Tuesday, 13 November 2012


Cathy Gordon

Full festival listings online:



Tooth&Clawr will feature as part of BACKWARDS THINKING. Sam Hasler and I will be hosting this months event and have got some juicy texts for you. Along the themes of Unseen we have selected Ian McEwan's short story 'Solid Geometry', and an interview titled 'Screenwriters On Screenwriting'.
We wish our usual T&C host Phil Owen luck with his performance for EXPERIMENTICA, and look forward to welcoming him back for the next session soon (date TBC).

For more information on Tooth&Clawr please visit:

Backwards Thinking@ EXPERIMENTICA 2012: Unseen/Anweledig

As part of Experimentica festival this year Sam Hasler and I are organising a set of events that are specifically aimed at engagement and contextualisation. This includes a festival hub and reading area, large blackboards with information and responses, text in the festival brochure and  discussion events.

The whole set of events is framed under a title of 'Backwards Thinking'. This is a light joke about philistinism, an encouragement to 'reflect' and also to start from a clean slate. Not to suppose we already know everything about performance art or such things. This title has also provided us a little amount of space to play with mirror writing and role reversals.

For more information on Experimentica 2012 visit:

For information on artist Sam Hasler;

Monday, 12 November 2012

BARN Magazine Article November 2012

Journalist Lowri Haf Cooke has written a very well informed article about the work I made in New York a month ago. Lowri travelled the whole way to witness the new performance piece and research my residency at Flux Factory. The article explores my own ideas on my new body of work 'For Future Reference...' whilst also touching on Lowri's own perspective on what took place during the performance in NYC. I am grateful to Lowri and BARN for daring to write so intelligently about contemporary performance art from Wales.

To read the article/ I ddarllen yr erthygl:

For more information about BARN Magaizine/ Am rhagor o wybodaeth am gylchgrawn BARN:

Images of Mother Time (a Momento Mori) performance @ Artes Mundi

Photo Credit: Melissa Hinkin
Duration of performance: 20mins
Action: Close eyes. Hold a travel clock in each palm. Count from 1-600 in Welsh.

The performance Mother Time took place on November the 1st at Teresa Margolles' installation in the National Museum of Wales. My work was created in direct response to the themes of death, time and memorial in the Mexican artists work. I shut my eyes and focused on the difficulty of reaching high numbers in my native tongue. I had imagined beforehand that as it was a simple and durational action that the audience would move around, leave and return. Once I reached 600, I opened my eyes and was shocked that everyone had stayed with me, patiently waiting for me to reach my goal. I ended the performance by approaching each audience member, handing them a drawing, and whispering 'momento mori (remember you will die) in their ear.
This performance has been filmed by artist Matt Cook, and it will be shown at the Critical Mass Symposium at the museum in December. Watch this space!

Monday, 29 October 2012

MOTHER TIME (a Memento Mori) 01.11.2012, 13:00-13:30, National Museum of Wales Cardiff

A new work by Kathryn Ashill which explores our relationship to time. MOTHER TIME is a performance that will be taking place on the Mexican Day of the Dead and has been created in order for Ashill to explore the emotive themes within Mexican artist Teresa Margolles' work for the Artes Mundi5 exhibition. MOTHER TIME has been commissioned by Artes Mundi5 as part of the ongoing Thursday Lunchtime Events.

Also as part of this event families are welcome to join the drop in Day of the Dead craft workshop. Throughout the day we will be inviting children and families to contribute to the Dia De Muertos (Day of the Dead) shrine, make skull masks and orange marigolds in celebration of this iconic festival. Join in between 10AM-4.15PM. ALL WELCOME

Perfformiad newydd gan Kathryn Ashill. Croeso i bawb x

Monday, 22 October 2012

Reading around the subject of Time and Death. Reasearch

Artes Mundi5 have commissioned a new performance work from me that will engage and respond to ideas within Theresa Margolles' work. I have been deeply moved by her work since witnessing the daily ritual that took place in the Mexico Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2009. At 4pm daily an attendant mopped the floors of the gallery space with the blood and water from Mexican murder victims. This evocative action was sensitive and highly charged. The controversy and poetics of washing ones national space with the remains of its unlawfully killed victims is such a strong statement. I feel privileged to be able to make a work in response to her ideas of time and death.
I have been amazed by the Death issue for this weeks New Scientist- I cant recommend it enough. Its more anthropological than scientific, and has sparked shed loads of ideas. Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman is furthering my understanding of time, and ways in which we experience it.
My performance 'Mother Time (a Memento mori)'  takes place at the Artes Mundi5 exhibition, in Margolles' space on 01.11.2012 at 1.05pm.

For Future Reference... Palm Project I, Artes Mundi Education PV. 16.10.2012

 Following on from my work at Flux Factory in New York, I am now focusing on different narratives of my future. I was commissioned by the National Museum of Wales to make work for the Artes Mundi Education private view. 'For Future Reference...Palm Project 1' participants were invited to read my palm and my fortune using a simple 'How To' guide. The aim of this performance was to encourage the educators to see performance as an educational tool. A lot of the teachers and visitors thought it was a good way of getting pupils to discuss their future. One English teacher is also going to use it as a way of exploring the prophecy scene in Macbeth to her class. I hope to continue this performance and make a longer version. As with my previous work themes of intimacy and touch are explored through the reading of a palm.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Future Target, Fri 05.10.2012, Flux Factory New York

Photocredit: Freya Dooley

Future Target
Duration: 1 hour
A large amount of polished Amethyst stones are placed on the sidewalk.
I invite passers by to throw Amethyst at me.
I wait.
People throw the purple stones at me.
I gather the stones in my sweater and move into the gallery space.
I stop at an image of me visiting a psychic in NY in October 2012.
I stop at an image of me visiting a psychic in NY in October 2012.
Below these pictures of me and the psychic are her predictions for me.
I throw the Amethyst at the 2007 prediction.
After a while, I stop hurling the stones and resume the first action.
The stones hurt as they land on me.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Radio and TV

Please tune into pitch radio this Thursday morning where I will be talking about my work for Flux Factory New York, For Future Reference... 

Come Friday I will be off to Tinopolis (or the tin city that we call Llanelli) TV studios to feature on the daytime programme 'Prynhawn Da'. I'm looking forward to being on the sofa to discuss the new work with everyone.

Further media interest has occurred in the shape of journalist Lowri Cooke. Lowri arranged an interview for me on BBC Radio Cymru over a year ago for the Balloon Girl Project. Word about a Welsh girl travelling to the Big Apple got out and Lowri was eager to document my work process and artistic developments at Flux Factory. As a result, Lowri has booked her tickets and will be writing an article about me, the show and the work for the Welsh language magazine called BARN.
Lowri is going to be a judge for the Iris Prize film festival in October 2012, and is the author of this blog: http://lowrihafcooke.wordpress.com/

I am so pleased and humbled that people want to talk about what I am doing. It makes the work so much more worthwhile if I can communicate with a variety of different audiences.

Monday, 17 September 2012

For Future Reference...

With two weeks to go...

Here are my thoughts, ideas, sketches and brainwaves in response to For Future Reference... I leave Wales for New York two weeks today. I am so excited to be a part of 'The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner' exhibition at Flux Factory. Watch this space for documentation on my New York activity. Artist Freya Dooley will be documenting my work out there. It always helps visually to have an artist assist you, and Freya has a real understanding of my work. I cannot wait to experience New York alongside her and the other Fluxers.

Artes Mundi training at TATE Britain

Things are not only getting mega busy with my practical work, but they are also hotting up in the bread-and-butter aspect of my art practice. I  exist on commissions for my art practice and my work in Contemporary Art education. My latest role will be as Artes Mundi Live Guide, and I will be doing this until January alongside my Gallery Assistant post at Chapter.
I will be giving workshops and discussions for Artes Mundi alongside 6 other great live guides. We will have so much fun delivering our interpretations as a team. The team is made up of artists, curators and educators from Wales. As part of our training we spent the day with TATE Britain's Education team talking through their resources and doing workshops. I feel really inspired as the resources taught me to create my responses as an artist and to approach a workshop exactly as I would an art project. I was really inspired with the TATE's resources, which are free and available to anyone. Again, they reminded me that creativity is paramount to our understanding of art work. I have scanned in this instruction, which is a resource created by the performance artist Alex Schady, to expand on your understanding of the TATE Tanks. It comes with a glow in the dark Arrow headband. This card is also glow in the dark so you can use it in the dark performance art Tanks:


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Blue Period, Farewell Cardiff

Blue Period

Rehearsal time with the Chad Dembski (left) and Dustin Harvey aka Secret theatre

Blue Period and Farewell Cardiff installation at Chapters Stiwdio

'Blue Period' is a new performance work I have developed to exist within the parameters of secret theatre's Farewell to Cardiff. When the Canadian duo, Chad Dembski and Dustin Harvey approached me to be a part of the theatre work I began thinking about what I would like to say goodbye to, what do I identify as being important to lament or bid a fond farewell to. Living in Splott I have recently seen lots of banners in shop windows, front room windows protesting at Cardiff City football clubs decision to change the team strip. 'Keep Cardiff Blue' is plastered across the city. Sadly, the voices of the supporters has not been listened to and the change from the iconic Bluebird strip into a red one has begun. As a Swan, I cannot comprehend abandoning the black and white strip and familiar black Swans. An emblem, much like the Bluebird for native Cardiffians, that reminds me of home, where I come from, and who I belong to.
Through ritual and action I will say Farewell to the BLUEBIRD..............

Farewell Cardiff takes place on Friday 14th and Saturday the 15th of September 2012 at 8pm, Chapter Arts Centre.
For more information:


Sunday, 9 September 2012

Sketches and Studies for For Future Reference......

For Future Reference........


I am currently making sketches and testing out ideas for my new project. I will be starting this new body of work in New York in October 2012. Flux Factory in Long Island City have invited me to be in a show curated by Sam Perry. My work is based on an experience I had on 10th avenue in October 2007, when I went to have my future told for $10. The psychic sat opposite me and made me hold a piece of amethyst. I was instructed to focus all my energy into it and then hand it back to her. I was sceptical as she sat facing me with her eyes closed as she intensely rubbed this stone....
"You're an artist aren't you?"
"Yes" I replied, shocked that in my conservative jeans and tshirt she could read this.
"You work in perhaps museums or galleries and like to see art. You are currently in love...'

The middle section of the reading was quite generic and I wasn't that surprised or convinced of her ability to read my future. What was said next alarmed me.....


This hit me like a ton of bricks. This mystic being shattered my hopes of a family and targeted a part of my future that I enjoyed dreaming of. On my return to Wales I began the For Future Reference... project and began collecting different accounts of my future.

Whilst in New York I plan to respond to this experience through performance. I also hope to return to that lady, who provided me with a completely different perspective on what my future holds.


Saturday, 1 September 2012

Review of In Memory of Balloon Girl by critic Lori Waxman, written at documenta 13. Published in Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine (HNA)

Kathryn Ashill

At two o’clock in the afternoon on Sunday, the                                     
24th of July 2011, Kathryn Ashill tied dozens of
rainbow-colored balloons to her arms and
jumped out of an old tree in Cathays Cemetery, in
Cardiff, the capital city of Wales. Hers was a
memorial jump—perhaps the first action of its
kind—for a fourteen-year old girl named Louisa
Maud Evans, popularly known as Balloon Girl,
who drowned 115 years prior, after attempting a
daring feat of aeronautics involving a hot-air
balloon and a parachute. Balloon Girl’s ascent
and descent were part of the local Maritime and
Industrial Exhibition, meant to attract a crowd
through the irresistible combination of youthful
bravery and high technology. Ashill’s
performance, by contrast, was knowing in its
pretend innocence, modest in its choice of a
three-meter-high branch, and transparent in its
use of a ladder to climb up and a mattress to land
on safely. (The best of her performance
documentation makes these safety implements
clear.) Ashill’s handmade sailor costume recalled
Balloon Girl’s but also Sailor Moon’s, minus any
crotch shots whatsoever. The tone was purely
Victorian. But the honesty about how children’s
ideas of fantasy and fearlessness can conflict—
sometimes fatally—with those of adults was all
Ashill’s own.
—Lori Waxman 7/2/12 5:58 PM

Um zwei Uhr nachmittags, am Sonntag, den 24. Juli
des Jahres 2011, band sich Kathryn Ashill dutzende von
Ballons in allen Farben des Regenbogens an ihre Arme
und sprang aus einem alten Baum der auf dem Cathays
Friedhof steht, in Cardiff, der Hauptstadt von Wales.
Das war ein Erinnerungssprung – wohl die erste Aktion
dieser Art. Erinnert wurde dabei an das vierzehn Jahre
alte Mädchen Louisa Maud Evans, das allgemein unter
dem Namen Balloon Girl bekannt geworden war.
Hundertfünfzehn Jahre früher war sie ertrunken,
nachdem sie einen aeronautischen Versuch
unternommen hatte, bei dem ein Heißluftballon und
ein Fallschirm eine Rolle spielten. Ballon Girls Aufstieg
und Fall wurden bei der örtlichen Seefahrts- und
Industrieausstellung zum Thema und sollten diejenigen
Menschen anziehen, denen diese unwiderstehlichen
Kombination aus jugendlichem Mut und
Hochtechnologie gefiel. Im Gegensatz dazu war Ashills
Performance, trotz aller vorgeblichen Unschuld, in der
Ausführung gemäßigt, wählte sie doch einen drei
Meter hoch gelegenen Ast, benutzte ein Leiter zum
Hochklettern und hatte eine Matratze vorbereitet, um
weich zu landen. (Auf den Dokumentationsmaterialien
ihrer Performance kann man dies deutlich erkennen.)
Ashills selbst gemachtes Seemannskostüm erinnert
dabei nicht nur an Balloon Girl, sondern auch an Sailor
Moon, allerdings ohne jedes Unter-den-Rock-schielen,
das mit der letzteren verbunden ist. Der Ton der
gesamten Darstellung war vollkommen viktorianisch
gestimmt. Doch die Aufrichtigkeit, mit der Ashill den
Ideen von Kindern begegnete, mit denen diese
manchmal Fantasie und Furchtlosigkeit
zusammenbringen – was zuweilen auch tödlich endet –
war ganz und gar ihre eigene.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Full Steam Ahead!

Exciting Times................

Hello again! I'm breaking the summer silence and will update you on my recent activity.

Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany
Hotel Europa: Sunny Beach
an excursion by Random People
Immediately after making Cock[le] Pit for Adain Avion, I set sail in an actual aeroplane for DOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany. Documenta festival engulfs this city in contemporary art. It was invigorating to see so much exciting work by a variety of international artists. Personal highlights were sound works by Janet Cardiff, a drawing installation by Tacita Dean and all of Ryan Gander's pieces. Whilst in Germany we caught up with artist friends in Hamburg. Random People's Esther and Dan have regularly exhibited at Experimentica in Cardiff and will return to make new work for this festival next November. Visiting their artist studio in the heart of Hamburg was a treat- being allowed into artist's personal space is a privilege. It will be a joy to see them and their work again.

It is full steam ahead over the next few months. Here's some information on what projects I will be working on...........

Farewell Cardiff by Secret Theatre, 2011
The Farewell Project: Collaborating with Secret Theatre
September 14/15 2012, Chapter Art Centre, Cardiff, UK

THE FAREWELL PROJECT is a goodbye party specifically made for a city. It is created and performed by Chad Dembski and Dustin Harvey. This duo from Canada first performed a farewell for Cardiff at last year's Experimentica 1.1. I am honoured to be contributing research, ideas and being involved in their performance process. It is great to be commissioned by them to respond to Cardiff and its history. I plan to bring my own perspective on the Capitol City of Wales to the table. Join us for the performances at Chapter, Cardiff in September.

For Future Reference, Residency at Flux Factory NYC
October 2012, Flux Factory, Long Island NYC. This project is supported by Wales Arts International

For Future Reference is a new body of work I am developing that aims to collect and archive a variety of predictions about my future. These examples of my future will be collected through visiting psychics, palmists, tarot readers and astrologers. This project idea stems directly from an experience on a trip to New York in 2007. Whilst on holiday there I visited a psychic and her prediction was alarming to me. This spurred me to investigate as many different narratives on my future as possible. I visited psychics in Wales and videoed the sessions. Each psychic had such different and confusing narratives of my future and what will happen to me. I will be using my time in New York to revisit that psychic and to create a site specific performance in response to this.

Flux Factory have invited me to be in an exhibition of Welsh and New York based artist's which is curated by Sam Perry. Watch this space!

For Future Reference: Mother Time Performance
Day of the Dead 2012 (1/11/2012), 13:05 National Museum of Wales, Cardiff UK

I have been commissioned alongside other local artists and musicians to make a new responsive work about an artist in this years Artes Mundi 5. This will be performed at the museum as part of the weekly context programme every Thursday throughout the exhibition. I will be exploring the day of the dead, the future, time and some of the themes within Teresa Magolles work.

Matt Cook

Experimentica 2012: Unseen
21st-25th of November, Chapter Art Centre, Cardiff UK

Artist Sam Hasler and myself have been invited to deliver the contextual programme for the annual Performance art festival Experimentica. We will be organising events and happenings that explore the themes in the work of the other artists and the festival. Information on this will be available in the Chapter Guide.


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Cock(le) Pit Images

Durational performance Cock(le) Pit for Adain Avion. June 26th 2012. An attemp to consume my Swanseaness through eating 4kg of Penclawdd Cockles.