Following on from Studio Cybi’s audio commission Twmpath for Montez Press Radio, New York, we developed a video with audio work, O UN TWLL I’R LLALL, filmed in Dorothea Quarry and around Ynys Môn.

We’re exploring the utility of a man-made hole; how it swallowed a community and spat them out, how it exploits, becomes misused, then is abandoned. The film isn’t setting out to document a linear history of a place or tell a story, it is an attempt to pack up a wound with a cacophony of sound and images; a means of understanding the self and how external forces interfere with the individual’s agency.

We’re thinking about how class is forced onto people, how some are defined by their exploitation and how the stains leave a trace for generations. We’re examining ideas of ownership, labour and poverty via the history of the land as communal sites of degradation and then in the 90’s becoming communal transcendental sites for raves.

Supported by The Wales Venice 10 Artes Mundi commission 2023

O UN TWLL I’R LLALL (From One Hole To Another)

21st April 2023


The sky is a white grey expanse reflecting the slate slumped on the sides of the track. They had waited all day to come out and share the cans of cider down by the quarry banks. Bought illicitly from a makeshift shop in the front parlour of a house, once reserved for the vicar’s use.

The water reflects the state of the day. A scramble down a steep track to the jetty where divers sometimes practice. Silky Sliwan sleeps, just under the waters surface a gargantuan mythic eel fabricated by cautious parents.
A few freezers, cars, fridges float usurped from their life of domestic bliss/ utility now bobbing indignantly seeping low levels of radiation into the quarry lake formed when the pump house machinery stopped working. The water often looks inviting on a warm day. Weaned from the dangers of public life by frighteningly accurate/ direct public information films extolling the dangers of railway tracks, pylons and quarry lakes by showing explicitly graphic deaths to temper our extreme freedom. We may have been physically free but the chains of government warnings played like PVE games. We used to roam in packs, feral children in gangs with bikes – likely staying within the 3 mile radius of school/home/shops the holy Trinity. But in this expanse of wasteland our worlds came alive with cautionary tales of desperate misfortunes.


This space is defined by its emptiness, full to the brim with ghosts, echoes bounce around. These holes weren’t made for us, they’re made BY us but not for us. Once they’re done we won’t know what to do. Fill them up? Utilise the death pool for some kind of thrill seeking activity? But they stay as they are – groaning as the fern and lichen take hold.

Wylaf wers, tawaf wedy

Maybe it’s a good thing for the land to attempt to heal itself with no intervention by us, maybe we’re only here to watch it happen.
Does this ecology have an ideology?
Does it identify with the empty churches dotted around its vicinity?

Does it somehow still attend? Or has it conformed?
A state of sickness sags over us like the low lying fog that comes quickly – muting the day down. How can we survive this? The water is fairly deep, on the dive site information website it states “extremely deep” well beyond the safe diving limit. There is an obelisk of rusty cars down there that isn’t visible to the naked eye without the aid of an aqualung, perhaps it’s an attempt to realise Albrecht Dürer’s vision of a Memorial to the Peasants’ War. Strata of registration plates, a symptom of neglect, marking years ticked off since the neoliberal campaign began.
As you’re swimming in the soupy pit with the remains of your ancestral codes you’ve managed to brand floating on your back in a public body of water, whilst your DryRobe waits on the side of the jetty. Society is fucked so what are you going to do after you “fix yourself” with your cold water therapyTM.

What is the cure? Pursuing the illusion of love by swallowing a Mitsubishi? Because this groaning hole will carry on sucking souls, taking away life to feed itself. The hole is the system, the entity that doesn’t work for everyone, only a few.
This building has no roof.

In our gleaning around Annie’s Orphans we come across a subwoofer, a machine rendered impotent with its indented cone, the same futility the churches now show in their newly refurbished Airbnb cladding, once these machines full to the brim with fleshy cogs emitting sonic booms that opened up the heavens. Machines utilised to their full potential and oiled holding up the masses you are not unzipped you are not unstable. There is no higher belief in porous bodies and religious fervour scratching at the skin. The alcohol numbs only the next generation, the generation who step over the ruins of industry, the ruins of raves, the bags of shit hanging like ripe pears from the Buckthorn. Talked about incessantly by those who had planted the seeds, an unwelcome harvest decades later, during the wet seasonal bloom.


How can we write this ending and have the right ratio of hope to despair? That kingly thing a house, a city

You’ve replaced one hole with another and it’s called neoliberalism. The memory of collective effervescence but a murmur. If we allow ourselves to sink into the mud, we will never get out. The claggy substance clings to every crack in the boot and seeps through, insidiously eroding a fulfilling life.

The Sliwan is inside YOU. Who is the YOU? A curtain haired kid with the Umbro puffa until the middle class boys smirked you out of it – being ‘townie’ a punctum between us. YOU were never just an individual YOU.
YOU were always comprised of others.

Our land is littered with the remains of labour, we stand over and over on the middens.