Tuesday, 11 October 2011

20 selected haiku

Judged by George Ttoouli and myself on Monday 10th October 2011, here are the 20 selected poems which will go into the postcard book:

Is Andrews

My child's careful sketch:

Me, with green felt tip pen hair

And "Mumy is kcinde"

Lyndi Smith

Love economy .

Lonely dawnlight turning off

The electric nights.


As my life drags on

colourful leaves pass by me

then I realise...


the wind and the rain

the pounding of the same beat

the finish, silence


stuck in the darkness

where there's no light to be found

so pull up your blinds

Julie Boden

Empty plastic cup

clip-clopping Coventry streets...

we dream of horses.

Kelly Barnacle

magnesium sun

a silhouetted steeple

whitewashed wall of sky

Laura Elliot

seven days of sun

surprise light crept low and warm

paves the winter's way

Joel Silber

encountering fire

invigorating Bonnets

sinus clearing sauce!

Angie Coles

Crumbs on the plum rug

Cup of tea spilled on the side


Mary Courtney


Daisies are dancing

Their arms of light expanding;

The icing on the hill.

Debs Ridgewell

No good at poems

writing haiku for a friend

Thats what I call love

the Friesen children:

A small shiny stone

sitting in a slow river.

Bubble bubble plop!

Susan Camps

Shop girl looks sullen

granny asks her about strawbs

turns out they're both sweet

Liz Hall

Spilt, oil on the road,

Split, seven rainbow colours,

The promise is true.

Louise van der Linden

sweet summer flower

how to capture sunny days?

bake it in a cake

Beth Rutland

Bitter, cloudy night

Hearsall Common with friends whilst

Shooting stars fly by

Helen Brown

In my window bobs

a hawthorn tree, red berries

call hungry blackbirds

Steve Urbanski

The city darkens

The voices of the pigeons

are faintly lighter

Hilkka Armston

Such a rainy day.

Bare branches up to the sky

Are covered in pearls

Thanks to everyone who participated and submitted haiku for the project!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Final haiku written for the week's project

Haiku for 9/10/11

Haiku are now collated.
Found collective voice.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Today's humble haiku offerings (7/10/11)

My haiku for the day:

Moon's glow / Lowered blind,
Forms rectangular outline.
Blind but now I see.

Baby strains for a poo,
Gesticulating with arms,
Like a conductor.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Today's Haiku (Today) (6/10/11)

"I can't write haiku".
But as it turned out he could
send rockets to space.

Taking time to talk
And listen to others' tales;
People are the gold.

Yesterday's haiku today (from 5/10/11)

A duo of late night haiku...

Glowing L.E.Ds
light the dark room like night stars
(if stars came in red)

Silhouettes of trees
against light polluted skies
gesture me to bed

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Today's Haiku (4/10/11)

Here's today's:

Resplendent vista,
through open bathroom window;
no words can describe.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Today's Haiku (3/10/11)

Here is today's haiku:

Leaf shaped like a mouse
Scuttles in the road ahead.
Cat takes interest

Beauty in the Everyday - Coventry Haiku Project

My latest project is on the theme Beauty in the Everyday (running between 3-9 October 2011). I'm trying to get as many people in Coventry as possible to write Haiku (3 line poems originating from Japan and written in a 5,7,5 syllable format). Haiku usually capture an observation, a thought, a moment, and in the final line present a twist or slight change of perspective from the first lines.

My aim is to amass enough haiku to create a snapshot of Coventry life and lives in a regular week - all picking out moments of beauty, joy, hope. Anyone is invited to participate from novices to expert writers.

Please check out my facebook page. All the haiku will be posted on here:

Selected poems will also feature on the Big Screen in Millenium Place, Coventry, and 20 chosen to feature in a published book of postcards later in the year. The project is supported by Coventry City Council's Small Arts Grant.

Friday, 9 September 2011


As a nice little post script, when we were taking down the CCCA and emptying the old beach sand back into bags, this small toy shark was found hidden within it (presumably from the sand's previous owners). It was a rather perfect fin-ish to the exhibition.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Exhibition Shots

Here are some further images of the exhibition for those who missed it...

A nail and thread picture I made on found board using old fishing rope and line...

2 pieces of plastic found on different beaches...

Part of a figure hanging on for dear life...

Some found objects say 'keep' more than others...

A fan found on Fukuoka beach, Japan displayed on a piece of found board from Wales...

It's been fun. Thanks for reading!

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Beauty and the Beach exhibition is now over, the CCCA is safely packed away, and all that's left is some traces of sand in a car park in Meriden and many fond memories.

Thanks to everyone who made this show possible - particularly to the people who helped me set up and take down the shed (Susan, Tom A, Nick, Joey, Steve K, Matt W, Helen B, Jon, Nathan, Mark W, Tom B, Chris R, Josh S who aided me in moments of need!). Thanks to everyone who brought in beach items to share, and of course to all who came to visit (some multiple times!). Final appreciation goes out to the people of Meriden and to the Bull's Head pub staff.

Here's a picture of the wall with the public donations on - not everyone will have got to see this as it was finished in the last few days.

And here's a detail shot - a sea worn piece of pottery brought in by The Stephensons:

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


3 days left! Come and visit Meriden's premier art attraction set within a shed (!). Time has zoomed by and there are only a few more opportunities to see the exhibition for yourself. See the marvelous mannequin head, the excellent expanding foam can, the stupendous 'sand' pistol, the fantastic fish nail and thread made from old fisherman's rope... and many many more brilliant beach found objects, hybrids and displays.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Precious 'Stone'

This appeared to be the most incredible gem stone, glistening amongst the rocks. Had I stumbled upon a hundred thousand pound jewel, a rare and sought after rock, a piece of Kryptonite perhaps? Only when I picked it up did it become obvious what this actually was - a sea worn and perished bouncy ball. Although it was of no monetary value it was a beautiful sight to behold.

Beachy Head

My parents and parents-in-law were out walking in Rest Bay, South Wales. My parents' dog had discovered something and was digging and barking at something on the shoreline. As my mother-in-law approached she could see a face peering up from the sand. It must have been quite a worrying moment. However, this turned out not to be a scene from Jaws but a washed up mannequin’s head, all its hair long gone and a smooth shaven looking scalp in its place. The head was kept and given to me as a Christmas present later in the year - perhaps one of the very best I've ever been given!
Publish Post

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Anemone anomalies

I gain a certain pleasure in finding man made objects that appear to be organic, particularly when they are suited to their environment, as with these three images. The pink squidgy thing found floating in a rock pool looked like some forlorn sea creature which hadn't quite made it back to sea. I had to touch it before I could be sure that it wasn't in fact a jellyfish or something. The rubbery / plastic tentacles of each item are reminiscent of sea anemones.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Where there's a beach there's always water...

Torrential rain was almost calamitous yesterday when I was close to being stranded in the CCCA. I watched as the rain waters came lapping at the entrance of the shed. I hadn't really thought about the problem of locking up and getting out while taking shelter from an unbelievable downpour. Anyway I cunningly used my chair as a bridge over the swirling flood waters gathering in this particular corner of the car park to make my escape.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Ocean Minerals

Sifting through all the stuff in the lead up to the exhibition I realised there were some seriously fishy smells coming from a few of the recent bags of things I'd found. A rotting kind of smell. I doused it all in Ocean Mineral scented Dettol and found a load of minute dead sea creatures floating in the bucket the next day. Everything's clean and freshly scented now though. In fact I noticed that I've been washing in Imperial Leather Ocean Mineral shower gel so I'm really living the part.

(Some beach items spread out in my living room - the non smelly stuff!)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Life's a beach and then you find

I am pleased to announce my first contribution for the show has arrived - this marvellous photo of a rusted bike frame discovered on a beach by Phil Lyon.

Please remember to bring in objects, photos or send me images via email (which I'll print off) and then I can include them in the exhibition. thanks.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Life's a beach and then you dive

2 semi rusted cans from the exhibition standing on a found bit of plastic turned shelf...

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Sea for yourself!

It's been a hectic time moving and building the CCCA, and then the small matter of actually installing an exhibition... all done in five days! Yes, Beauty and the Beach officially opened to the non-paying public yesterday evening. It was great to see everyone at the opening party. Only one found shoe was pulled off the wall, and nothing fell off so I'd count that as a good night. Oh and a car’s hand-break broke and could have killed everyone but instead crashed into a Jaguar. (This stole the limelight for a few minutes but I think regaling tales like that of finding the mannequin head won the people back).

Friday, 15 July 2011

Pro-Found Objects

I made one final trek down to the beach last weekend before the exhibition. It was worth it as I think I got there before all the scout groups arrived for their annual summer clean up. I managed to pick up a couple of bag-fulls of objects - much more than usual. There's a strange mix of emotions because I enjoy finding stuff on the beach but at the same time when there's so much debris and detritus you realise just how bad we are at keeping the place tidy.

I love the colours of objects I find, particularly against the natural colours of the pebbles or sand. I like the way objects get worn down and 'tumbled' by the waves over days, months, maybe years. Often you can see where barnacles or other organisms have started to grow on their surface as nature tries to envelop them. I wonder where they've come from and how they got there. Fragments of things that have become something wholly other from what they once were now emerge as shapes and forms in their own right, like sculptural forms or ready-made art works.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Beauty & the Beach: Landlocked in the Heart of England

It's been a long time coming, but the Coventry Centre for Contemporary Art (CCCA) is getting another outing. It's been in hibernation in my friends' garage for the past year and is soon to be installed in Meriden, near Coventry.

Beauty & the Beach is an exhibition of found objects (and photos of found objects) from trips I've made to the sea-side over the past few years. Meriden is traditionally considered the centre and heart of England, and so a long way from the nearest beach. It seemed a somehow fitting place to set up this exhibition.

As with my last few shows I am hoping there will be an element of interaction and evolution with this. If you are on holiday and visit the beach in the next six weeks, please take some snaps or pick up the interesting and wonderful objects you spot and then bring them in to the CCCA where they can become part of the installation.

Sand Pistol, photo of a found object, 2008

The exhibition will begin with an Opening Party on Friday 22nd June 6:30-9.30pm and run from Saturday 23rd July - Saturday 20th August 2011.

Opening Times: (Closed Mondays), Tuesday - Friday 6:00 - 8:30pm, Saturday - Sunday: 2:00 - 7:30pm, (or by appointment).

Location: Coventry Centre for Contemporary Art, The Bull's Head (car park), Main Road, Meriden, CV7 7NN.

I hope to see you there!