Monday 19 September 2011


Maura Hazelden
sound, image, printed word, performance
sain, delweddau, y gair printiedig, perfformiad

milkwood gallery, 41 lochaber street, caerdyddcardiff CF24 3LS
2-10 September Tuesday-Saturday 10.00-17.00

y lle hwn, yma this space, here is an investigation of space, language, body, the possibility of flight, of presence and absence, embodiment, disembodied. It includes sound, image, printed word & performance.

“[S]ince the voice is capable of being internalized at the same time as it is externalized, it can spill over from subject to object and object to subject, violating the bodily limits upon which classic subjectivity depends”

I am currently studying: M.A. Performance Writing [University College Falmouth]. The MA is not only to re-energise my practice and consider the academic, but to shift in material and practice to writing/language spoken/written/performed. Until now my primary mode of expression, art and praxis, has been through the body and visual: training in dance then migrating into authentic movement and fine art performance. My current physical limitations indicate a shift. Through the M.A. I have been examining the body /language interface: an investigation of the use of language; finding a new way of expression; going beyond body to text, which perhaps translates again into bodily experience. My method has been to work through different media to explore ideas and themes to attempt to find some initially, intangible relationship between known interests. I have had a multi modal practice – object, performance, photographic, time-based, in some ways this has not changed; neither is it not a huge shift of themes in my work but how I handle them. The work creates gaps in my understanding, this means delving into new theory and material/techniques/technology; the continual journey of testing out and refining. I feel I have turned on an axis, looking to new forms of outcome. As ever these interests are wide ranging and follow on from previous work: the feminine, body, touch, the fold, textiles, the domestic, fragmentation, typography , space. Certain themes and ideas that have been implicit in my work are now made more explicit: space, figure in space [the page or the room], presence/absence, wings/flying.

My practice will continue to explore ways of developing a “non gallery” audience i.e. in outdoor work, community spaces; the internet; and an audience that is unaware of their status as such i.e. with objects left or posted in public space/transport. Also, I would like to utilise digital techniques and dissemination via the internet, but my immediate concerns, by way of the actual work [a desire for my practice to “talk” of space] lead me to the gallery, and, it is a relationship that I would like to rekindle. As a visual artist I see the gallery as the stage for my work: never entirely the anonymous white box, but a site with histories: an art history and its personal history. Not unlike the page. The blank page is not neutral. By choosing to show in a gallery I am placing my practice in a visual arts tradition, but the work clearly shows the material to be language
This is not a large gallery, it echoes the domestic – it is a “good” size. Within the gallery space I include a variety of material outcomes, including paper work, with reference to the book as a space: versatile yet remaining a traditional object; sound and video.

I cannot assume that the subject of my enquiry will be explicit – I have to leave the work for you, the audience, to “read”. But I leave you these notes if you want something more...

If you would like to read some of my thought processes before embarking on the MA - my reason for doing so [it is interesting to see changes of emphasis]
Here is my initial application to Dartington
and my here is my funding application to AHRC [I was 7th on a list, 6 received funding, but a good exercise in contained writing!]
I then deferred...

Links to more writing & other information

About: In the Bag and Yswydd [very long!]
In the Bag Script

Ysgwydd script

Ysgwydd duet

An Essay: Folding into the Haptic: an investigation of the fold, of skin, of touch, of textile, of body, of language

There is also a blog with supporting imagery and words for the essay HERE

Ysgwydd :Gallery Notes


4 speakers, shoes, feathers, photos, text

Ysgwydd is about space [on the page, in time, in your head]. It is about dancing. It is about wondering about flying. It is probably about age, my current age. Also the body, my body, the whole work stems from the body, my body.
I chose a place in my head, described it and then miraculously I found the right room... replayed in a space in the gallery a little smaller - recorded and played back in surround sound

Five gestures to place between movements. Gestures of the body not actually articulated but imagined then drawn. The gesture of drawing itself made a new gesture, two gestures embedded. Each was in fact a gesture that moved to another – but every movement moves. Perhaps I should say they were the start and finish of each gesture. Of course there is something here of my synaesthesia of line, a mingling of writing, drawing and sewing.
Each gesture had text written for it – then it flowed into something longer. Articulation of an imagined body, the sensations of hand through air, subtle movements in space, breath.
Writing from the body, writing in the present. I would suggest that my influences are Gertrude Stein and Hélène Cixous. Somehow Stein and Cixous overlap yet are far from each other. I feel that there is immediacy in how they both write; in the now.
The script is part of the work, and can guide you through the sound should you wish it. The piece was recorded twice – once with microphones facing to the corners, once with them facing inwards.

In Ysgwydd, and minutely in In the Bag, there is a touch of Welsh/Cymraeg. Although Kristeva notes, ‘language is, from the start, translation,’[1] I see this as bilingualism. I have lived most of my life in an area where Welsh is widely spoken [particularly when I was younger] and my grandfather spoke Welsh. “Bilingualism, a form of internalised dialogue, highlights rather than smoothes over conflicts and contradictory feelings of both belonging and dislocation in the throat of the speaker.”[2] Although I am not bilingual, some of the Welsh that I know is very embedded. It seems natural to use it. When I participated in a two week residency in Quebec: Marcheur des Bois, I produced an illustrated diary: the words were in English, French and Welsh – none were translated. This is an old theme! In Ysgwydd [shoulder] you will hear mainly nouns in Welsh. As I change from one language to another I am aware of the change in gestures – the movement of the mouth and face being different in the two languages. 

Ysgwydd about short essay

Both Ysgwydd and In the Bag have a strong element of liveness. Ysgwydd was recorded in two parts and In the Bag in one, the video of In the Bag is of the event, live. my preference for making “real time” work. 

the first draft/recording

[1] Kristeva, J 1989, p.41 Black Sun . (R. L., Trans.) New York: Colombia.
[2] Bergvall, C 2009 paragraph 8 A Cat in the Throat. (J. Tranter, Ed.) Retrieved june 3, 2011, from Jacket2:

Text | ile

Text printed onto textile shown in different fonts - including comic sans...Bookman Old Style 11pt for the one shown singly

text | ile at my exhibition
at my exhibition
text ile at my exhibition
text ile

This is text printed on woven textile.
This is digital text, typed with all my finger [touch tap tactile] tips. Ambidextrous text.

As I start to type I don’t know if this is text about this exhibition or for this exhibition. Maybe all ‘fors’ are about. Maybe all about is for. All within can be outside when inside.

If you know me you might even be able to hear my voice as you read this, your mind’s ear at work; perhaps if it is not how you are used to hearing me it will not sound quite right. I wonder what voice you hear if you do not know me...your voice reading these words? What character? Some invention that you cannot explain to me?

Of course, right this minute, right now, these words are not printed on canvas they are appearing on a screen as I touch the letter pads. That history behind writing, behind language: the deep collaboration of generations of people speaking and writing [English in this case]. I could not be doing this without that – without you. The fullness of this could not be done without you or without my intention of making this readable. Oh and the program makers, computer many people involved in this one little bit of writing. Then the canvas...

Do you want to stand in a gallery reading words? [I could supply this text in some gallery notes to read later, but printed on paper, on layers of fibres from wood - Paper has been made of many different plant substances. Rag paper. I have made paper from nettles, from rhubarb; which makes a lovely brown tracing paper like sheet. The fibres when in solution align themselves with each other; that is why paper tears more cleanly one way than another - But of course it wouldn’t work so I won’t].

X marks the spot, “the intersection of lines across an axis denotes intentionality, even negation;” X is warp & weft of textile, “is the signature of the one without writing, X is a crossroads”[1] It is both negative and positive, binary bound. The point. Textile: created with/as a formal, flat, gridding...then it folds into three dimensions, enfolds, becomes pli-able, com-pli-cated

Can I be justified in pinning words to the gallery wall?

[1] Pajaczkowska, C. (2005). Stuff & Nonsense. (P. Barnett, & D. Ross, Eds.) Textile , 220-249. p. 234

after an argument

poem photocopy argument

a photocopy of: THE GREAT ORGAN
Bob Cobbing's 60th Birthday Poem, 30th July 1980.
Part of 6 pages, by Paula Claire
after an argument with a photocopier at poetry library

argument with a photocopier

In my desk | yn fy desg

charm bracelet, small books, tickets, the folds of jane & george, texts memo-ed,

in my desk

desk showing flighty whispers with feathers also

charm bracelet, small books, tickets, the folds of jane & george, texts memo-ed,

Saturday 17 September 2011

Dw’n crwydro’r byd yn chwilio am fy ngrud

A making, a performance, a reflection. I embody the words. I disembody the words – hand them over, both readable and unreadable, I re-embody the words both feeling/hearing them come back to me and as I weave. I hear and feel my words but do not speak them.
I represent on the wall.

About the creation of the work
The words printed on textile

dw'n crwydro byd yn chwilio am fy nghrud