Artist and poet Bethan Watkins is holding her first Jersey exhibition on 4 and 5 June with Art House Jersey at Grève De Lecq Barracks.
She is a longstanding student of the Arts, who, in the last few years has supported Jersey’s local food economy as well as campaigned for Islanders to eat locally.
Her first project was a local food challenge champaign which consisted of challenging Islanders to go fully local, with her, for one week in August. This ran for four years, getting lots of coverage and in turn, inspired many islanders to get conscious about what they’re eating, how to eat seasonally, and get more experimental in the kitchen.
Her latest local project, which was born from the local food challenge, is the Jersey honesty box map which can be found on hedgeveg.je. It’s a website app, which Nexus Technology helped build, that maps most of Jerseys honesty boxes and farm shops. The map has over 70 stalls and shops, with more popping up since the start of the app, helping to keep this Jersey traditional way of trading thriving, and growing.
She made the idea a reality during lockdown to help Islanders know where to go for local produce and also to find a way of getting people more connected to their community.
Along with continuing to grow the hedgeveg.je website and looking to make new expansions, Bethan is an artist; her first media is painting, which she studied at A level and went on to do a foundation diploma at Bournemouth Arts University.
Bethan recently has found a love of poetry and a talent she only briefly touched upon in her early years, which she is now diving into. Her writing, which will also be a part of the exhibition, touches mostly upon the beauty of life and nature, the human condition, and love as transcendence.
She wholeheartedly hopes her prose and poetry will stir souls into remembering the beauty of all of life.
It’s the fluttering of the first starlings
over the red blue sky at dusk
that take me back.
To warmer days, down old cobble lanes
with roast apple sweet on the air.
It’s in the green growing valleys
where high noon is found
by old and young,
bathing in the sun
whilst feasting on cream and berries.
A NEW DAY’S BLESSING
an ode to you I call out
I’ll let the rain or snow
the sunlight or thunder
be as an offering on my altar
for in as this,
Blessed be it all
the snow, the rain,
the sun, the thunder.