A unique collaborative audio/visual installation created from material gathered during the construction of the recently completed micro-hydro scheme at Blaen Dyar above the Clydach Gorge. By Penny Hallas and Leona Jones - artists in residence with HYDRO, Llangattock Green Valleys CIC, Brecon Beacons, Wales.

A response to re:Source by Graham Hartill

Symmetry conjures the physical body, particularly the face. We see faces in nature of course; we see ourselves in all of nature’s coming alive to consciousness, and symmetries of flow in the deeper, generative body: we configure, pattern, or make fields, from the world’s phenomena, unifying things. At the start of life we like to land into a symmetry of the great new other: the face, the body’s, containment and reassurance.

Then our energies grow and diverge: without a channel there is no flow, but without a friction there is no electricity; yes, ‘without contraries, no progression’. re:Source is in part an affront to a merely passive perception of ideal symmetry, a kind of discomfort. This earth’s body, it shows us, is replete with dangerous power; the flow is live and generates, and the thought of electric power made from water, as a round of creation, is comforting: warmth, light, and vitality.

But here it is also raw material, raw perception: natural force is presented in symmetry, then not, like an alternating current. Look, here comes green, as a little luminous leaf floats into the field of vision from right to left, on one of a thousand streams, and is perfect. There we are. But then we are overwhelmed.


The fact that the work can be seen by some as ‘angry’ or discomforting is what calls for response, and dialogue, with its images: these spaces, subterranean, both organic and metallic; these men, like eternally labouring hi-viz ghosts; these broken symmetries, layerings, pictures and sounds, now dawdling, then quickly rushing away. Men hover, scraping into strange terrain. I think of surgeons as much as of engineers; I’m certainly considering male control of the constructed or the re-constructed world or body. It’s like we are peeking through little apertures into the enormous surging of the Mystery, and the frames of our perception – the screen, the speakers, the room itself – are resistances, shapes or pressures, that makes it possible to see it and hear its music at all, that makes the energy of our involvement possible.

I watch men, machinery, overlaid, or X-rayed, on gynaecological patterns, skulls and bodily microcosms: Is that a cell or a follicle, made huge? It’s an insect kaleidoscope! And there’s not really scale in this world, except for the one that the human bodies bring.

When I was a child I discovered diagrams of naked men and women in what used to be known as a ‘medical book’ in my parents’ bookcase. The re:Source installation speaks to me of these first and lasting secret – about what’s really going on.


This is from Ernest Becker:
“As I see it the history of mankind divides into two great periods…In both periods men wanted to control life and death, but in the first period they had to rely on a non-machine technology to do it: ritual is actually a pre-industrial technique of manufacture: it doesn’t exactly create new things, but it transfers the power of life and renovates nature. But how can we have a technique of manufacture without machinery?
Man controls nature by whatever means he can invent, and primitive man invented the ritual altar and the magic paraphernalia to make it work. And as the modern mechanic carries around his tools, so did the primitive scrupulously transport his charms and rebuild his altars.”

(Escape from Evil)


Apparently, in the ‘water-flow analogy’, sometimes used to explain electric circuits by comparing them with water-filled pipes, voltage is likened to difference in water pressure. Current is proportional to the diameter of the pipe or the amount of water flowing at that pressure. A resistor would be a reduced diameter somewhere in the piping and a capacitor/inductor could be likened to a “U” shaped pipe where a higher water level on one side could store energy temporarily.

Blood in the vein is also electricity of course, and the earth is a dark, living thing. Yet here we are, in our masculine high-viz, channelling, digging, dependent.

Graham Hartill
July 2018

Thanks to LGV, BBNPA’s SDF, and A&B Cymru’s CultureStep Investment Programme to strengthen and develop Jones and Hallas’s creative partnership with LGV.

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Binocular: arcadecardiff


Event: 15 Mar 2018 2-3pm East/West exchange: artists speaking from their respective geographical areas, including an interactive reading. With Dr Adrian Healy of Cardiff University’s School of Planning and Geography.

Closing drinks: 23 Mar 6-8pm

In this new phase of collaboration with Suffolk-based artist Caroline Wright, we continue to explore the position and experience of ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’, taking the Skirrid Mountain, Monmouthshire as the site of investigation

Exhibition runs 1 – 24 Mar 2018
Arcade Cardiff
Queen’s Arcade, Queen’s St. Cardiff, CF10 2BY
Unit 3b, by New Look, down the escalators

Beyond Orpheus Beyond Eurydice

beyond Eurydice

An evening of poetry, film, movement, voice improvisation and recorded sound.

27 Oct 7.45pm.
Centre 151, Whiston Rd, London E2 8BL
Free (voluntary contributions welcome)

Steve Boyland
Lyndon Davies
Nia Davies
Steven Hitchins
Camilla Nelson
Julia Rose Lewis
Anthony Mellors
Scott Thurston

This event follows performance/presentation earlier in the day at the Translating Eurydice Conference
University of East London, Stratford Campus. Both performances represent the latest in the long-running
sequence of collaborations arising from the Orpheus Project (2010).
Click here for more details about the Orpheus Project.
Click here to see a video clip.




A series of collaborative performances along the route of the deleted Glamorganshire canal.
See Steve Hitchen’s Canalchemy

Binocular: disturbance


Shared concerns from collaboration with Suffolk-based artist Caroline Wright are realised in work that explores the position and experience of the insider and outsider, using TestBed to challenge ideas through drawings, exchange and display of objects, parallel walking, mapping of locations and other works. The Skirrid Mountain, Monmouthshire, located on the fringe of the Black Mountains is our site of investigation as we unpick what it means to be familiar and unfamiliar and the disturbance this causes.

For more about the Binocular:disturbance show see a-n Binocular Blog.

Binocular-TestBed2016reducedBinocular is an Arts Council Wales funded production project. Supported by a Professional Development Bursary from a-n The Artist Information Company

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Spate with Cat's eyes

Spate with Cat’s eyes

The Nonarchy comes to Cardiff – to gently spread misrule.

9 -16 Oct 2016 Made in Roath


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Artists sharing work done during a 2 month residency in a city centre office block.

5 Oct 7 – 9pm
For details see Floating Island Gallery and their facebook page

Binocular: Ar yr Ymylon / On The Edge

clay pipe stems found on Brecon Monmouthshire canal, coloured

Together Apart: an alternative walk through Abergavenny with Suffolk artist Caroline Wright as part of PEAK‘s fringe programme of cultural talks from border land. National Eisteddfod 2016.

This artist led walk is the first chance to see and hear about work arising from the Arts Council Wales funded collaborative project: BINOCULAR

Many of us instinctively pick up objects on walks, find ourselves putting them in our pockets or holding onto them and wondering, perhaps, about the story behind them. Or we may hold onto objects of significance that have come into our possession in other ways, from a relative, a gift, or even that object that camefrom a cereal packet.

On this short walk around the streets of Abergavenny, artists Penny Hallas (living and working in the Black Mountains) and Caroline Wright (living and working in Suffolk) will explore themes of insider /ousider through introducing some of the objects they have discovered on opposite sides of the UK. Narratives will mesh as objects are taken out of context and re-placed, and the emotions of a stranger are contrasted with those of us who feel at home. Please feel free to bring along an object that you have picked up on a walk near your home – and maybe we will discover new objects of our own on the walk.

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Binocular is an Arts Council Wales funded production project. Supported by a Professional Development Bursary from a-n The Artist Information Company


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GPS Signal Lost

GPS signal Lost

GPS signal Lost

GPS System Lost
is concerned with observing and recording, over a period of five years, some of the strange interplay between human and natural activity in and around the caves of Craig Y Cilau Nature Reserve near Abergavenny. It is a collage of films and stills, animations and projections in the tunnels of Eglwys Faen, using centuries of graffitti as backdrop.

The film also plays as a personal homage to my father, photographer and one-time pot-holer, on whose last camera the material for this film was gathered.

the [...] space,
Mission Gallery,
10 May – 19 June 2016

See blog for background to GPS Signal Lost

Ghost Jam


An experimental semi-improvised rehearsal for a collaborative performance using poetry, film, movement, music and recorded sound.

4 Oct 2015 3.30 – 5.00pm Free
Allen Fisher, Tilla Brading, Camilla Nelson, Rhys Trimble, Wanda O’Connor, Steven Hitchins, Graham Hartill, John Goodby, Lyndon Davies, Emma Lewis-Jones