David Briers was the Visual Arts Organiser at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff between 1976 and 1984, responsible for programming the galleries. Rebecca went to interview David this week his interest in performance art, and his time at Chapter.
Among the artists that David invited to the centre was Nigel Rolfe, who had caused outrage in some areas of the press following his 'Towers' performance at the National Eisteddfod at Wrexham in 1977 (or as the Daily Mail put it, 'The Welsh art of paying an Irishman to demolish bricks with his head').
David invited Nigel Rolfe to do a performance of the 'Towers' piece, and also one called 'Treatment of Individual Parts' (see above and right - copyright Steve Benbow).
If you remember seeing this, or any other performance work in Wales during the 1960s and 1970s we would love to hear from you.
Heike and Rebecca would like to thank David Briers for his help with the project.
Dr Heike Roms, Principal Investigator
Dr Rebecca Edwards, Research Assistant
firstname.lastname@example.org write to:
Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies
Aberystwyth SY23 3AJ /
Adran Astudiaethau Theatr, Ffilm a Theledu
Aberystwyth SY23 3AJ
The project aims to 1. compile a comprehensive record of performance art events that were created in Wales between 1965 and 1979, and reveal an important but hitherto neglected aspect of Welsh art history.
2. chart the manner in which performance art as an international artistic movement was negotiated in response to a specific localized cultural context during its formative years in the 1960s and 1970s, and advance our knowledge and understanding of the origins and early developments of this art form.
3. trace the ways in which knowledge of past performance events is transmitted in both documentation and verbal recollections, and examine the evidential potential of documents and testimonials for the construction of performance art histories.
4. make freely available to other researchers in the field not just the analysis of the research findings but the following additional resources: a comprehensive, fully searchable online database of performance art events in Wales 1965–1979, which also indexes the current location of available documentation on these events; and a range of related oral history recordings and transcripts, deposited in key archives in the field.