I live and work in Bwlch Llanberis, the valley that runs west from the northern foot of Yr Wyddfa, Snowdon.
I create collaborative and participative inquiries that activate spaces of encounter around a ‘site’, whether that site is a physical location, field of knowledge, conflict or cultural debate. Often focused on a multi-sensory investigation of movement of ideas, people, experience and material within and through a site over time, I’m interested in traces sought, followed, left, lost; and the interaction with time, body, identity and belonging.
"....It is a locale of cultural intervention and innovation, a place of experiment, claim, conflict, negotiation, transgression:
A place where preconceptions, expectations and critical faculties maybe dislocated and confounded...
a place where things may still be at risk - beliefs, classifications, lives"
Mike Pearson/Michael Shanks in Theatre/Archaeology
My work is multidisciplinary and collaborative, drawing on a 20-year career in facilitation, community involvement and conflict resolution and a degree in psychology from Oxford University. Works include drawing, painting, frottage, video, photography, sound, performance, dialogue and installation. Over the last three years, I have created participative encounters and exhibitions – alone and in collaboration with others - on the streets, in galleries, museums, nature reserves, woodlands and barns in Wales and internationally. I'm also on the Board of Directors of the US-UK Anthropocene Alliance.
Exhibitions, residencies and collaborations
Current and forthcoming
2018 - March - Llif Labordy Môn will be part of the opening of the new Science Park, M-SParc on Anglesey.
2017 - December - CONNEXION 2017: Wales & International artists residency "Carried Luggage". Plas Brondanw. Installation and performance.
2017 - September - November . O Fama i Fama, From Here to Here, residency at CALL, Culture Action Llandudno.
2017 - September - 2018 January. Llif Labordy Môn, the tower installation and film is at Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre, Bangor.
2017 - 2019 Merched Chwarel. A collaboration with Marged Pendrell, Jwls Williams and Lisa Hudson to explore contemporary relationships to the quarry legacy of North Wales, including the invisible female 'his'tory. Between January and March we received Arts Council support for our R&D. We are now working on the next phase of the project to start in 2018, building up to an exhibition for 5 months at Storiel/satellite exhibitions in quarry towns, Bangor in 2019.
2017 - 4 - 12 August, Llif Lab Troelli, yn Le Celf, yr 'Steddfod, Sir Fon (efo Lisa Hudson & Dr Jonathan Malarkey). Perfformiad Awst 10, efo Rhys Trimble, Sioned Eleri Roberts, Katherine Betteridge, Cai Ladd. With thanks to Pontio for their support.
2017 - 6 - 28 May For the Birds (including 'Bird Collisions', a piece I made with Jony Easterby and Gwilym Morus) at Brighton Festival.
2017 - 10 June. Ex-sexcentenary day-long outdoor performance in Corris, with Lisa Hudson, Wanda Zyborska, Antonia Dewhurst and Jaci Atkinson.
2016 - November - April 2017: Lead Creative Schools Scheme. I worked with Cyf Creu (Stuart Bond, Janina Holloway and Luke Evans) as a Creative Practitioner at Llandrillo-yn-Rhos County Primary (60 pupils in year 5), on "The Pattern Detectives", a child-led art, music and maths project.
2016 - October: Gwyl Afon Ogwen River Festival. Interactive mapping of the Afon Ogwen River catchment.
2016 - September: Visiting Artist at TOGYG studios.
2016 - September - Coed a Phren: Trees and Wood. Facilitating the sharing of Jony Easterby's Creative Arts Wales project.
2016 - April - August. Cynnydd Sheela (Sheela's Progress) at Artfield 2016. Outdoor 3-D marble run in response (in collaboration with Lisa Hudson) to the celtic, Romano-British Settlement and industrial archaeology in Caim, Anglesey. 2-3 April, 1 May, 11 June, 23 July, 27-28 August.
Artfield, Caem, near Penmon, Ynysmon (Anglesey).
2016 - June - 2nd August - Exhibition of marbles, marble-making, science and films made for Llif/Flow show, Pontio Foyer, Bangor.
2016 - July. LLif/Flow. This year Pontio launched a pilot project, Synthesis, commissioning two different pairs of scientists and artists to develop an idea together as a bridge between both worlds. As one of the two winners, I worked In collaboration with Dr Jonathan Malarkey (School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University) and my marble-run collaborator, Lisa Hudson. We explored flow with science and marbles. The indoor / outdoor show on 3rd July was attended by more than 500 people.
2016 - April - July. Storiel 'Send us a Postcard' open exhibition, 2 cards (Landscape Object, Nantperis and Landscape Object, Cwm Pennant)
2015 - 2016. Blaenau Circles. Working with a group of artists on Marged Pendrell's project, making work in response to 'Blaenau Ffestiniog Circle' by Richard Long, 2011. Part of the 'Retake, Reinvent' initiative with National Museum Wales led by Andrew Smith.
2016 - May. The Postcard Collective: I was selected as a guest participant in the USA based Postcard Collective's international postcard exchange.
2016 - April. National Theatre Wales residency, Pontio, Bangor. Digging Down projection and installation 11 - 15 April in Pontio. Digging Down, People's Museum in Storiel, Tuesday 12th April 2 -5pm and Thursday 14th April 11 - 5pm, as a pop up at Pontio Wednesday 13th April, and a sharing event Thursday 14th April 7 - 8pm, Storiel. With Marged Pendrell.
2016 - March. Bird Collisions shown as part of Jony Easterby's For the Birds show in New Zealand. A show attracting 12,000 visitors.
2015 - December. Passed The Art of the MOOC Public Art and Experimental Pedagogy Course, Duke University, with Distinction
2015 - December. Showed "I Can't Grow Potatoes, I Can't Have Children, But Still Somehow I Manage to Enjoy Myself" in the Art from Wales Exhibition at Casoria Contemporary Art Museum Naples. Part of delegation and exhibition organised by ICAW (International Contemporary Art Wales). Work now in the permanent collection.
2015 - November. Drs Bethperis' Marbleous Medicines, predictive/curative marble run to heal all ills with Lisa Hudson. For Theatr Dan-Y-Coed's show, Betws y Coed.
2015 - November. One of five winners of the BTO BBS survey photography competition. bit.ly/1QdBKGa
2015 - October. Working with a group of artists on the Sculpture Circle at the Gwyl Afon Ogwen River Festival. This year I explored marble runs with Lisa Hudson, using branches, bark, slate and found materials to createa piece called "Cwrs Carlam Mewn Cyfraith Constructal" ("A Crash Course in Constructal Law").
2015 - September. My 'Treasure or How Much is Enough' film was shown at the TOGYG International Film Show.
2015 - 18 - 20 September. Finding, Found. Gwyl Ffair Nant. Friday 18th September, 7pm: installation with Oren pop up restaurant at Yr Hen 'Sgubor. Saturday 19th September, exhibition of Digging Down in the main marquee, Sunday 20th September - installation open for visitors at Yr Hen 'Sgubor.
2015 - April. Digging Down Pop up restaurant. Gert Vos, Oren, ran two evenings in my barn, just after my National Theatre Wales Digging Down 'sharing' event on the 23rd April. There were traces of the project all around, an opportunity to 'test' the format with a wider set of guests.
2015 - January - April. Digging Down: Fragmented Totalities. A collaborative project supported by National Theatre Wales' Waleslab. An ongoing project, you can see the work so far on the Digging Down page on this website, or my NTW project blog
2015 - March. The Big Democracy Project on Identity, at the Oasis Centre, Splott Road Cardiff. Working with refugees and asylum seekers, and Gavin Porter, Catrin Angharad Evans, Rhiannon White and Ali Zay to develop a show in 5 days. See my photos of the development week and show (password Oasiscentre), and the NTW Big Democracy Project website
2014 - December: Part of a delegation of artists at the ICAW (International Contemporary Art Wales) 'In and Out of the Citadel' symposium and exhibition at Strzemiński Academy of Art Łódź, Poland. I showed the 'Treasure or How Much is Enough' video with an installation. See photos of the trip on my flickr page, or read about the project or see Andrew Smith's photos
2014 - Installation/performance piece: Symffoni Bethesda: Offering (Afon Ogwen Remix) showing alongside other outdoor artists at the sculpture circle at Gwyl Afon Ogwen River Festival, Bethesda (3 - 5 October). See the horde/hoard section of this website.
2014 - Working with a group of artists led by Jony Easterby on For the Birds at Ynyshir RSPB reserve (2-5 October), I created an etching piece using old windows from Pen y Gwryd Hotel that played alongside a welsh arthurian legend, read to the cadence of blackbird song. See video section of this website or http://www.forthebirds.org.uk
2014 – Painting, photographic, print and 3-D works shown by: Gwynedd Art Gallery and Museum; Oriel Pendeitsh; Royal Cambrian Academy and at TOGYG (The Old Goods Yard Group)'s print show
2013 – Natural History Museum, University of Bangor, a six-month collaboration and exhibition with the ‘Hidden Artists’ group.
Ers wyth mlynedd bellach rydw i wedi bod yn byw a gweithio ym Mwlch Llanberis wrth droed Yr Wyddfa. O’r fan hon rydw i wedi bod yn datblygu casgliad o waith sy’n archwilio fy mherthynas gyda’r dirwedd ffisegol a diwylliannol o’m cwmpas. Bob dydd, ymhob tywydd, af i archwilio llethrau’r mynydd, ac yn ei dro mae hyn yn ysbrydoli ymchwil a gwaith celf sy’n ymwneud yn uniongyrchol â’r profiad. Rhan bwysig o hyn yw natur cynefin, beth yn union sy’n fy nenu a hoelio fy sylw, a sut mae hyn yn effeithio ar fy ymdeimlad o hunaniaeth, perthyn a fy mherthynas ag eraill. Mae gan y gwaith gymaint i’w wneud â gwrthgyferbynnu graddfeydd amser a phryderon dynol â chyfeirio at fannau daearyddol.
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