It Was 40 Years Ago Today

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A research project devoted to uncovering and archiving the history of Performance Art in Wales.

Prosiect ymchwil i ddadorchuddio ac archifo hanes Celf Perfformio yng Nghymru.

Winner of the David Bradby TaPRA Award for Research in International Theatre and Performance 2011.

If you have any information on performance in Wales that could be of use to the project, please get in touch!

Whether you are an artist who has made performance work in Wales, or an audience member who once witnessed a performance (voluntarily or involuntarily!), we would be pleased to hear from you.
Any material will be of interest - from actual pieces of documentation to vague memories of events caught out of the corner of one's eye.
mail@performance-wales.org

Cysylltwch â ni os oes gennych unrhyw wybodaeth am berfformio yng Nghymru a allai fod o ddefnydd i'r prosiect!

Efallai eich bod yn artist sydd wedi gwneud gwaith perfformio yng Nghymru, neu'n aelod o gynulleidfa a welodd berfformiad unwaith (o'ch gwirfodd neu'n anwirfoddol!). Pwy bynnag ydych chi, hoffem glywed gennych.
Bydd unrhyw ddeunydd o ddiddordeb - o ddogfennau gwreiddiol i atgofion amwys am ddigwyddiadau a welwyd o gornel y llygad.
Mae'r manylion cyswllt wedi'u rhestru dan 'Cyswllt' yma, neu gallwch anfon e-bost i'r cyfeiriad hwn: mail@performance-wales.org

Project Director Cyfarwyddwr Prosiect: Heike Roms
Dept Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University
Adran Astudiaethau Theatr, Ffilm a Theledu Prifysgol

Contact: Professor Heike Roms
Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies
Adran Astudiaethau Theatr, Ffilm a Theledu Prifysgol
Aberystwyth University
Adeilad Parry-Williams Building
Aberystwyth SY23 3AJ,
UK phone ffon: (+44) 1970 - 621911 (direct uniongyrchol) mail@performance-wales.org

Funded by Wedi ei drawsgronni gan:
ARTS AND HUMANITIES RESEARCH COUNCIL (AHRC) (2009-2011)
(CYNGOR YMCHWIL Y CELFYDDYDAU A’R DYNIAETHAU) (2009-2011)
ARTS COUNCIL OF WALES (ACW) (2006-2008)
CYNGOR CELFYDDYDAU CYMRU (CCC) (2006-2008)
SIR DAVID HUGHES PARRY AWARD 2006, 2008
ABERYSTWYTH UNIVERSITY RESEARCH FUND (2007)

AHRC logo and link to website

Aberystwyth University Logo and link to website

Arts Council Wales logo and link to website

National Lottery Logo

Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved
Hawlfraint © 2011 Cedwir pob hawl

What's Welsh for Performance? Beth yw 'performance' yn Gymraeg?

:15 events from 15 years: 1971

:1965 :1966 :1967 :1968 :1969 :1970 :1971 :1972 :1973 :1974 :1975 :1976 :1977 :1978 :1979

     

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Cameron, Shirley & Miller, Roland [aka Landscape Gardening and Living Rooms; or Landscapes and Living Spaces] and members of Bath Arts Workshop (Willis, Diz et al.)

Cyclamen Cyclists

19 March 1971

Swansea: Swansea Docks

[Photos: courtesy of Shirley Cameron and Roland Miller Archive Collection (Private)]

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The (6) Cyclamen Cyclists will set off each day at 12 noon from a different spot, impelled by the throw of a dice.-
4 Manningham; 6 Lister Hills; 7 Wyke; 8 Thornton; 9 Buttershaw; 10 Idle; 11 Blaize Fair; 12-, 13-, 19 Swansea
Singing Dancing Fighting Reciting Going Coming Loving Laughing Riding Playing (leaflet)

Cyclamen cyclists have been reported, machine and rider all in shocking pink-to-mauve. Close together in the docks, spread out in parks, so that you only see one at a time. The riders perform what is in effect a tiny one-act play, what the authors rightly call a 'piece of work', appropriate to the site. Lumps of slag have been wrapped up in bright colours as trains go by in the Swansea valley.[...] All these ephemeral shocks are due to Roland Miller and Shirley Cameron, who are presently domiciled at Mumbles on Swansea Bay. Their aim is to increase perception: see one arranged surprise and you will be on the lookout for the natural surprises which are all around us. This is the "happening" taken out of the introverted atmosphere of hte art gallery into real life. This is also surrealism taken out of the manifestoes and the picture-frames into its natural home, the landscape. [...] The result is down to earth, comprehensible: the imagination that produces the results is sophisticated. So what you get from the experience is up to you; there are no intellectual barriers to overcome which, as it happens, is exactly the spirit of Swansea itself. What you get form city or cyclamen cyclists depends on how big or deep you are; and the result is happiness at any level, a positive with no negative. [...]
The implications are colossal, and lucky the town (new town, especially) that is prepared to take them up. Meanwhile,Miller and Cameron feel that the cyclamen cyclists have done their job in Swansea and anyone who wishes to carry on in another place is welcome to collect them free [...]. They will only have to provide persons to inhabit the cyclamen suits, and the visual imaginationto make use of them. [...] Thsis could be the breakthrough between art and life, or rather joint-together of parts which should never have been separated in the first place. High stakes: but if you have enough hwyl it will happen.
(Ian Nairn, City of hwyl and cyclamen cyclists, Sunday Times 14.11.71)

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Shirley Cameron. This is another piece of work that we did in Swansea and in other parts of the country – in Yorkshire – in 1971 called Cyclamen Cyclists . It enabled us to work with other artists. We were all dressed in cyclamen-coloured overalls and had cyclamen-coloured bikes. The piece originated in fact in the Bradford Festival, where we were given quite a large grant to do this piece of work. We would cycle to one of the venues in the festival, do a performance, get back on our bikes and cycle off and perhaps do a cycling performance as well. [...]
SC. I think another problem with our work is that it's been very spatial. We've done a lot of work in locations. The Cyclamen Cyclists is an example, the relationship of one person with a bike to another, to another, to another, over a space was quite an important element of the work and that is the one thing that you really can't capture in moving images or still images. [...]

We did one piece with the Cyclamen Cyclists where we went across the Gower Peninsula. The very few people who saw it would remember it for quite a long time because it was a very outstanding thing that they had seen. The image that is shown in Adrian Henri's book is the Cyclamen Cyclists again, this time on Swansea Docks, and you see the docks and you see in the distance things which are linked to what we were doing by the colour – at that particular moment there might be three bicycles in a row, one in the distance and two close up, and then something else of the same colour on the periphery of your vision, and this is only something which you can register as an individual. So the audience really is a collection of individuals who are registering visually the thing we have done. [...]

(Shirley Cameron and Roland Miller in conversation with Heike Roms, Cardiff 23 November 2006).

For the full transcript of the conversation click here.

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For more information on the event and on its available documentation search our database.

Or listen to our oral history conversations with Shirley Cameron and Roland Miller.