O’ Fama i Fama :Peoples Map of Llandudno

Yesterday I had the opportunity to walk with Lindsey Colbourne through the backstreets of Llandudno, seeking out spaces ripe for rehabilitation, using the theory of Temporary Autonomous Zones as our guide.

Read Lindsey’s blog here

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LLIF/FLOW: BACK IN THE LAB.

 

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This is how the marble crew from “Llif/Flow” at Pontio Synthesis came to find ourselves reunited in marbles and music in the Lle Celf at Eisteddfod Bodedern 2017.

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Back in the cold dark days of late winter, early 2017, Lindsey Colbourne, Jonathan Malarkey and I were invited to a meeting at Pontio with Manon Awst, curator of the Arddangosfa Arbenig/Special Exhibition for the National Eisteddfod. We were presented with the opportunity of exhibiting the next incarnation of Llif/Flow as part of her Troelli  exhibition in the Lle Celf when the Eisteddfod comes to Anglesey. There was no hesitation on our part: getting the crew back together, exhibiting at the National Eisteddfod, working with Pontio and being part of Manon’s vision of presenting an alternative view of landscape art, it was too good to miss.

“Here’s an opportunity, says Manon Awst, to gather information and present research by local artists and scientists concerning the landscape of Anglesey which includes paintings, sketches, sculptures, films, performances together with maps, geological samples and plants connected to the island. There is no hierarchy to the different aspects either. By promoting art as a interdisciplinary and collaborative research method the aim is to further discussion concerning how we understand the landscape today.”

The challenge was to create a marble run that would be in a gallery space for 10 days, that had to be robust enough for public interaction,  and that investigated the landscape of Anglesey. Parys Mountain was mentioned more than once, so Lindsey, Rhys Trimble and myself took a road trip out there to see what we might find.

Stunning, mind boggling colours and rock formations. An incredible, overwhelming, otherworldly  place but as always, we were looking for the flow. Is it the veins of copper that flow here? Or is it the lava flow that created it? Or is it that red water?  Lindsey began delving into research and soon found the story, beautifully detailed in her blog “The Strange Case of the Afon Goch Goggledd”

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The Marmaladies, Katherine Betteridge and Sioned Eleri Roberts, agreed to join us again, Iolo Price began to make beautiful Parys Marbles for us and, artist and fabricator, Richard Houghton set to work constructing the skeleton of our “Labordy” at The Old Goods Yard Bangor.

Lindsey and I visited beaches along the coast from Mynydd Parys and took plaster and wire casts of the ripple formations there, both tidal and wave formed.

The tower that was our Anglesey Laboratory began to take shape. The restrictions of creating a marble run withing a small self contained space made us work with much more control and precision than our previous free runs, making the collaboration closer than ever. On Saturday. 5th August, Llif Labordy Mon was ready and functioning for the enjoyment of the Eisteddfod audience.

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As people began running marbles,  they followed the journey of water through Mynydd Parys, into the caverns beneath, to collect, marble by marble in the sump, ready for the release of the Afon Goggledd Goch during our performance. Lindsey’s video, “Tirlun Llif” played on the wall behind, describing the patterns and processes of flow and copper collection.

 

On 10th of August, Ocean Scientist Cai Ladd, Rhys Trimble, the Marmaladies, Lindsey and I presented a performance lecture in six parts. Through science, poetry, music, drawing, computer animations and marbles, we considered and explored the Afon Goggledd Goch story, and ultimately, the patterns created by chaotic systems.

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And that’s not the end of the story….

 

 

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LLIF: LABORDY MON is on show in Pontio Bangor, level 2 until January 2018.

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Rhannu/Sharing

Merched Chwarel

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On 1st March Merched Chwarel concluded our R&D project with a caban-style, day – long ‘sharing’, kindly hosted by the Amgueddfa Llechi, Llanberis.

The day was in two parts: A drop in exhibition of our work in progress (incorporating sketch books, video, sound, 3-D work, photographs, installations and research) attended by all four artists and about 40 guests, followed by an hour-long caban debate with tea and bara brith. The debate was attended by invited guests from the arts, archaeology and womens studies, as well as those with a strong personal connection to the quarries and quarrying.

We created the space for dialogue to happen, questions to be asked, artistic ideas and information to be shared.

This followed a more public ’Open Day’, again hosted by Amgueddfa Llechi Llanberis, on February 22nd  where there was an opportunity for the public to observe our working processes, to share…

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Yma/Absennol -Presence/Absence Marged Pendrell

Merched Chwarel

Documentation has played an important role in my artistic process. I need to witness, reflect both visually and contextually alongside my more practical experiential approach.

This project ‘Merched Chwarel ’has given much to reflect on personally and even more within its collaborative context. It was interesting to see how differently the four of us engaged with these journeys and although we interacted and discussed throughout we remained, in most cases true to our own processes.

In order to digest the conceptual content of these quarry visits I have to relive aspects of the journey, maybe it’s the storyteller in me.

A sunny January day and an opportunity created by Jwls to have a guided tour of Penmaen mawr quarry, the only working one in our choice of quarries(hence being guided) and a granite not a slate quarry. Penmaenmawr translates as ‘The Head of the Great Stone’ and its location on…

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Of Slate, Granite and Keeping my Feet on the Ground. – Lisa Hudson

Merched Chwarel

Our next two walks were in the dis-used slate quarry of Dinorwig, and the working granite quarry of Penmaenmawr. These two walks were separated by only seven days, and are connected in my mind by their contrasts.

We began on a grey still day in Nant Peris, in Lindsey’s cosy kitchen, at the bottom of the valley, on flat gentle terrain. It felt safe, nestled and protected by towering steep sides. The villiage church and the graveyard also had that gentle sense of nurture and protection, a sense of strong community. The headstones were well tended, with clasped hands engraved and soft grass wrapped around the feet like a blanket.

We crossed a road, through a gate, over a stile and came across a river, – so many boundaries – to the edge of the quarry tips. There was a mound of old slate carts rusting under the bracken, neglected…

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A quarry from two directions – Marged Pendrell

Merched Chwarel

As a group we had decided to each host a visit to a quarry that we had an affinity with or had worked in previously. For each of us the quarry landscape is a familiar one but I wasn’t expecting the varied histories and personal experiences that we shared during these collaborative journeys.

Approaching Dinorwig quarry from both directions gave an insight into its massive scale both physically and emotionally. I hadn’t taken many steps before I came across my first ‘found object’ –

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This was the last thing I had imagined coming across, and an object which was an antithesis of such an environment .At this early stage, I was totally enveloped by the scale  and this small intimate yellow duck, which had the essence of children and play,  brought a softness as a strong contrast to the mountains of grey /purple slate.

The physicality of human achievement however…

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Merch y Chwarel, gan Julie Williams (Jwls)

Blog newydd o Merched Chwarel, gan Jwls Williams.

Merched Chwarel

Dyma fi wedi cael fy magu yng nghysgod y Graig, sef Chwarel Penmaenmawr lle bu’n Taid, hen daid a mwy diweddar 3 o frodyr fy nhad yn gweithio.

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Y mae chwareli yn rhan o fy hunaniaeth, ac yr wyf wastad wedi mynegu hyn trwy gelf; fy mherthynas unigryw a  lle, a phresenoldeb trawiadol chwareli o fewn y dirwedd.

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Merch y chwarel yn wir – ond beth yw arwyddocâd hyn heddiw ?

Wel, mae’r ffaith nad oeddwn erioed wedi ystyried y cwestiwn  yn ddiddorol yn ei hun rywsut?  Heb aros i sylweddoli’r anomaledd, dyma fi ymhlith hanes- dynion?
Y mae cychwyn ar y daith ‘Merched Chwarel’ yn agor gymaint o ddrysa a chwestiynau yn barod:
– o safbwynt fy hun, fel merch chwarel.
– ni’n pedair, ein grŵp a’n cysylltiadau a’n profiadau gwahanol, a’r bwriad o rannu a cyd-weithio.
– Pha rôl oedd gan ferched mewn hanes cyfoethog ein chwareli ?

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Ffin/Boundary. Marged Pendrell

A thought invoking blog by Marged Pendrel for Merched Chwarel.

Merched Chwarel

Walking  the National Park Boundary  around the quarry town of Blaenau Ffestiniog for a previous   project ’ Ail Wneud/Ail Ddyfeisio – Re Take /Re Invent’ left me thinking of other boundaries that exist in this quarry landscape, in particular the gender boundaries.

What role, if any, did women have within the context of these slate quarries?

Our group, Merched Chwarel had similar questions and so a R&D phase of our enquiry began.

My research brought to light Kate Griffiths who, in 1909 both instigated the setting up, running and teaching of 23 children in a remote quarry school in Rhiw Bach village quarry.

plate-1-rhiw-bach-school Rhiw Bach School

She is the only woman mentioned in the quarry history of Bleanau Ffestiniog and I became curious. Her journey to and from Rhiw Bach (one of the remotest of the Blaenau quarries) during the spring and summer months, was where I invited Merched Chwarel…

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Rhiwbach. by Lisa Hudson

My first blog for Merched Chwarel.

Merched Chwarel

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Documentation of walking to Rhiwbach Quarry village with Merched Chwarel, led by Marged Pendrell.

The walk was to trace the footsteps of Kate Griffiths, the schoolteacher, who would walk the path from Blaenau to Rhiwbach, to educate the children of the tiny, quarry village. Our journey began by car, through a landscape swathed in frost, but with bright sun and dramatic forms.

We park at the entrance of a working quarry and exchange pleasantries with a man who was there to check the dust levels in the quarry. We walked away from the big machines, massive slabs of rock and earth working equipment, away from the little flags and towards the open landscape, with the quarry on our left.

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The boundary marker between “journey to” and “Rhiwbach walk” was a fence and cattle grid. Blue plastic festooned the fence. Long hairs of blue, flapping in the wind like prayer flags…

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