Johana Hartwig

Ascension 2019

Research into public access, respite, rivers and site lines through walking, talking, elevation and workshops at Spit and Sawdust Skatepark.

Image: Cherry picker

In His Heels 2019

Audio-visual work exploring recently discovered personal family histories, including 78 recordings connected with voice/song at Shift Cardiff

Image: Light, sticks, my Great Grandfather’s autobiography

Day Eyes 2019

Aphelion marks the point when the sun is furthest from the Earth. The work, commissioned by Spit and Sawdust Skatepark and based in Global Gardens, Cardiff, celebrated the rising of the sun and the quiet stillness of the morning where there is little activity and ‘llygaid y dydd’ / ‘day eyes’ / ‘daisies’ open their eyes. The day included lying down together as the sun came up, sharing daisy tea and its medicinal properties, a walk along Roath brook ‘fishing’ for ph levels and audio work around ‘light’ and ‘dark’ phrases.

Image: Daisies painted on eyes

 The Bloody Brook, 2018

‘The Bloody Brook’ was a commission for the Made in Roath arts festival that explored Roath Brook from a historical-edible perspective and included events, an exhibition and new audio and visual work. 2018 was the 10 year anniversary of Made in Roath and their theme was collaboration and part of this commission involved a collaboration with an orchestra and forager to explore access to, and the sustainability of urban waterways.


Image: Litmus paper and enlarged images of brook-dipped paper

 Floating Fibres, 2018

Floating Fibres was a ACW-funded R and D project, working with a lacemaker and coder to create a ‘river blanket’ and lace samples based on atmospheric data and OS maps. This project explored using open source technology to look at Cardiff’s rivers through textiles and question our relationship with our city rivers.

This project was funded by Arts Council Wales.

Image: Jaquard loom woven ‘ data’ blanket

 Unit(e) Summer School, 2017

As part of Unit(e) Summer School 2017, Johana investigated the ‘fabric’ of the G39 gallery and grounds. She worked with Archaeologist Simon McCann to excavate a section of the gallery garden, which revealed several layers of displaced and original soils and clays, amongst which lay broken Victorian utensils and size 8 builders’ footprints from the 1980’s. The activity was in part used to explore the specialist language ‘digging in spits’ and methods used in conducting and monitoring an ‘archeological dig’ and to ask the question what is of value?

Image: Hole dug with Archeologist Simon McCann

 Three Rivers Wide, 2017

  This work considered the language that we use to describe the city’s rivers.  Some of the work in production moved between matter and digital several times. Glitches picked up during this process were embraced as in keeping with the organic subject matter.

Image: Digital Embroidery 



In-flux river data suspended and domesticated on embroidered fabric, half-inch symbols used as guides on OS maps enlarged and elevated, flotsam and jetsam carried down river and buildings and wildlife reflected in the water that laps the banks indicate how we see the rivers and how they see us.

This body of work was generated by a period of research by boat and working with materials and machinery at FabLab, CSAD.  With thanks to Maggie Cullinane and the Cardiff Harbour Authority for their support on this project. Funded by Arts Council Wales.

Image: Laser-cut sculpture and lapidarised river stones.

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Johana Hartwig on Axisweb