Thursday, October 08, 2015

The Agony And Ecstasy Of Collegiate Sumo Training In Japan - Charnwood Museum

Scene from the opening of "Asa Geiko" an exhibition by Francis Harrison

The Agony And Ecstasy Of Collegiate Sumo Training In Japan

Charnwood Arts presents a unique documentary photo series on the brutal, rarely glimpsed training of amateur sumo training at a major Tokyo university.

The exhibition, called "Asa Geiko" (Morning Practice), is the work of Francis Harrison, a photographer and long-time resident of Japan.

Shot in moody monochrome, the photographs recall photo essays by Eugene Smith and others during the heyday of Life Magazine.

Francis Harrison describes the project thus:

"I was attracted to traditional themes as a counterpoint to the soullessness and wholesale Westernisation so prevalent in modern Japan.

My early background in the martial arts naturally led me to an orthodox sumo club at an agricultural college near my home, where I was eventually allowed to shoot freely by the coach, a fiercely traditional man.

What struck me from the start was the aura of discipline and sacrifice that suffused the place. Long periods of stretching and limbering up would be interrupted by instants of total violence, none of it personal but totally committed nonetheless.

Over time, I was deeply moved by the dedication of these young men, most of whom would never make it to the Pros while punishing their bodies sometimes with lasting effect.

My promise to the coach was to give an accurate representation of genuine sumo to the outside world, where so often the sport is seen as "fat babies in diapers", and I only hope that I have kept my promise and done justice to these powerful athletes."

The exhibition is divided into three phases: "Preparation", "Combat" and "Contemplation" reflecting the various parts and moods of any given practice session. Through these stages one can catch glimpses of an older Japan where ancestral voices predominate...

Text: Charnwood Arts
Photo: Paul Conneally

Monday, October 05, 2015

Announcement of a Provisional Congress for the Psychogeographic Fragmentation of the London Agglomeration - Guy Debord 1956

Source: Oeuvres. Gallimard, Paris, 2006;
Translated: from the original for by Mitchell Abidor;
CopyLeftCreative Commons (Attribute & ShareAlike) 2008.

'Diversion End' Paul Conneally 2015

In the month of August we propose to bring together for a week a certain number of individuals called on to discuss the first concrete results of psychogeography; of that discipline’s place in the group of problems posed by the creation of a new culture, and the possibilities of its concrete application to the city of London. At the end of this week of discussions the group will enter into action in order to verify by experience some of the theoretical conclusions of the Congress. 

This action will inevitably take on multiple – and occasionally violent – aspects. Its usefulness will principally reside in the study of the effects, on a great modern urban center, of a series of rapid and sustained shocks calculated to introduce -during a period limited to one month – an element of uncertainty in the normal social and affective organization of the city. 

We recognize that an urban agglomeration the size of London represents nothing psychogeographically. It is important in the very beginning to divide it into several clearly defined zones. And then, within these juxtaposed zones, we must study the placement and limits of the different ambience units in order to utilize them in function of our plans, and to anticipate their emotional perfecting by means of an appropriate architecture and urbanism. 

We know that the inhabitants of London, like those of all the other cities of current society, suffer from nervous problems, which are the inevitable consequence of today’s urbanism and, more generally, of a profound mental misery, which is a product of our primitive society. 

We feel ourselves capable of participating, in the important sector of the modern sensibility, in the labor of change our times demand. It is with this goal in mind that we are undertaking the London experiment. It is a matter of offering everyone the chance of adopting a global solution to the problems of 1957. The solution offered will exercise a radical influence on activities of all kinds: plastic, psychological, musical, political, literary, social, journalistic, erotic, popular, military, philosophical, cinematographic, aristocratic, pedagogical, commercial, religious, culinary, architectural, etc. 

In fact, we hope to assemble in London experts in the revolution in every aspect of life in order to work together at the creation of transitory affective situations consciously constructed. 

It isn’t currently possible to foresee the results of such activity. We invite all those who want to participate in its invention to contact the organizing committee. 

Organizing Committee of the Provisional Congress for the Psychogeographic Fragmentation of the London Agglomeration. 

Guy Debord 1956

c/o I.C.A. 17-18 Dover St, Piccadilly, London, W1
Potlatch, 32, rue de la Montagne-Geneviève, Paris 5

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Connecting Cultures

A Year 5 pupil from Abbey Community Primary School hard at work during a Connecting Cultures session at Brahma Kumaris Spiritual University in Leicester. He is illustrating his tanka poem about his grandad, his hero:

my grandad lives in
Uganda but he has to
go to India
then travels to the UK
goes to London buys a house

Connecting Cultures is a project conceived and organised by photographer Kajal Nisha Patel bringing together two culturally different British community schools from urban Leicester and rural Harby to work on stories, poetry, illustration and bookmaking.

In this session over a hundred pupils worked with artist Paul Gent on illustration and poet Paul Conneally of Leicester City Council PCAS on tanka poems.

September 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Not Quite Warm Enough

not quite warm enough
to eat outside
we do

Paul Conneally
Sept. 2015

Morning Practice - The Agony and Ecstasy of Sumo Training in Japan

Morning Practice - The Agony and Ecstasy of Sumo Training in Japan
This is a wonderful and not to be missed exhibition of photographs by Francis Harrison.

The exhibition is put on by Charnwood Arts / Pixel & Grain at Charnwood Museum, Loughborough, UK and runs from the 7th of October to the 1st of November 2015.

Free Entry

Paul Conneally
Sept. 2015

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Rama Gupta - Environmental Activist and Thinker

Rama Gupta photographed by Paul Conneally in Loughborough

Rama Gupta - Environmental Activist and Thinker

Photo: Paul Conneally Loughborough 2015

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Beer Is Not The Answer

Public house interior design people in a pub drinking beer
Beer Is Not The Answer
Inside The White Hart Public House
Paul Conneally
Quorn 2015

After All These Years

Photo haiku by Paul Conneally Leicester 2015

after all these years
a five pound note and a card
from Auntie Ethel

Paul Conneally
Leicester 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Looking For Something

looking for something
in the bottom of a cup
the low autumn sun

Paul Conneally
Leicester 2015

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Lengthening Shadows

Haiku and photograph Paul Conneally Loughborough England psychogeography

lengthening shadows
things best said
in a letter

Paul Conneally

Monday, August 31, 2015

Weighing It Up

weighing it up
at the hot potato stand
baked beans and cheese

Paul Conneally
August 2015

Star of Bethlehem

Flower remedies poetry Paul Conneally Starof Bethlehem

after the news
of their daughter's death
Star of Bethlehem

Paul Conneally

from The Bach Flower Remedies - 38 Haiku by Paul Conneally with plant images taken with permission from the Healing Herbs Pocket Prescriber, free with any purchase from Healing Herbs.


Street Photography Loughborough Paul Conneally
Paul Conneally
August 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Let's Dance

Street photography Paul Conneally Loughborough dance

Saturday night
the doorman says
not in those shoes

Paul Conneally
August 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

Got A Funny Feeling

Taiwan art psychogeography with Paul Conneally Splacist Cliff Richard movies The Young Ones

be smiling
be imaginative
you're getting a funny feeling
that you're falling in love

from the third work from #wevegotashow

More here:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Jesus On Jarrom Street

Jesus On Jarrom Street
Paul Conneally
Leicester 2015

Two Moons

two moons
somewhere between ports
she tells him it's over

Paul Conneally
Calais 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

Short Shadows

a granita before
the afternoon shift
short shadows

Paul Conneally
Cannes 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015


the scent of something
on the sea breeze

Paul Conneally
Cannes 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Three Break Ups

three break ups
another hot day
in the nail bar

Paul Conneally
Cannes 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Ice-cream Seller

the ice-cream seller
points out the way to me
with an ice-cream

Paul Conneally

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cicadas and Ringtones

piercing stones
all along the promenade
cicadas and ringtones

Paul Conneally
Cannes 2015

Paul Conneally

Sweat Stained Shirt

Some men perhaps enjoy shopping for women's clothes with their wife or partner. Most don't.

We do it anyway, grudgingly, looking for an excuse to get out of the shop and wait outside or in some nearby café or better still a pub.

In Cannes there are so many clothes shops to visit and it's so hot that it's worth going in just for the air conditioning. After a while most of the men will finish up outside leaning against walls, sitting on bollards, until their loved one appears perhaps with a bag of purchases or worse without, which means a visit to another shop.

the shop assistant
sips a glass of cold water
my sweat soaked shirt

Paul Conneally
Cannes 2015

Friday, August 07, 2015

Too Hot To Shop

too hot to shop
wasps drinking from
a town fountain

Paul Conneally
August 2015

Communo Cephalite + Two

The village of Mougins is one of the most exclusive in the South of France being home across the years to many artists and celebrities including: Fernand Léger, Robert Desnos, René Clair, Isadora Duncan, Pablo Picasso, Man Ray, Christian Dior, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, Roland Petit, Zizi Jeanmaire, Yves Saint Laurent, Paul Anka, Jean Richepin, Robert Hossein, Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, Roger Vivier…

This said it is also a huge tourist attraction with thousands of visitors each year, especially over the summer months.

The village itself becomes an open gallery for sculpture and in 2015 the outdoor and completely free exhibition is called 'MONUMENTAL'.

My photograph here 'Communo Cephalite + Two' features the sculpture 'Communo Cephalite' made by the great French artist Arman in 1995 plus the heads of two tourists walking up the hill behind this bronze bust of Lenin.

Paul Conneally
August 2015

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

A Summer Dress

the market stalls pose
so many questions
a summer dress

Paul Conneally
August 2015

Compression de Porsche' CÉSAR 1990

'Compression de Porsche' CÉSAR 1990
Photo: Paul Conneally, Mougins 2015

Half-Way Home

In the South of France it seems Picasso lived everywhere - his picture is found on wall after wall and somehow he always looks just right.

half-way home
a drunk relieves himself
into the Mistral

Paul Conneally
August 2015

Le Banc Des Gênérations' Niki De Saint-Phalle 2002

'Le Banc Des Gênérations' Niki De Saint-Phalle 2002

Mougins, France, 2015

Photo: Paul Conneally