by Nick Clements

Pioneers – Improving Your School Environment
Written with Sarah Osborne

This book inspires parents and teachers to think about ways of improving the educational experience of the children in their school. The book shows how the arts can be used creatively to improve the image of the school. This applies not only to the building, or the playgrounds, but also to the level of public awareness of the activities of the school.

The Pioneers want to encourage staff, pupils and parents to plan long term. They show how small or short projects can be dove-tailed into developing schemes using a range of skills and easy to follow guides. Some of the skills are pretty simple - painted murals; some are more complex - mosaic murals; through to complex tasks - ceramic tile and floor mosaics. They do not expect anyone without any knowledge or experience to start with the complex tasks, rather build up to them, experiment. ‘If we only set ourselves goals we know we can reach then we never find out what we are really capable of doing.’

The Pioneers – Murals, Mosaics, Madness and Myths

The remarkable story of the 23 year odyssey, between 1981 and 2004, undertaken by The Pioneers, a group of community artists based in Cardiff. From their origins as a loose group of friends who ran a gallery, they grew into professional community artists working all over the world. This inspiring book, written by Nick Clements, represents his view and interpretation of the events which unfolded, and how the company developed. The story is unique in the history of British arts, it is one of incredible determination, imagination and inspiration. In acknowledgement of this outstanding contribution to the re-vitalisation of the communities of the South Wales Valleys in particular, Nick Clements was offered an Honour from the Queen in 2014. He turned this honour down, as he wanted to not be seen as the only contributor, as well as his socialist background.

The Pioneers were at the head of the community arts movement that has now become a major industry, employing hundreds of people. They became one of the most famous artist lead organisations of Britain. The book includes a wide range of projects, documented through their stories and photographs, it is a frank account full of humour and excitement. It will encourage creative people to work collaboratively, and to stretch their creativity into new and exciting areas.

Creative Collaboration

This book deals with the historical context of community art, how it has developed, and the potential that it holds. The book gives advice and encouragement to those who wish to use their creativity in community settings. It examines the ways in which individuals can mutually support each other, the creation of communities and the transient nature of such work. Looking at techniques to ensure that as individuals we are good channels for our creative talents, Developing ideas about the way in which creativity can be used to bring about change within individuals and groups.

A radical and extraordinary book which challenges the present art dogmas and beliefs. It offers new and innovative approaches to create new ways of living, collaborating and developing society. It offers inspiration and guidance to those who want to create such opportunities in the future.

The book forms the basis of the Community Arts MA Course at Staffordshire University, and this lead to Nick Clements being awarded the post of Honorary Professor at the University when the course was delivered. In addition, in 2008, he was awarded the post of Visiting Professor on the MA Course in Community Animation, using this book as the basis of yearly workshops and courses at Warsaw University in Poland.

An Introduction To Working with Fathers
Written with Tony Ivens

Very few professionals have specialised in working with men and fathers. We are all becoming aware that such work is vital and essential. Allied to this is the understanding that the father gives a different and vital dimension to the child’s development. We need to stimulate and praise those men who commit themselves in this way.

Parenting is an immensely difficult, complex and transformative experience, it is probably the most important thing anyone can do. It will last a life time and most other jobs pale into insignificance alongside it.

This is a unique and informative guide to working with fathers for professionals. Giving details and training ideas in terms of recruiting , developing and understanding how to undertake this important work. The book is allied to a training programme being run by Fatherskills, based in Wales, and created by professionals who have over 30 years experience of working with families, men and fathers.

Using The Ugly Duckling to find The Missing Link between boys and men

Every day we read about our disaffected youth, single parent families, the breakdown of community. the isolation and violence of young men. There is no consensus on how to deal with these problems, although we all agree, it is time to do something.

Using the concept of rites of passage, with a recent translation of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ Nick Clements shows it’s value to society and specifically these issues. Whilst relating primarily to boys he explains the relevance to everyone. This is a provocative book about parenting and men - their issues, needs and their behaviour.

A book crammed with inspirational stories, examples of effective projects, and suggestions for action. It is of value to both women and men, particularly those struggling to understand their teenagers. The depth of his experience is reflected in the enthusiastic way these ideas are presented.

The New Ages of Men
A practical guide for modern masculinity

How do we enable our present young boys become the responsible men and mature elders we need in the future? By stepping away from our immature past towards the new emotionally intelligent future, without losing our sense of fun and adventure.

A much needed powerful exploration of modern masculinity. This personal guide is from a leading expert on manhood. Full of practical advice, hope and inspirational stories. Detailing the journey through ages from conception to death. Illustrating how we can use rites of passage to create the lessons and experiences necessary for male maturation.

‘Insightful. Inspired. Wise. A new and deep perspective on how to understand men, lads and boys in the modern world.’ - William Bloom

The Alpha Wolf
A Tale About The Modern Male

A novel which can revolutionise peoples’ mindsets - it is the male equivalent of ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’
Roger Cologne is an Alpha Boy. He has all the trappings of success - the looks, car, flat and a high-powered job. He doesn’t do relationships. H his a collector of conquests without consequence. By unexpectedly becoming a father and receiving redundancy he discovers there is more to life. He is forced to start his personal development journey. He seeks to learn more about himself as well as entering a meaningful relationship. By doing so, he moves towards becoming an Alpha Wolf.

A ‘Male Tale’ to compliment your ‘Chick Lit.’ Written by Professor Nick Clements, one of the world’s foremost experts on masculinity and rites of passage, this compelling story allows us to gain an understanding and insight into the modern man’s journey. Combing humour, wisdom and emotionally charged stories the book explains how a lot of men experience the separate worlds of work, relationships and feelings. It is full of advice and guidance for us all, and incorporates exercises and life style development work which has been practiced by hundreds of people over the last 20 years.

Person-Centred Creativity
written with Katja Stiller and Rhys Hughes
Valley and Vale

Person-Centred Creativity (PCC) is a remarkable ten year collaboration between two artists and a counsellor. It is a unique, incredibly successful initiative. Starting as a cry for help from fatigued community artists. I this now blossomed and grown into remarkable projects and training programmes deeply embedded in the health and care fields.

The three facilitators work with care and health workers, as well as directly with clients. The focus is on wellbeing not illness, and they enable the participants to come up with their own solutions to problems and barriers in personal growth, by having fun in a safe environment. The facilitators have enabled hundreds of service users, service providers and managers to experience and recognise their own creativity and strength. This has led to major breakthroughs for service users in terms of their own attitude towards illness and their lives as a whole. This has brought about large changes in the way in which health and care professionals treat their clients, improving the care planning process in homes for the elderly, mental health institutions, and many other NHS and private organisations.
The reputation of PCC and the three facilitators is international as well as being very locally based in Wales. For the first time, this book opens up there workshops and training programmes, giving examples of the range of exercises they undertake, and is an invitation to artists and health care professionals to include such activities in their work.

If you are interested in receiving any of these books, please email me at I can post them to you. I normally suggest if you can make a contribution to cover my costs, £10 per book, I am happy. I ask that once you have read it, please pass it on to others who might enjoy them or benefit from them.


'The Pioneers'
in the book Art With People
Edited by Malcolm Dickson 1988
published by Artist Newsletter

'The Path To Revolution'
in the book The Dangerous Man: Conversations with Free-Thinkers and Truth-Seekers Karen Sawyer 2010
published by O Books

'The Pioneers and the Welsh Community Arts Movement: A View from Wales'
in the book Culture, Democracy And The Right To Make Art, The British Community Arts Movement
Edited by Alison Jeffers & Gerri Moriarty 2118