Berenice Smith graphic designer and stained glass artist

A designer and creative exploring social communication through design. Past projects include visual representations of synaesthesia and developing a typeface based on a rural vernacular.

Current practice

John Peters

The Cambridge University Press museum have asked me to work on an exhibition of John Peters, a former designer at the Press and talented, self-taught typographer. Peters was the subject of my dissertation and it’s a great opportunity to revisit my skills in signage and curating. I’m looking forward to another rummage at the University Library.

 

Walk In Our Shoes

Walk In Our Shoes gained high marks in my Masters. Since graduating, the site continues to be curated to provide an educational platform and resource for anyone connected to involuntary childlessness. I was moved and delighted that a contributor to the site asked for his post to be sent to Steve McCabe, MP who is campaigning for equal rights to IVF and an end to the postcode lottery. Through this involvement I found out that many PCTs place terrible measures on people seeking to become parents including judging miscarriage as having a child and therefore rendering funded treatment unavailable. It reminds me that there is much work to be done. I am exploring methods of making the site into an exhibition piece.

 

Thomas Langdon

Thomas continues to occupy my time! The community of Balsham are well underway in writing for their book having now sourced a modern day cartographer to help them. This project requires three of my skills: project management training to allow the team to work through the stages of preparing a book from writing to press; design of the book and supporting design work in the form of the website. There is also the matter of working on material to engage the village. In a large village, it’s important to involve everyone as the success of the book depends on how many read and engage with it. 

 

 

Walk in our Shoes keeps moving

Walk in our Shoes continues to offer support to people suffering with childlessness not by choice or pregnancy loss. The site was featured on the BBC News in response to the Motherhood Challenge, a tagging of successful mothers that caused much upset. Interestingly one of the outcomes I observed was that mothers who were not tagged felt excluded. An interesting subversion of the situations that those who cannot have children often find themselves in. 

This feature generated a lot of interest and new contributions to the site. It’s great to get new work and, having been through this journey myself, I realise this takes much courage. Each entry on the site has the power to change an opinion or let someone else know that they are not alone. We welcome your words.

I should add that all contributions are completely anon. I can’t track anyone back which sounds a little odd perhaps in any other subject matter but I felt that privacy on every level had to be respected. This means that the contributor email address is buried in data that can’t be accessed. It is also useful for me too. It means that the people who sent in images of their newborn children didn’t get a response from me and I was able to be proactive, delete the emails and move on. The wording on the website has changed a little to reflect these teething problems and misunderstandings.

I’ve also added in my own story and my husband has published his words on there too. He’s also helping me with the content and adding a view from the opposite sex. We know that men are affected and were moved by the words of Martin who emailed us over Christmas.

There is also a Facebook page and the work of the site is being tweeted via @berenicehsmith, do follow and share.