The Bare Bones


Born: London 1956

Professional Profile: Community Artist

  • Founded and CEO with 26 year experience of running not-for-profit organisations.
  • Managed skilled workforce, built teams of co-workers, created democratic business.
  • Applied for and received large scale grants from Governments, Arts Councils, local governments, charitable trusts and donations.
  • Liaised with community groups, institutions, schools, local authority schemes and workforce.
  • Generated and managed budgets of over £8 million.

Professional Experience

Pioneers Arts Group, Cardiff, Wales 1981 – 2004

  • Managed and created over 300 large scale community and public art commissions, many as artists lead experiences, others as inclusive of community participants. Lasting from one day workshops through to 5 year residencies and commissions.
  • Used, developed and mastered wide range of arts and crafts skills including: drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, video, mosaics, ceramics and stained glass.
  • Worked, using creativity in prisons, schools, special needs, community groups, tenants and playschemes.
  • Employed to work collaboratively with communities in areas of high social need in South Wales, UK, America, Germany, India and New Zealand.

Valley and Vale Community Arts, Bridgend 2005 – present

  • Developed in collaboration with counsellors and artists an all inclusive way of combining creativity, person centred communication and therapy. The process empowers the individuals and develops teams, and strong bonds of friendship. It is called Person Centred Creativity (PCC).
  • Working directly with clients in institutions, as well as long term unemployed and with mild to medium mental health issues.
  • Training care staff and professionals in the NHS and private sector to use PCC in the work place.
  • Training managers and senior staff in the NHS and private sector to use PCC in the development of care plans and in the future planning for their staff and buildings.


Cardiff Art College, BA (Hons) 1981

Awards and Honours

Awarded Honorary Professor at Staffordshire University in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of community arts, 2009.

Awarded Visiting Professor at Warsaw University, Poland in 2012.

Published books

  • Pioneers – Improving Your School Environment, 1995
  • The Pioneers – Murals, Mosaics, Madness and Myths, 2003
  • Creative Collaboration, 2004
  • Person Centred Creativity, 2015

Professional Profile: Masculinity expert

  • Father of two children, boy and a girl, both now in their thirties, and a grandson.
  • Whilst employed as community artist, would often work exclusively with boys in schools and youth clubs.
  • Skilled facilitation of  group work, particularly weekend workshops and training for exclusively men groups. Now developing both gender workshops as well.
  • Initiate and create modern day rites of passage and initiations for boys becoming men.
  • Advisor and consultant to many men’s organisations and charitable trusts on rites of passage.

Professional Experience

Talks, lectures and storytelling, 1981 – present

Performing live on stage in 2016, as part of my 60th birthday celebration. I had first performed over 30 years before in 1982, it was new material!!
  • Worked as a stand-up comedian in the South Wales Valleys for three years.
  • Used a touring one-man show ‘The Missing Links’ to develop ideas for books. Performed in Brighton, Reading, Edinburgh, Swansea, Cardiff, Bath and Welshpool.
  • Gives talks on a regular basis in Positive Living Groups, Mind Body and Spirit events, and other allied organisations.

Fatherskills, Carmarthen 1999 to 2007

  • Collaborated with a social worker to set up fathers groups in West Wales, mutually supporting teams of young and inexperienced fathers.
  • Delivered training for care and social workers to support and encourage young fathers to participate more fully in their children’s lives.

Pop-Up Conferences on masculinity, 2014 – present

  • Developed in collaboration with local groups one day pop-up conferences which deal with local issues. ‘Stepping Up’ in Stroud, ‘Men Behaving Bravely’ in Edgware, ‘Building Bridges’ in Narberth, ‘The Wholeness of Difference’ in Malvern, ‘Relationships’ in Bath.

Guidance, workshops and retreats for men, 2000 – present

  • One to one coaching, guidance and advice for men interested in self-development and ritual.
  • Have run over 100 workshops for men, developing ideas around rites of passage from conception to death. Also ran women-only workshops looking at the development of personal masculinity.
  • Performed and developed sweat lodges, vision quest, hand fasting, and many other rituals and ceremonies for men only and mixed groups. Ran retreats for male staff at ‘Kids Company’.


Trained and worked with Robert Bly, Scott Peck, Martin Prechtel, Grandfather Wallace Black Elk, and many others. Lived with indigenous people all over the world.

Awards and Honours

Chairman of ‘Spiritual Companions’ – a charity which is developing educational resources that serve carers and educators in the UK.

Published books

  • The Ugly Ducking – finding the missing link between boys and men, 2006
  • The New Ages of Men- A practical guide for modern masculinity, 2011
  • The Alpha Wolf – A tale about the modern male, 2013

Articles and blogs

  • Write blogs on masculinity on a regular basis for Huffington Post.
  • Write articles in Sacred Hoop, Kindred Spirit, Juno and Paradigm Shift.
Acceptance lecture for my Honorary Professorship at Staffordshire University. They used my books as the references for a MA in Community Arts

That was the standard story, and we are all familiar with this kind of impersonal CV.

I want this archive to be more personal and in-depth. So, this next telling of my life story is called ‘The Simple Truth


You’d think that was enough for one lifetime, but concurrent to the creativity work I have been a leading light in the modern masculinity movement in the UK. I nave been taught ritual and ceremony by indigenous people all over the world, and I use these techniques to create up-to-date versions within our society. As part of this process I am a collector and teller of stories, some of which are pre-historic, others about my present work.

I run an informal mentoring and apprenticeship process, enabling younger men to live and learn with me. They may stay within the process for many years, or a few weeks, depending on their needs.

In 2006 I made a documentary film ‘Muratare – Male Circumcision’ with a semi nomadic tribe of the Samburu people in Northern Kenya. I stayed and lived with them for a quarter of a year to make it. This experience features largely in the trilogy of books I have written on rites of passage and I enclose a small number of stories in the Large Biog page.

The books support a wide ranging programme of workshops, talks and training, which are a response to the increasing demand for my work, and I have recently featured re-wilding, eldership and reconciliation between the genders.

Are you still with me?  If you want to carry on you may need to boil the kettle again. Let’s do the big story…

Nick Clements talks about community and the importance of creativity