Milford Swallows: October 2008
In this project ointment commissioned 2 artists to explore a local phenomenon in relation to its global context. Through field research and conversations with ornithologists, folk musician Ceri Rhys Matthews and live artist Ben Stammers examined the context of a modern folk story, and responded in their own ways to the ideas and sensations it evoked. In 2007 a small group of swallows wintered in the Chevron oil refinery in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire. Employees became aware of the birds and helped to protect their roosts, and the birds appeared to survive the winter. John Hayes, Chevron safety officer, kept doors to a small heated control room open for the roosting birds and this compassionate act was a major reason the birds survived. In December 2008 there were still 4 pairs of swallows at the refinery, using the same site to roost.
Crwydro / Marcheurs des bois - Publication Launch: 2008
The launch of a new publication by artists’ collective, ointment: CRWYDRO / MARCHEURS DES BOIS a wales / québec ambulation took place at Canolfan Pentre Ifan, Felindre Farchog, Crymych, Pembrokeshire SA41 3XE (Grid Ref: SN 093 380) on Saturday 26 July 2008. Various walks took place including: botanising; meanderthal; elasticated; outdoor philosophy; short, followed by the launch of the and light refreshments
About the project: Between spring 2003 and winter 2005, an exchange between the artist groups ointment and Boréal Art/Nature gave place to two residencies: Crwydro/Wander, in the Preseli Hills in west Wales, and Marcheurs des bois, in the Québécois winter, on a frozen lake in the Laurentian forest. Walking was the common strategy used by the 12 artists involved in the projects. The trilingual publication (French, English and Welsh) contains documentation of the two expeditions, punctuated by texts, artists’ writings, drawings and photographs of works and actions.
Supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Wales Arts International and Quebec Council.
All in a Day: 2006 - 2007
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.
Cardiff Art in Time. Trace / UWIC , Time Based Arts.
On Saturday 17 March 2007 Ointment carried four hundred bales of straw through the University Campus into the inner sculpture court. Over one night and one day the collective (3 of us! plus occasional friends) constructed a covered corridor through the court that visitors had to move through.
One member sat on a bale and sewed gloves, the others gardened, planting fruit bushes and vegetables. Four chickens were left to roam free from a mobile chicken home. Within 24 hrs the structure had been dismantled, the bales returned to the farmer, leaving a vegetable garden and residue of straw blowing through the campus and studios.
(Apparently some of the students at UWIC have subsequently been looking after the potatoes).
Eli: 2004 to 2005
Eli was an artist-led group project spanning the seasons between Summer 2004 and Spring 2005 and presented at a series of events in Summer 2005.
A series of walks were made through West Wales traversing different habitats to gather small numbers of plants and herbs, from which we made ointment. The ointment existed as a symbolic and real focus for the project, exploring themes such as bio-diversity, essence of place, cultural and botanic alchemy.
The project culminated in a series of live installation & performance events in selected venues and locations in West Wales.
The project was supported by Cywaith Cymru / Artworks Wales
Ointment III: December
Y Daith a Dre / the Return Journey:
Grain Barn and outbuildings of Clynfyw Organic Farm, Abercych, Pembrokeshire.
ARTISTS: Peter Bodenham, Maura Hazelden, Eeva Maria Mutka, Paul Avis, Iain Davies, Graham Suggs, Simon Whitehead
Time based Event including on site actions, dance, sculpture, performance, photography and installation of work from 2mph project. Art in transit, in motion, exploring the liminal states of journeying.
2mph Arts Council of Wales Funded. www.untitledstates.net/2mph
Ointment II : July 2001
Small Group Show in back garden, living room and studio Graig Terrace, St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire.
ARTISTS: Peter Bodenham, Dave Handford, Maura Hazelden, Jo Shapland, Stirling Steward, Simon Whitehaed.
Day Event in centre of village; performance, video screenings(including the Mathry GM interventions), installation, sculpture, live pirate radio transmission in outside toilet.
All images by Maura Hazelden
GM Testing Mathry : April
Spontaneous performance interventions in response to proposed GM Testing; Mathry, Pembrokeshire.
Peter Bodenham, Maura Hazelden, Titus Sharp, Simon Whitehead.
Ointment I : February
Group Event, Parc Y Pratt Farm, St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire.
ARTISTS: Peter Bodenham, Dave Handford, Maura Hazelden,Guy Briller (Israel), Jo Shapland, Barnaby Oliver, Anthony Pickthall, Stirling Steward, Simon Whitehead.
Residency in outbuildings of recently closed dairy farm, beginning the day after the announcement of the Foot and Mouth outbreak. Artists responded to this site through performance, sound art, installation, video and various interventions.
Many people walked and some travelled a distance to the farm on a cold february evening. As the audience moved through the spaces an evolving dialogue was created between the work, place, memory and body temperature.