Saturday, 18 June 2011

New Website

Our new bilingual website is up and running - containing extracts from over 40 interviews with artists, administrators and audience members and access to a fully searchable database, documenting nearly 700 performance events created in Wales between 1965 and 1979:

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Website Launch

We are very pleased to announce that the new website and database will be launched this Friday, 17th June at the Cyfrwng Conference in Cardiff.  The website includes clips from the 40 solo, sited and group interviews that we've conducted over the past two years with artists, administrators, former art students, teachers and audience members.  Our new, updated database can also be found on the website, with information on over 700 events in Wales between 1965 and 1979, including performances, concerts, interventions, teaching events and peformative protests.  The database is fully searchable and contains images, memories and other traces of the work that we have discovered during the course of our research.  Please take a look, and let us know if you have more information, or if it jogs any memories.

Finally, Heike and Rebecca would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the project, especially our interviewees who have been so generous with their time and sharing their archives with us - diolch yn fawr!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Coming towards a close

Heike and Rebecca are coming towards to end of the project, winding down the research and focussing more on the outputs of the online, searchable database and the collection of interviews that will be deposited in various archives.

We will be releasing more information about this over the coming weeks, and also launching our new website.

We will also be presenting our findings at various conferences, including the Performance Studies International Conference in Utrecht at the end of May.

In the meantime, if you would like to contact us, please continue to email

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Interview with Clive Robertson

Rebecca and Heike met with Clive Robertson this week in London; Clive is an artist, critic and publisher, now based at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada.

After studying at Plymouth and Liverpool art colleges, Clive went to Cardiff College of Art in 1967, in part attracted by the new teaching approaches being pioneered by Tom Hudson and his colleagues.  He recalled Robin Page, a Fluxus artist, coming to Cardiff to give his Action Lecture on War as part of the regular symposiums held by the college.  Clive also talked about his own work, more information of which can be found on our database.  Clive went on to complete at MFA at Reading University before moving to Canada and establishing the W.O.R.K.S.R.E.P.O.R.T. - more information on this can be found on Clive's webpage (click on the title to this blog entry above).

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Interview with Cameron & Miller

Copyright: Shirley Cameron (Private Collection)
Heike and Rebecca travelled to a very cold, snowy Sheffield this week to meet with Shirley Cameron and Roland Miller.  Cameron and Miller have performed together for over forty years, and during the early 1970s were based in Swansea.  The photo here was taken during the Swansea One Week College of Art, which was attended by a number of our other contributors as art students, and a number of famous names including Jeff Nuttall, Marc Chaimowicz and Ken Campbell.

Heike has interviewed them before about their work as part of the 'What's Welsh For Performance' project.  This time, we focussed on the networks of performers, venues and festivals that made up the 'scene' in Britain during the 1970s.  Shirely and Roland were also kind enough to let us look through their archive of documents, photographs and ephemera.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Interview with Nigel Rolfe

Nigel Rolfe is an artist based in Dublin, and a visiting tutor at the Royal College of Art.  He has been making performances and video art for over 30 years and in 1977 he was part of a group of international artists invited to take part in the Eisteddfod in Wrexham as part of the Welsh Art Council's programme How the Past Perishes, How the Future Becomes/ Fel y darfuĂ•r gorffennol - fel y del y dyfodol.  Nigel created a piece called Towers that elicited a somewhat hostile reaction from some quarters of the press.  He was later invited to re-perform the work at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff by the curator, David Briars. 

Heike met with Nigel to discuss his work and his memories of the Eisteddfod, and of the performance scene at this time.  For more information about Nigel's work, click on the heading to this blog entry.  Further information can be found on our website - http://www.performance-wales-org/

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Interview with Richard Frame

Rebecca met with Richard Frame this week; Richard was a contemporary of Dave Stephens at Cardiff College of Art and collaborated with him on several conceptual pieces during his Foundation Year.  He was also a member of the 'Myself and Others' group run by John Gingell and Di Setch. 

Richard later went to study at Newport College of Art where he continued to use performance and conceptual ideas within his work - with some of his fellow students, he formed a group called The Gay Dogs, notable because none of them could play their instruments or sing - this was in 1973.  He also performed as part of the Portsmouth Sinfonia in Newport and at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Interview with Keith Wood

Keith Wood came to Cardiff College of Art in 1966, and began making performances as a student.  Some of these were solo affairs, such as an explosion in the car park during one early experimentation, while others were done in collaboration with other students, including John Danvers. In a number of the interviews, Keith has been named as being very influential on his fellow students and others that he worked with later on.

After leaving college, Keith continued his interest performance, firstly with his own group, the Keith Wood Group, and later with Highway Shoes - Chapter's company in residence - before leaving for the USA, a regular theme in his later work.  For more information on these, please see the database on our website,

Rebecca and Heike met with Keith to talk about his early interest in performance and its development, along with some of his productions, including The Nighthawk which starred Mike Pearson, and The Gospel According To Lenny, about Lenny Bruce. 

Monday, 15 November 2010

Interview with Dek Leverton

Rebecca met with Dek Leverton this week, a former member of Cardiff Laboratory Theatre, and a founder of Pauper's Carnival.  Pauper's Carnival was formed in Cardiff in the mid-1970s, with a core membership of Dek and former drama teacher Vanya Constant. 

They produced new, unique performances at Chapter and also at a number of other sites and performance spaces in Wales, and have been mentioned by a number of our contributors as being memorable and beautifully crafted.

Dek is pictured (right) holding a photo of Clown Dances, from 1977.  Pauper's Carnival collaborated with other groups, including Moving Being, Pip Simmons and Brith Gof.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Interview with Roger Ely

We met with Roger Ely this week at his home in London.  Roger studied at Leeds College of Art and was a contemporary of Dave Stephens.  His tutors included John Darling and Jeff Nuttall, and Roger went on to become a key figure in the performance art scene as a writer, artist and programmer.   

In 1977, along with Neil Butler, Roger put on the first Brighton Festival of Contemporary Arts, featuring the likes of Shirley Cameron, Roland Miller, Throbbing Gristle, IOU and many, many others.  Then, in  1979 he was one of the founders of Primary Source magazine which sadly ended after 8 issues but is still a great read if you have the opportunity.  Roger has also toured as an artist, including with Dave Stephens and Ian Hinchliffe as Matchbox Purveyors.

We hope to meet with Roger again before the end of the project, but would like to thank him for meeting with us and contributing to our research.