Loco Klub, Bristol, 2022
Elysium Gallery, Swansea & St. Anne's House, Bristol
OFF, OFF, OFF, OFF WITH HIS HEAD
Supporting Grove & Biped, Bristol
March-riever mighty, in moorland living,
in fen and fastness; fief of the giants
the hapless wight a while had kept
since the Creator his exile doomed.
On kin of Cain was the killing avenged
by sovran God for slaughtered Abel.
Ill fared his feud, and far was he driven,
for the slaughter’s sake, from sight of men.
Of Cain awoke all that woful breed,
Etins and elves and evil-spirits,
as well as the giants that warred with God
weary while: but their wage was paid them!
WENT he forth to find at fall of night
that haughty house, and heed wherever
the Ring-Danes, outrevelled, to rest had gone.
Found within it the atheling band
asleep after feasting and fearless of sorrow,
of human hardship. Unhallowed wight,
grim and greedy, he grasped betimes,
wrathful, reckless, from resting-places,
thirty of the thanes, and thence he rushed
fain of his fell spoil, faring homeward,
laden with slaughter, his lair to seek
OOPARTs is a collaboartive sculpture and performance project with Ben Hartley.
OOPARTs is an exhibition about objects, how they act as vessels for the stories bestowed on them through folk tradition and community play, and their importance in the construction of heritage and identity. Using speculative futures and fictionalised Welsh artefacts, the exhibition brings together imagined relics reinterpreted with scavenged things, demonstrating how these everyday objects and materials can become vessels for legend.
OOPARTs is the abbreviation for "out of place artefacts" objects of historical, archaeological or cultural importance found in a location that challenges the established historical timeline. The collaborative exhibition developed from a mutual interest in fictioning and folklore, with research centred around Ursula K Le Guin's "Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction", craft and Welsh mystical artefacts, including the Nanteos Cup and Pair Dadeni.
OOPARTs was supported and made possible by Elysium Gallery & Bricks Bristol. A performance on the opening night in collaboration with Plague Stone Party (Buoys Buoys Buoys & Ozzy Algar)
“I found the skeleton enveloped by a coating of a kind of ruddle .... Close to that part of the thigh bone where the pocket is usually worn [were] about two handfuls of the [periwinkle shells]. At another part of the skeleton, [were] forty or fifty fragments of ivory rods and some small fragments of rings made of the same ivory ... Both rods and rings were stained superficially with red, and lay in the same red substance that enveloped the bones”
- From the journal of William Buckland, 1823
SEMINAR ON WOOLLY MAMMOTH FOSSILS
The Cube Microplex, Bristol,
1823 in South Gower, Willian Buckland, a professor of Geology at Oxford university and revered theologian, edges himself across a severe cliff face. He’s approaching Paviland Cave on a paleontological expedition.Traversing the cliffside, Buckland enters into Goat's Hole Cave. Here he stumbles upon a hoard of my carved tusks, accompanying evidence of a ceremonial human burial, with bones dyed and stained with red ochre - Unknown to him, my remains at his feet make up part of the oldest known ceremonial burial site in Western Europe. He names these human bones 'The Red Lady of Paviland.' By the time a second archaeological excavation is undertaken at Paviland Cave in 1912, it is recognised that the bones belong to a man.
Comparing our remains to other discoveries around Europe we’re revealed to be pre-hist-oric. 33,000 years old, radiocarbon dating tells us. My ivory is of Mammoth, and the body I decorated was my hunter.
Buckland’s words were true, for a while though. He put words and thoughts out into the world and made them true. We exist in duality now. Archaic man, wise woman, elephant, mammoth, hunter, whore. Time travellers without even trying.
But for now, just the memory of Palaeolithic bones in Palaeolithic flesh touching silty old Doggerland and my hot, soft mammoth hyde swaddling babe and bampi alike.
PLAGUE STONE PARTY
"Magnetic, Brilliant Performers"
- Stuart Warwick (director/writer)
★★★★ "Comic timing is absolutely superb … you’ve got to see them"
- The Sinners Review
"Shapeshifting, kaleidoscopic talent"
- Kez Cochrane (of Crack Magazine)