­­­­­AGNES (left) When people ask me where I come from I feel a little bit proud to say ‘I’m Welsh’. At sixteen I feel I’m always busy, and also that I’ve got nothing to do. School is always very busy but when I get home I am bored. I often search for a feeling I can’t quite describe, a feeling for making art. One of my dreams for the future is to continue making art, that I will always be creating something, having projects. Amarie is really important to me. She has been in my life for a few years now and we get along really well. We can always have a laugh together. She is good at cheering me up and I’m really happy to have her as a friend. I hope I am happy with all the choices I make. My message to the world is do what you love. I fear that the climate crisis will get progressively worse to the point that we can’t change anything, can’t reverse what we have done. And I fear boredom. I don’t want to wake up one day and find I am bored with whatever I am doing.

AMARIE (right) To put it plainly, being sixteen sucks. Most adults like to reminisce about being a teenager because the bad parts are so bad. Being a sixteen-year-old girl is a struggle, constantly overthinking, not thinking enough, insecurities, self-deprecation… but being sixteen can be beautiful. We see the world through a kind of middle view. We can see the seriousness and the dog eat dog part, but we also see inspiration and excitement. It’s really special. I’m not originally from Wales. I was born in Texas and lived there until I was six. I’ve lived here for ten years now, arguably the most impressionable and important years of a kid’s life. I believe that that living in Wales has been nurturing, more so than living in Houston could ever have been. And I love it here.

Agnes and I encourage each other and lift each other up. Her passion for what she believes in is really inspiring There is no pressure in our friendship, no pressure to fill silence with chat, no pressure to be better than each other. And I am passionate about the environment. The earth we inhabit supplies us with the resources we need for the future. But is in danger and people in charge don’t seem to care. So one of my hopes is that I can do something about it. I fear that by the time I am old enough I might not be able to help or make an impact. My aspiration is to work with the sustainable fashion industry. But I fear that I might end up in a job behind a desk and the creative part of my brain won’t be stimulated.

Kelly O’Brien

Recently having completed a Masters in Documentary Photography at The University of South Wales, Kelly’s
artistic practice draws on personal and historical narratives, exploring a relationship to the distortion and
fragmentation of truth and memory. She works on commissions and collaborations with various artistic bodies
such as the Arts Council England/Wales, along with various galleries and educational institutions. Her
personal work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and published in Le Monde, The British
Journal of Photography, The Guardian and Source Photographic Review. For SIXTEEN she is currently collaborating with sixteen year olds across North Wales, focusing on black and white portraiture within the wider local landscape.