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:

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.