The Self Help Show

Katherine PeachCreative, Wellbeing

The Self Help Show is a new touring exhibition exploring the idea of self-help through poetry and illustration. Penarth-based artists Chris Glynn and Luca Paci collaborated via mail during lockdown in 2020 and have developed a body of texts and images, video material, book hacks, and other artefacts for exhibition.

The Self Help Show asks where to seek help in challenging times. It reflects upon themes of loss and isolation, how to read, and ways to open up creative conversations and connections. It takes a sideways look at the pros and cons of self-help books. During the first week at Oriel Canfas (17-20 May) the artists will expand the conversation through writing and drawing, and discussion with guest keynotes, including artist Ivor Davies, singer and facilitator Richard Parry and counsellor Jackie Alford.

On Saturday 21 May, Paci and Glynn launch Hadron Press, a new micro-publishing, beginning with Self Help Island, an illustrated playscript and collection of poems accompanying The Self Help Show. The script follows a pair of characters shipwrecked on a strange island. On their quest for help they encounter a Lobster, a Beggar and characters from Shakespeare’s last play, The Tempest.

The Self Help Show is set to visit Penarth and Milan in 2023.

Paci says: “We started from a need for conversation, which triggered a collaboration. The show offers a space to reflect on our attitudes towards self-help and unpack its premises. Often we look at these things in a naïve way, because we’re desperate. We need help and maybe we don’t have the strength or capacity to think critically. The show sets out to help people distinguish the wheat from the chaff. We found the conversation between illustration and writing helpful in terms of understanding who you are, what you do and what you want.”

Glynn reflects: “Discovering poetry and fictionalising your surroundings can add dimensions and perspective to mundane and difficult aspects of life amid wider crisis and civic blight. Working with Luca I have learnt to develop my writing and drawing through collage and exchange, allowing for incidents and accidents. Most people have something to say about their search for help, and I look forward to creating further pieces in the gallery in conversation with visitors and keynotes. The show provides some of the questions, maybe a few answers, without prescribing escapism, floating or resorting to rules.”

Find out more at

Chris Glynn

M: 07870-156624 | e-mail: | Insta: @chris.glynn.illustration

Luca Paci

M: 07745-943893 | e-mail: | Insta: @paciluca | Twitter: @lucapaci

Oriel Canfas (contact: Chris Griffin)