Fiona CollinsStoryteller, story maker and writer
Fiona Collins is a storyteller telling traditional tales from around the world, with a special interest in stories of strong women and girls, and in the Tales of Wales. She hears the music of the spoken word, and respects the traditional cultures which speak to us through story.
She leads creative writing groups and has published three books of Welsh folktales and is currently working on the fourth, all with the History Press. (www.thehistorypress.co.uk)
She moved back to live in Wales in 2001 and her second language is Welsh. She tells stories in Welsh, and bilingually for Welsh learners. She also speaks French, Italian and Russian.
Fiona works in a warm and humorous way, which gives even the shyest child the chance to contribute, and uses her quick wit to make her storytelling for adults fresh, contemporary and sharp.
She enjoys working with groups of people with special needs of all kinds, and with integrated groups.
She especially loves telling stories in nature, and using storytelling, story making and story walks to help her listeners to see the stories under the skin of the land, and to increase their connection with the natural world.
She has developed a way of exploring landscape through story, and stories through landscape, which has enabled her to grow closer to nature. She seeks to share this experience with her listeners, by creating a space where they have the chance to develop this relationship for themselves.
Fiona led Arts Connection’s long-established drama group Masquerade for a year, and has undertaken many successful school and community projects for Arts Connection, working both alone and with the visual artists Lorraine Mainelli (in English) and Catrin Williams (in Welsh).
A professional storyteller since 1989, Fiona’s previous background was in Children’s Theatre, TIE, primary and special needs teaching and educational advisory work, and with the Co-operative Games movement, New Games UK.
Peter Wynne Wilson, TIE writer and director, founder of Big Brum TIE Company, Birmingham
Creative Agent for Creative Partnership Project, St Benjamin’s Primary School, Birmingham, 2009-10
We are able to build on a thriving story club, a wonderfully empowered and committed group of
lunchtime supervisors, and many enthused parents, staff and pupils through the school, as a direct result of your efforts. I have really enjoyed working with you, and learned a great deal from watching you in action too.
Rachel Byron, Arts Council of Wales
From the Quality Appraisal report on Art Connection’s Arts in Health Project
Artist: Fiona Collins, Dialysis Unit, Wrexham Maelor Hospital, July 2013
The success of this project was evident in the creative output achieved in a short time frame, in the enjoyment of the participants and the positive feedback from staff members. One participant described to me how the project had transformed her belief in her own creativity.
A key factor in its success was the skill, sensitivity and flexibility of the facilitator (Fiona Collins), who permitted the clients to feel able and valid in writing and to make this fun and accessible.
The facilitator showed skill in a variety of techniques which allowed participants to enjoy playing with words. The work was extremely positive in tone, with one poem exploring the life giving nature of dialysis. This artistic exploration of a long and tedious clinical procedure as valuable had an enormously affirmative impact on staff.
Staff were extremely positive about the project, noting the sensitivity of the facilitator and the enjoyment of patients in being creative. Participants spoke warmly of the experience, with one lady explaining how she felt otherwise ‘useless’ time to have offered her an experience she never would have had if she had not been ill.