Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Cock[le] Pit

Cockle Pickers 2012, Film Still
Tuesday 26th of June 2012
Adain Avion, Swansea, National Waterfron Museum

Cock(le)pit is an attempt by Kathryn Ashill to reclaim her sense of Swansea identity. Cockles feature heavily in the hazy summer memories of the artist's childhood, walking towards the Mumbles in the hope of getting a tub of the fishy Swansea delights and covering them in vinegar. The cockle stalls at the centre of Swansea's iconic indoor market, with its four blue banners is, to the artist, a shrine to cockles.

Through social interactions with the cockle pickers of Penclawdd and the cockle sellers at Swansea indoor market, Kathryn will explore this industry’s heritage, and communicate these experiences through film, performance and drawing to create a new cockle shrine at the cockpit of Adain Avion.

This project is a commission for Adain Avion curated by Marc Rees.

Cockle Pickers

Cockle Pickers 2012, Film still 1

Cockle Pickers 2012, Film still 2

Cockle Pickers 2012, Film still 3

Cockle Pickers 2012, Film still 4

Cockle Pickers 2012, Film still 5

Cockle Pickers 2012, Film still 6

Cockle Pickers is a filmed performance that took place at Penclawdd's salt marshes. Here my Mother and I collected cockles from the muddy bed of the estuary. Penclawdd, on the Gower coast is world famous for its fresh cockles. Swansea's salty treats. I will be celebrating the history of Swansea's cockling industry through making a new live performance for Adain Avion. Penclawdd, my mam and us cockling will form the backdrop for the live work.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Cockle Picking

Penclawdd Cockle Pickers

Carol Watts Famous Cockle stall at Swansea Indoor Market

This weekend marked a breakthrough in my new artwork for Adain Avion, the Cultural Olympiad for Wales project. After months of investigating the cockle industry, its history and having conversations at Swansea Market with Carol Watts and her family, I made a new responsive performance called Cockle Picking. This new work is a filmed performance piece that will form the backdrop to a live performance that I will be making in the Adain Avion plane at Swansea on Tuesday 26th of June 2012. Cockle Picking was created at Penclawdd on the Gower estuary. My mother and myself climbed into the muddy salt marsh and picked as many cockles as we could find. Cockling has a predominantly female heritage, after the industrial revolution many of Penclawdd's workmen faced large unemployment due to injury or lack of industry in the area, as a result women would cockle in order to support the family financially. I have been visiting Carol Watts' stall at the market regularly since I was a little girl. They were my favourite work lunch and whenever I was in Swansea I would pick some up. Carol is supplying the cockles for my live work, as well as sharing her and her families history with cockles and the market. This has fuelled my desire to create a work which strongly references the strong filial ties that are embedded in the Penclawdd estuary and the history of cockling.

Images of Cockle Pickers to follow soon................