All in a Day
All in a Day was an itinerant project which took place at various locations around Wales, roughly one for each season in the year. Ointment artists selected a location in their local area and then invited other ointment members, as well as people who may not previously have participated, to take part.
Each event happened for the duration of a day, during which time participants conducted action research, showed work in progress, or simply observed and discussed their practice. There was no requirement to make work. All in a Day has so far happened twice in West Wales and once at a disused bomb depot in Snowdonia. The Scratch project which Ointment developed as part of the CAT show in March 2007 could also be seen as a further development of the project.
All in a Day: The Bomb Depot, Llanberis. February 2007
"It was my turn to choose somewhere for people to come and do an all in a day's work day. It was going to be North Wales somewhere, and winter. I had thought I would choose the site at random ≠ do a pin on a map ≠ but the week before, I changed my mind.
I was talking to my friend Hywel about this place in Llanberis ≠ I'd never been there, but I'd heard about it. It was this huge underground kind of bunker ≠ used for storing bombs during the war. This place had acquired a mythic quality in my mind because of a song Hywel had written and sung to me. He'd been taken there by a friend of ours, Oz, a couple of years ago. Oz was a singer too ≠ they'd sung together in the chambers of this place, and heard the echo come back eight times.
Hywel agreed to spend a day at the Bomb Depot, making sounds, and to be a guide to the rest of us. I let the other ointment members know about the place a couple of days beforehand, along with musician / sound artist Alan Holmes, and writer ZoŽ Skoulding. I passed on a website address if they wanted to know more about the site and its history.
I remember the day was snowy ≠ there were fresh badger tracks across our path... Hywel leading us in through a gap in the fence, and down a steep slope... the snow, along with the scale of the derelict yard and brutal, concrete building made it seem eastern European... people wandering in the white of the yard... into the black of the chambers... not wanting to follow them...
The graffiti on the walls of the yard, and the group dynamics... feeling like a teenager...wanting to piss about... bunk off... delay it all...
Going inside on my own... feeling the way... stepping round steel wire... feeling the concrete pillars ≠ neither cold nor warm ≠ no temperature... getting closer and closer to complete black... acoustic cutting off ≠ the outside is lost... sounds of the others, in distant chambers, further in ≠ clanging, moaning... water dripping... but all around the silence and the blackness waiting to close you in... being stilled by it... allowing the utter dark, the utter quiet... is this it now? is this what death is? is this where Oz is now?
Feeling the darkness of the war ≠ like it was still in there, trapped... the bombs... like in Iraq now... we know fuck all... how will I face my own death... or her death... feeling like a kid in church, eyes closed ≠ closed or open is the same...
The decision not to photograph inside...
Singing with Hywel in there ≠ getting quite extreme quite quickly... voices wanting either to be very quiet and barely reverberate... or getting silly and turning into manic monkey-ness and howling... the sound being produced and the sounds coming back as echoes merging...
Am I most afraid of madness or blindness? they feel like the same thing... felt mad in the black ≠ no sense of what was inside and what was outside my own head...
Seeing the light again ≠ far off... outside there was still daylight, snow...
Going back inside in the afternoon, with Charmaine, my three year old... wanting to hold on to her, but her not being afraid in the dark... her using the maglite torch like a microphone, so all you could see in the black was her small, red, disembodied mouth, singing nonsense...
The most artistic thing I did in there ≠ in one of the furthest upper chambers, after everyone had gone back down ≠ enclosed by the silence and the dark ≠ the most meaningful sound my body has ever produced... I let off a bomb! "
Ben Stammers, 2007
All in a Day: Ceibwr, Moylgrove, near Cardigan. November 2006
Ceibwr is a coastal site featuring dramatic geological rock formations, blowholes and high cliffs. The group arrived in the morning walked the coastal path to the witches Cauldron exploring the tunnels that feed a large circular open cavern. The group at points during the day took a swim exploring the edges and meeting point between the land and the sea. In the spirit of Ďall-in-a-days-work' the experience and discourse during the day became a seedbed for future projects. Pete Bodenham
All in a Day: Foel Cwm Cerwyn, Preseli Mountains, August 2006
I needed a forest in which to push forward some work that I had been researching: red riding wolves. It came from a background of fairy tales; Angela Carter; animal/human liminality: knit one purl one knit two together: questioning the feminine and female sexuality. The forest on the shoulder of Foel Cwm Cerwyn, has hidden inside it a very green mossy area, created by a few fallen trees allowing sunlight in. This was where I wanted to work. I invited 3 women artists who had some ideas on the themes and there we there we were to play. What the others from ointment got up to we shall see... but I don't think they followed our theme....
We felt a sense that we had arrived at a strong collective structure and created an evocative event on Preseli .
Preselis with Brussels Street Map: ZoŽ Skoulding
Up Europalaan under blue
reach of sky bare feet in spongy moss
I need a map to tell me where I'm
not along the Avenue de Stalingrad
squeal of a meadow pippet
over rue de l'Empereur
tread softly on the streets the sheep trails
between bird call and bleat echo
a street folds across two languages here and there
Wheel tracks into crashed grass
might lead to somewher
a small bar sleepily open
or nothing but wind
and ponies wheeling out of sight
over Kolonienstraat rue de la Loi
at Rondpoint circle a bale of wire
then over a fence and into the dry white branches
of the European Quarter
under the vertigo of power parched grasses pull apart
where voles run without names
in a mesh of body scent
that writes the ground with movement
as a map the size of itself
Red riding wolf: Maura Hazelden
I pull my pelt around me and go hunting. I can be grey as a cloud or I can be tawny. At twilight I roam to tear up the world with my huge claws. I'm not a girly girl I'm a womanly woman, you just made a big mistake, I'm the red riding wolf that faced the wolf. Atavistic? Liminal? Fantasy? Possibility? When the snow comes... red for danger when the wolves come. The hunger of your life. When you are neither one thing nor the other. How can you keep the night out, when it wants so much to come in? Some wolves are hairy on the inside. And up the chimney went the red shawl that my Granny knitted me, catching fire on the way, whoosh! Look! Like a bird with flaming wings.
Green, cool on a hot day, flashes of red & fur, working together, alone. Sound and vision. Transformations. Disappearings. A lot of laughing; on occasion like a gaggle of jackdaws deep in the woods.