Written by Brad Robert Benford


Penelope Mendonca is a freelance graphic facilitator and artist.

She creates interactions that happen around drawings and visits various establishments, using drawing as a method of communication that can equalise social disparity. After listening to the input of everybody attending , wether that be managers, politicians, customers, clients, care workers, patients, Penelope uses her drawing style, influenced from 50’s, 60’s love comics to create graphic representations of peoples needs and aims moving forward that can be looked at and referred to as a fun and engaging reminder of values from then on.

a few examples of her practice:




(above) After a sound installation won the Jerwood drawing prize There was a little upheaval that this was not a suitable medium. Penelope created this piece from the input of the institution and the disgruntled ctrics, showing the arguements from all sides as to wether this was suitable. Its a great way to convey information, much more fun than just reading a list.




(above) this was done with the input of park rangers showing the aims of themselves, what they want to see from their outdoor space moving forwards. This was then shared with the wider organisation as a way of communicating core values.




(above) created by nottingham hospital staff, showing what they think is important in their roles and again, making clear shared core values. This was shared within the wider nhs and has been used to communicate with upto 17,000 staff members.




(above) This piece was created for the Joseph Downtree Housing trust and had input from staff members and members of the public. It shows what people think the attributes of a good life are and is now used as a template to show if they are meeting their communities needs.




(above) A graphic facilitation showing the skill sets that are within a community. This was created to show the positive attributes of ares that are maybe seen negatively. A blank version of this has been created that can be used in different ares to highlight the same information.

Penelope Also does a lot of work with carers of people with disabilities, helping the patient to communicate in ways that they could not before. A great example of this is this lady (work shown below) who revealed that she does not like to be moved or touched without being asked first. This only came about during the process of creating ‘what is a good and bad day’ and is now used to show any new people that may become a part of her life.




We were also given insight into the good and bad side of going freelance, the freedom it can afford, being your own boss, doing something you love, constant networking of new possibilities balanced with fluctuating income, managing clients opinions, having to motivate yourself, no sick pay, consultancy agencys taking their cut etc.

A very informative talk, I particuarly enjoyed seeing how penelope’s style of graphic facilitation can be used to help people and communities communicate more clearly with each other.