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................

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