues through which art could become a career. I knew nothing about the Creative Industries and it wasn’t until later on that I realised it was the best possible thing you could choose for a job.
“Since graduating I’ve worked in a shared studio in Liverpool, then returned to Poland to study print-making at postgraduate level.
“I’ve been working closely with Oriel Wrecsam since moving back home, on projects with primary schools, over 60s and adults with mental health challenges. I also continue to work as a freelance illustrator on all sorts of jobs.
“It’s great to get the chance to share what I love with people of all ages, and I love feeling part of the wider community here in Wrexham.
“Studying at Wrexham Glyndwr University gave me a really strong work ethic. I loved the studio environment and the tutors were fantastic at widening our exposure to all sorts of different visual styles. The course was very much centred around creative briefs, which was great practice for the industry.”
Rhi said she hopes to be able to play a part in the future of Wrexham as a creative town.
“I’m really keen to be engaged in the future of Wrexham and see how the Creative Industries can have a positive impact on the community as a whole. I believe in the power of creativity.”
Pauline Amphlett, senior lecturer in graphic design at Wrexham Glyndwr University, said: “We’re delighted to hear about the recognition which Rhi has received for her work since graduating.
“We’re very proud to have Rhi as an alumni and it’s fantastic that she continues to work within North East Wales. Her story and success is an inspiration to all.”