Spring has Sprung, and the grass is (almost) riz, and art opportunities are unfurling all over the place...
'Bird Collisions' (made for Jony Easterby to go with a haunting rendition of an arthurian legend to the cadence of a blackbird by Gwillum Morrus - see here for a snippet) made its way in a container, together with the rest of Jony Easterby's For the Birds show (including works by 10 artists), to New Zealand in March. More than 10,000 visitors made their way to the forests outside Wellington to see the show. I didn't go, but there are rave reviews and great photos.
And coming up, I’ve also got four new shows in North Wales over spring and summer. They are all open to the public, interactive, suitable for all ages (and hopefully even fun). It’d be great to see you at one of them!
1. Cynnydd Sheela (Sheela’s Progress) with Lisa Hudson
2-3 April, 1 May, 11 June, 23 July, 27-28 August
Artfield, Caem, near Penmon, Ynysmon (Anglesey)
Lisa Hudson and I are constructing a site-inspired marble run at Artfield, an outdoor show by various artists, curated by Jo Alexander on the site of a Romano-British settlement. Linking to the archaeology of the area, we’re bringing in the way Romans played marbles, the 10th century limestone crosses, zig zag design of the 12th Century arcading and Sheela Na Gig to be found at Penmon church and 19th Century Limestone quarries. Did you know that the Menai Suspension Bridge and the 13th Century refectory at Penmon Priory are made from limestone from the quarries here? I believe it may also have been used for the gravestone of Owen Griffiths (see my blog, 25th January 2015), the quarry worker who built my house in Nantperis, but who died in the quarry and so has a limestone gravestone rather than the usual slate.
Cynydd Sheela is a marble run, constructed of locally found materials, and suitable for all ages to play with and explore. It should look, feel and sound good! You can 'play' it like a Roman marble game and get a score, or just enjoy watching the chosen (and unpredictable) path of your marble as it progresses from the tea pot, along the sea-worn tram lines to the slate bagatelle ending.
If you don’t know the Penmon area of Anglesey, it the north east side of the island, andbeautiful. Recently described by two friends visiting from Ireland, as ‘more like France’, it is full of interesting buildings, history, wildlife, walks and coastline. It even offers a lighthouse you can walk around at low tide. And it rains a lot less than in Nantperis too.
Opening times, directions and so on, please look here
2. Digging Down @ National Theatre Wales’ “Made in Bangor” Residency
11 – 15 April, Pontio, Bangor
A year on from Digging Down I, my Waleslab Project with Chris. Dugrenier, Sam Fox, Gert Vos, Louise Osborn and Jony Easterby (with funding from National Theatre Wales), based on the ‘trysor’ I have been digging from my garden in Nantperis, I’m going to be installing something to celebrate what we did as part of NTW’s residency at Pontio. I’m hoping to have an installation involving a projection, documentation and objects.
NTW’s week will be full of interesting workshops, a conference, performances and a party on the Friday night. For more info, and to get involved (its open to all) see here
3. Digging Down II : A Curiously Collaborative Museum of Lost, Found and Broken
12 April 2 – 5pm; 14 April 11 – 5pm; Sharing event 7 – 8pm, 14th April
Spurred on by the interest and feedback I’ve received on Digging Down I, and the followons (including a stand and pop up restaurant at Gwyl Nantperis), some visits to some amazing community-run museums in the Northern Highlands of Scotland, and by a chance conversation with the curator of a museum at a party, I have started thinking about Digging Down in the context of a museum. What would it be like to abandon the traditional model of collection and display, and replace it with a more interactive exhibition of things found by the public? Could we create ‘participatory colelctions’ of objects, allowing for exchange and handling rather than the traditional behind glass displays?
With support from National Theatre Wales, I’ll be working with Marged Pendrell, to test out the idea at Storiel, Bangor 12 – 14th April. Marged, who has 20 years of experience working with collections, curation and dispersed museums, has been an inspiration: She has some amazing things, like collection cupboards and drawers on wheeled walking sticks, a card table where the green top has been replaced by fake grass and little sculptures made from lost, found and broken things that seem to be ‘future-proofing’ them, turning worthless bits of stuff into things that appear vital for future understanding and survival.
The Museum will offer:
- A 3-suitcase starter collection, from pebbles and sticks to fragments of pottery, lost shoes, discarded bedsteads and bits of old letters
- An opportunity for you to bring along fragments or objects you have found, to add them to the museum (temporarily or permanently). You can try your hand at curating and making collections and displays in any way you like
- An invitation to respond to the fragments and objects on display - writing, song, dance, sculpture, soundscapes, drawings ... in any medium you choose
- A cafe with free panad and cake.
Bring your fragments, objects, collections, creative ideas ... or just come and see us at:
- Room 1, Storiel: Tuesday 12th April, 2 - 5pm and 11 - 5pm Thursday 14th April
- Pontio, a mini-pop up museum throughout the day: Wednesday 13th April
- Room 1, Storiel for the 'Sharing' of the results, discussion of ideas for what next, together with the 'dispersal' of the museum. From 7pm, Thursday 14th April.
It would be great if you could come along – bring your fragments, objects and collections, or come to be inspired and create. If you’d like to come to the ‘sharing’ event, please let me know as spaces are limited. But otherwise, the doors will be open!
And if you are interested in this kind of thing, here are some links to other projects involving collections:
- Common Objects, Sonorous Matter Common Objects Sonorous Matter 2016 tour- in Oxford, Manchester, and Durham supported by Resonance Extra. It features the avant-garde all-star line-up of John Butcher, Angharad Davies, Rhodri Davies, Lina Lapelyte, Lee Patterson and Pat Thomas, who are probing the resonances between sound and a series of fascinating objects found in the museums which provide the venues for this Spring tour.
I can’t say much about this yet (pending formal announcement!), but I will be working with Lisa Hudson, and Dr Jonathan Malarkey over the summer, to explore flow, using marbles and physics in all sorts of new and exciting ways. An immersive show should be ready in July...
I've just found out I have got two pieces in Storiel's 'Send us a Postcard' open exhibition,
16 April - 4 June, Bangor. Here's one of them: