To Wander is to Adventure

To Wander is to Adventure

To wander is to adventure

“When we see things like shadows, colour, leaves. We listen to things, really simple things; water, birds, waterfalls. We notice more things.”

To Wander is To Adventure is an ongoing collaboration between Purple Patch Arts and artists Jean McEwan and Chemaine Cooke from Wur Bradford grassroots arts project working with adults with learning disabilities to explore creative and mindful ways to walk.

For 18 months, To Wander is to Adventure took place in Oastler Market, Bradford, exploring its spaces and making connections with its communities.

In 2020, the project was adapted to continue over Zoom, where a new group of participants were introduced to mindfulness, mindful walking techniques and creative practices.

In early 2021, the group were supported to co-create digital mindfulness resources to share their experiences and learning with others, as well as building their skills in creating and leading their own creative mindful activities.

In 2022, the group met online and in person for seasonal walks in nature together to further develop their skills and experience.

Changing Realities

​Changing Realities

Changing Realities cover image

Jean has been working with participatory research project Changing Realities (previously Covid Realities) to support zine making since 2021.

Covid Realities was a national research project working alongside parents and carers to share experiences of life on a low-income during Covid-19, developing ideas together for what needs to change and why.
Changing Realities is a collaboration between parents and carers, researchers at the University of York, and Child Poverty Action Group, coming together to share experiences of life on a low-income in the UK and to make change happen.

Zine making has been a space to creatively explore lived experiences, and to communicate what needs to change and why.
Jean has worked with participants, research team and close colleagues to collectively make the following zines shown below.

It’s Our Story: Families’ Lived experience during the Pandemic

Its Our Story zine cover

A collective zine made by participants in Covid Realities, exploring challenges and stresses of living through the pandemic as well as what needs to change and why.

Read the zine online here.

Reflections on our Participatory Research

Reflections Zine Print Front Cover
A collective zine made with participants, researchers and close colleagues about the approaches of working together on Covid Realities. The zine was made online together as a creative way of reflecting on our experiences.
Read the zine online here.

‘Doing It Together: An (un) guide to making zines with people’

Doing It Together Unguide zine cover

This shares our learnings about using zine-making as part of the Covid Realities research. It includes reflections and insights from participants and researchers from the project as other zine makers who we have learned from.
Read the zine online here.

Read a blog post from Jean about her experiences of making the zines with Covid Realities here

Putting Ourselves in The Picture

Putting Ourselves in The Picture

Create, Connect, Make

Jean has been working with Impressions Gallery on Fast Forward: Women in Photography a photography mentoring programme designed to develop the skills and confidence of eight women from refugee backgrounds, empowering them to use photography to tell stories about their own lives.

Jean supported the women to make zines, playfully collaging their family photographs with text. Each created a colourful zine with a personal story that connected the past to their present lives.

The women went on to develop their photography skills with support and mentoring from acclaimed photographers Carolyn Mendelsohn, Arpita Shah, Maryam Wahid, and Anne McNeill and Jane Hiley from Impressions.

The photographs the women made and images from their zines feature in Putting Ourselves in the Picture a new hardback publication with creative writing produced by the group, alongside work created by fourteen other women working with project partners across the UK.

The original zines are being exhibited at the Fast Forward: Women in Photography exhibition ‘Headstrong: Women and Empowerment’  at the Centre for British Photography in London from 26.01.2023 to 30.04.2023.

Zine (detail) by Manar
Zine detail by Manar



Collisions is a book of photocollage work by Jean, made in collaboration with and published by Gordian Projects in 2020.

The book presents recent collage work, interspersed with a conversation between Brian Lewis of Longbarrow Press, Jean and Tom Rodgers, co-editor at Gordian Projects.

The book can be purchased at: