Holy Hiatus – ritual, community and place 2008

In May 2008, five temporary art events by artists Alastair MacLennan, Maura Hazelden, Simon Whitehead, Anna Lucas and Yvonne Buchheim took place in Cardigan, west Wales, exploring themes of ritual, community and place. The project sought to examine the ways that artists can draw audiences into different, often unexpected experiences of place through ritual. The temporary, mobile and in some cases understated nature of the events meant that the impact was often subtle, but the artworks nonetheless created a ripple of effect for audiences, leading witnesses to wonder what they had just seen and to what extent they had knowingly or unknowingly participated in it.

In practices that involve ritual pattern making, ‘holy hiatus’ refers to the crossing of the boundary between inner and outer consciousness. The purpose of such practices is to allow inner processes to manifest as outer design or forms – a method that has strong analogies with art-making. Holy Hiatus focused on social ritual, community and public places to explore threshold, or ‘liminal’ states and examine the ways that artists employ ‘performative interaction’ to engage audiences creatively with place.


Alastair MacLennan      Lure in Rule

Actuation on footbridge over River Teifi, Cardigan
5am – 5pm Friday 23rd May 2008

Alastair DuoMaura Hazelden     Untitled

Performance in collaboration with Lou Laurens. A phrase of movement and a 13th century song Worldes Blis Ne Laste, repeated over 6 hours
The Small World Theatre, Cardigan, Thursday 22nd May 2008

Maura_Hazelden Duo

Anna Lucas     Begail Foxwell Whip

Video Installation 16mm film transferred to DVD
Pendre Art Gallery, Cardigan
Friday 23rd – Saturday 31st May 2008

Anna_Lucas DuoSimon Whitehead      Drift

A series of dance excursions through Cardigan town in collaboration with dancers Kate Willis and Andrea Buckley, photographer Ben Stammers and poet Zoe Skoulding.
Wednesday 21st – Friday 23rd May 2008

Simon_Whitehead DuoYvonne Buchheim     Sound Water Beat
Public Performance, Cardigan Swimming Pool
Friday 23rd May 2008

Yvonne_Buchheim DuoYvonne also created a second artwork for Cardigan Swimming Pool in 2009 supported by Holy Hiatus and Safle called Earworms


In addition to the artworks produced, a one day Symposium was held at the Small World Theatre, Cardigan to contextualise the event. Invited speakers included Bobby Alexander (Texas USA), Anna Lucas, Samantha Hurn, Hamish Fyfe, Iain Biggs, Cinzia Mutigli

The full colour book for this project was published by Parthian (see Publications)