Materials: Canvas, Ceramic, String, Pigment, mirrors Dimensions: Various Shown at: Bòlit Contemporary Art Centre, Girona (2018) / Casa de la Paraula, Santa Coloma de Farners (2019) Images: Ana Rita Rodrigues


Materials: Canvas, Ceramic, String, Pigment, mirrors Dimensions: Various Shown at: Bòlit Contemporary Art Centre, Girona (2018) / Casa de la Paraula, Santa Coloma de Farners (2019) Images: Ana Rita Rodrigues

The Beginning of the End

Title: Extension Series Materials: Red canvas Dimensions: Event: Corpologia 7 at Roman Temple, Vic Images: Uma Bunnag


Date: 26th July 2015 Place: The Guildhall, York, UK Event: OUI Performance curated by Victoria Gray and Nathan Walker Materials: Canvas, Porcelain, Rope, Stoneware Images: Nathan Walker In 2015, i received an invitation from Victoria Gray and Nathan Walker to make a performance with Lee Hassall for OUI Performance, in the guildhall in York, a stone building originating from the 15th century to house the city’s guilds. The ten columns in the hall are shaped from individual oak tree trunks, cut down in their prime. They are replacements after the original hall was bombed in 1942 by the Luftwaffe in the so called Baedeker raids. This is known as a haunted hall. Although we had both prepared a performance to be made consecutively, we eventually make the work simultaneously for a duration of three hours. The time and space are agreed ahead of time. The objects, imagined and crafted, the event anticipated. There is a feeling for the future. The starting point for my performance is the number ten; Ten oak trees, said to live for a thousand years. The number ten in the i ching is lü and translates as treading or respectful conduct, there is an element of caution; “treading upon the tail of the tiger” or “the small and cheerful (tui) treads upon the large and strong (ch’ien)”. number ten in the periodic table corresponds to the noble gas neon. neon is named from the greek word “neos” or new. it is lighter than air and extremely volatile. The tenth of March 1586 is the day that Margaret Clitherow was arrested and brought before the council of York, accused of harbouring catholic priests. she refused a trial in order to protect her children from being called to give evidence against her. She was sentenced to “peine forte et dure” right here in the Guildhall, guilt-hall. They placed a sharp stone “as much as a man’s fist” under her back and laid a door on-top of her. This was piled with heavy weights until she broke to death fifteen minutes later in the tollbooth on ousebridge. We visited the shrine to her, “the pearl of york” at Number Ten, Shambles, this morning before the performance. Treading lightly. Respectful Conduct. I had imagined that I would be alone in the hall, my objects set between the ten columns. Now as we commence our pieces, another idea begins to emerge. We have, without talking, begun to work. There is an unspoken agreement to leave the objects where they have been unpacked, a consent born from a curiosity to find out what happens next; interpresence. I unwrap the fine paper-like porcelain pieces and place them on the floor. Thirty-nine fine strips in a row, then the ten moon-plate-discs. papery white porcelain, white cloth, white stick, white wool, white gloves, white jersey. this must all be handled carefully to avoid breaksor stains. White as a pearl. There are peripheral witnesses to our pondering first steps. Their supportive presence allows for a fast deepening of focus. I can feel my mother too, even when i can’t see her. We two are bound by a cellular memory deeper than the rational. On a dark wooden trestle, Lee is balancing a thin wooden bar, then three acid yellow lemons. A chair-back-step-ladder that is not for sitting or climbing rests on a wooden platform. A selection of shillelagh, whittled and polished are on the floor. The wood of these objects reflects the colour of the magnificent oak columns holding up the roof of the Guildhall with its carved bosses. instruments and tools lie in readiness for a bizarre operation; perhaps for a medieval extraction procedure or as a prothesis for a strange creature. White latex gloves, iron, wool and stone all placed in readiness. A green man, foliage erupting from his mouth looks down at us from the ceiling. I lay out the canvas triangle that will be pulled taut between two of the columns, like Margaret’s hands pulled outwards in the shape of a cross from underneath the door. “Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, have mercy on me” were her last words. we saw her right hand in St Mary’s covent this morning; relic, respect. The past is weighing down in the Guildhall. I need all this to move upwards, weightless. White gloves with scraping knife-nails, to be filled with warm flesh, light touch on the stone walls. without any previous agreement, we have both brought white gloves for that cold hand. The space we have decided to share is drawn by our gaze, “the eye of the eye, the breath of the breath”, the trust is blind. Connecting and reconnecting, coming close together, then a sharp turn inwards without letting go of this fragile thin line that we have traced between us for this agreed time. We calibrate. The objects emanate their own design. Moved to and by them, we occupy the space. There is a time that is not ours but theirs. Condensed in this material, forgotten trains of thought are reconstituted, brought to the present and resumed, travelling a new journey of associations into a yet undiscovered landscape. We’re taking time to become acquainted with their intent. I register the arrival of people in the quiet. doors opening and closing, clothes rustling. we are avoiding each other’s eyes now. There’s only this instinctive knowing, gently nurtured and held within, and the sense that it may be lost if disturbed. From now on, we will be accompanied alone together, eyes in the back of our heads. This kind of intimacy is not personal, it’s a 360º spatial agreement, dwelling together in cohabitation, inter-habitation, intra-habitation. The seconds, minutes, hours mean nothing. This consented time, in this place, is for as long as it takes. Synchrony can be like a deep black river, what is below the water can hit you unprepared. So you must pay heed and catch it coming, by listening lightly, sensing the other. But now my mind’s off. I’m walking around the space drawing out a stone to


Materials: Canvas, Porcelain, String Clay Dimensions: 3 m - 1. 80m Shown at: Drafting, Baltic 39, Newcastle, UK. Curated by Sandra Johnston Images: Ricky James, H Shaddock


Materials: Canvas, Rope, Pigment, Clay Dimensions: 3 metres diameter Shown at: Bòlit Contemporary Art Centre (2018) Images: Uma Bunnag