to the exhibition
Ciara Healy is a book artist, critical writer and Programme Co-Ordinator of Critical and Contextual Studies at the School of Creative Arts, Coleg Sir Gar / UWTSD. She is also one of the 2011 recipients of the WAI & Axis Critical Writing Programme award and has worked with established critics JJ Charlesworth, Cherry Smyth and Chris Sharratt. A former curatorial fellow of the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, she has written for Art Review, Circa and This is Tomorrow and has contributed catalogue essays for Iwan Bala, Brendan Earley, and Gavin Murphy. Educated in Fine Art and Philosophy, she is currently studying for a practice based curatorial PhD at the Place Research Centre, UWE. Healy has exhibited her bookworks internationally and they are housed in prestigious collections including TATE Britain; The V&A National Art Library; London College of Communication; New Art Gallery, Walsall & the British Library.
Owen Griffiths works collaboratively with communities and fellow practitioners, most notably with long-term collaborator Fern Thomas. He is based in Swansea and Copenhagen, from where he works both locally and internationally. He is the founder member of a number of artists lead groups and networks, such as Supersaurus, Framework, OPUS and with Thomas is co-creator of Forever Academy.
Denise Kwan is interested in the notions of cultural biography and how these questions manifest in manipulating found materials, symbols and their associations. These ideas find their form in physical material and written language. While her interest in the relationship of art and the social led her to BALTIC Gallery, Gateshead as Curatorial Fellow. As a writer and artist, Kwan has exhibited in various locations and while drawing on subjects from pop music, identity and film in her own writing. Kwan studied at Swansea Foundation of Art, Fine Art Sculpture at Brighton University and Curating Contemporary Art MA at Royal College of Art, London. Currently she is working as Lecturer in Contextual Studies at Swansea Metropolitan UWTSD.
Eilish O`Donohoe is Lecturer in Visual Communication on the Foundation Art and Design Programme at Swansea Metropolitan UWTSD. Her interests lie in the interdependence of practice and theory in art education and her practice revolves around the visual nature of language, of the visibility of text and of visible language as imagery.
Mike Pearson is Professor of Performance Studies at Aberystwyth University. His research activities include: performance and landscape; performance and archaeology; biography, personal narrative and memory in performance; folklore and traditional performance practices; the archaeology of Antarctic exploration; devising performance.
Sharon Morris is a Welsh poet and a senior lecturer at the Slade School of Fine Art (Film and Video), University College, London. In 2000 she completed a PhD on the writer Hilda Doolittle and the artist Claude Cahun, and in 2003 received a Leverhulme research fellowship for her writings on poetics, visual theory and semiotics. In addition, she has exhibited photography, film and video, and performed live artworks, combining spoken text with projected images.
Alicia, the Axis website Associate in Wales, is based in Ceredigion and is currently working on a doctorate about the history of SPACE Studios in London. She has worked at San Francisco Camerawork and the Whitechapel Gallery and has written for Art Monthly, Art Review, Flash Art and other publications.
Catriona Ryan has just published her first monograph entitled: Border States in the Work of Tom Mac Intyre: A Paleo-Postmodern Perspective. The monograph analyses the prose and drama of Irish writer Tom Mac Intyre and the concept of paleo-postmodernism and examines how Mac Intyre balances traditional themes with experimentation. Catriona Ryan is now an Honorary Research Associate at Swansea following completion of her doctorate in December 2010 and teaches at both Swansea University and Swansea Metropolitan UWTSD.
Phil Thomas, designer Working Materials
Philip Thomas is a Senior Lecturer in Graphic Design at Swansea Metropolitan UWTSD. His teaching practice draws upon fifteen years of professional design experience, working for a varied client base including Penguin Books, Ticketmaster, Thomas Telford Ltd., Macmillan Publishing, Nescafe, Renault and the National Youth Music Theatre. He has won a coveted GF Smith Paper – Excellence in Print award and continues to work in a freelance capacity. In parallel with a graphic design career, he has exhibited his paintings in solo and group shows throughout the country.
Alicia Miller was invited to visit the exhibition several times to observe each of the keepers in occupation. Miller summarised much of what she had observed as speaker at the closing event and has used this as the basis for her essay. She also provided the organic vegetables for the closing event feast.
Denise Kwan and Owen Griffiths are both ex-Swansea Foundation students who returned to Swansea after study elsewhere and have been key to the creation of the exciting creative culture currently occurring in the city. Griffiths’ food is beautiful and his confidence, support and professionalism continue to underpin the entire project.
Ciara Healy provided both an essay and a talk for the show, and her sensitivity, knowledge and theory of ‘thin places’ chimed perfectly with the intentions of the exhibition. Healy is also a great cook and provided delicious home-baked and foraged food for the closing event feast. Eilish O’Donohoe is a valued colleague on the Foundation Art and Design course in Swansea and was at the time of the exhibition completing an MA on The History of the Book. She delivered her talk ‘The Book as Object, Artefact and Container with Healy’s talk on Thin Places, Portals and How Objects Can Make Us ‘Thick’ and ‘Thin’, each presentation offering a context through which to understand the other more fully.
Dr. Catriona Ryan led a poetry workshop in the gallery, transforming the participants into poets and changing our approach to writing and teaching writing.
Jane Rendell invited Mike Pearson and Sharon Morris to perform with her as part of her occupation of the gallery. Both events were compelling and it was a privilege to have practitioners of such calibre taking part in the show.
Phil Thomas created a distinctive design for the printed material that accompanied the exhibition and managed the problems of dealing with many contributors. Andy Begley worked with Phil’s designs to create this website, offering consistently patient and clear advice throughout.