Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tunnel Talk with Maurice Maguire

'Maurice' - New Century Works, Maguire and Conneally (2012 - 2015)

In 2011 as Transform Snibston took shape I spoke with artist and cultural geographer, Maurice Maguire about the tunnels spreading out and to Snibston Colliery, now the site of Snibston Discovery Museum.

Tunnel Talk was the resulting podcast: Tunnel Talk

Take a listen and then take a trip to Snibston.

Paul Conneally

August 2014

And She Walks

'And She Walks' Paul Conneally 2014

A devotional work appropriated for Notre Damme Cathedral, Reims, France.

'And She Walks' is part of the ongoing series of appropriated involuntary art works 'I Con'.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On Leaving Calais

'On Leaving Calais'

After a month in France we drive on to the P&O Ferry at Calais for the crossing to Dover.

A worker in a luminous jacket, hard hat and ear protectors, guides us to park just inches from the car in front and those on either side of us. Getting out is a contortionist's trick.

Up the stairs from car deck five and find somewhere to sit. It's about a ninety minute journey and the captain, via the muddy sound system, tells us that conditions in the English Channel are calm. My stomach smiles.

Yes it's calm but grey. This said the port of Calais, even in bright sunshine always feels a little grey, a little faded as does Dover where, with one blast on the ship's horn, we now set off for.

channel ferry
we capture four seats
and head for the bar

Paul Conneally
The English Channel


Thursday, August 14, 2014

An Open Shirt

an open shirt
she reaches into her bag
for sun cream

Paul Conneally
Cannes, 2014

Not Quite Cocktail Time

not quite cocktail time
a few more minutes of heat
on the promenade

Paul Conneally

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Le Kiosque Offenbach

Kiosque Offenbach, Les Arcs sur Argens, France

The term Kiosque or in English, Kiosk, is an interesting one and throws up images and memories of ticket booths and ice-cream huts. Small semi-permanent looking sheds which are open on one side for the purpose of selling goods or giving information, that's what kiosks are for the most part to me.

This kiosk, the Kiosque Offenbach in Les Arcs sur Argens in France, is more like the kiosks that the word's Turkish origin, köşk, describes, a building in a garden or park with a roof but with open sides, a little more like what we might call a large gazebo perhaps. Kiosque Offenbach reminds me more of a park bandstand than anything else and of course that's what it is. The clue is in its name, Le Kiosque Offenbach, named after the composer of the Can Can, Jaques Offenbach.

Jaques Offenbach

Some time ago Gavin Wade introduced me to the modernist kiosks of Berthold Lubetkin in particular the kiosks he designed for Dudley Zoo. They are very different to the Kiosque Offenbach. Gavin along with fellow artists Simon Bloor and Tom Bloor has recreated versions of Lubetkin's Dudley Zoo Kiosk and installed them at various sites. Tom and Simon in a statement say: 

"Kiosks are a wonderful invention. You can live your life the geometric way framed within a diametric ellipsoid composition designed to make things better” 

In 2008 Gavin, Simon and Tom worked with Nils Norman to make and exhibit 'Kiosk No.5: Kite Kiosk' at the Folkestone Triennial. Here it is:

So let's salute the kiosk in all it's forms from garden pavillion to bandstand to retail outlet!

Long live the kiosk!

Paul Conneally
Les Arcs sur Argens

Monday, August 11, 2014

Gone Fishing

gone fishing
Dad explains about floats
him and mum

Paul Conneally
Sainte Maxime 2014

Friday, August 08, 2014

A Stranger's Hand

Salle Jacky Mathevet, Lorgues, France

a stranger's hand
on my thigh

Paul Conneally

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Alone Again

alone again
for the first time in years
the final chapter

Paul Conneally

Cannes 2014

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Afternoon Heat

afternoon heat
her ice-cream tingles
tongue to toe

Paul Conneally

Cannes 2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014


The Casino, Sainte Maxime, France 2014

I've only been in one casino, well only one where gambling takes place. I've been in hundreds of the little Casino supermarkets scattered across France. The casino I've been in where the roulette wheels spin is the one in Monte Carlo. It was thirty years ago. I left my jacket, my money in its pockets, in the cloakroom and strolled around taking in the atmosphere. It's a great building but really nothing more than a glorified betting shop for the rich to visibly pour their money away in.

And here on the front at Sainte Maxime is the dilapidated but still in its own way impressive casino. A building that for all the world could, inside, be full of vegetables, tobacco and frozen fish. I don't go in but wander on, sit on the promenade wall and watch people for a while.

a child trying to bury
a beach ball

Paul Connealy
Sainte Maxime
July 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tequila Sunrise

tequila sunrise
the dancing girls
of Sainte Maxime

Paul Conneally
Sainte Maxime

Friday, July 25, 2014

After Their Swim

Sainte Maxime beach yes 2014 but looks like it could be the sixties .. these two bathers could have been coming here since then...

after their swim
he washes the sea 
from her body

Paul Conneally
Sainte Maxime

Sortie Véhicules

'Sortie Véhicules'
Paul Conneally
Les Arcs Sur Argens


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Raw Chicken

'Chicken' Paul Conneally 2014

There is nothing pre-packaged about the chicken on sale in the local street market in Les Arcs Sur Argen in the South of France. Here you buy it direct from the farmer, head and all.

In the UK the big supermarkets are now investigating the sources of their chicken after a report in the Guardian newspaper revealed atrocious conditions in the major chicken processing plants.

If you must eat meat know where it comes from.

summer vacation 
the farmer scares the kids with 
a headless chicken

Paul Conneally

July 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

10 Lorries - Chalons en Champagne

'Ten Lorries'
Paul Conneally
Chalons en Champagne

Restaurant Chinetoile

Restaurant Chinetoile
Paul Conneally
Bourg Les Valence

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hotel Seyvet

Hotel Seyvet
Paul Conneally
Bourg les Valence

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Push Bike

Push Bike - Paul Conneally 2014

New Parks, Leicester

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Community Barbecue

Community Barbecue
Paul Conneally Loughborough 2014

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Hot Dog!


Eating competitions. 

We love to see people indulge themselves, gorge themselves on food as a sport. It reminds us that the extra portion we had beyond the norm is nothing when compared to these excesses of gluttony, and so we feel a little better despite the extra calories we've eaten.

There  has been a huge upset in the Coney Island annual 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Competition. 

Sonya Thomas, last year's winner, an out and out favourite is beaten by fellow competitive eater, Miki Sudo, for this year's title.

Miki ate 34 hot dogs and buns. 

It's not only the quantity eaten at one sitting that is mind boggling but the time taken to do so, just 10 minutes.

after the main course
I let out my belt a notch
Black Forest gateaux 

Paul Conneally

July 2014

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Proposed Site for Leicester City Community Orchard - New Walk Centre

New Walk Centre - Paul Conneally 2014

The Leicester City Council Headquarters, New Walk Centre, has now been fully emptied of staff and preparations are underway to demolish the two buildings that make it up.

I propose that planning permission be given to turn the site, which sits at the bottom of Leicester's wonderful New Walk pedestrian route, into a City Centre Community Orchard.

It would be the first of its size and kind in the country.

The fruit would be of the people for the people of this multicultural beacon of a City.

Running out from the orchard, along the highways and byways of the streets of Leicester would be planted even more fruit trees to make Leicester into the worlds first large Orchard City.

The idea of Orchard Cities is one that I first engaged with through my long time friend and artistic collaborator, Anne-Marie Culhane. The proposal includes bringing Anne-Marie to Leicester to work on taking the project forward with myself to engage as many individuals and communities from across the Leicester.

The City Mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, has indicated that the site will be sold for redevelopment, probably to some corporate entity. This said the City Orchard proposal would fit very nicely with Leicester's Food Plan currently overseen by Deputy Mayor Councillor Rory Palmer.

Paul Conneally
Leicester, June 2014

Paul Conneally

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sugar Criminals

Sugar Criminals
Paul Conneally & The New Parks Poetry Machine
New Parks Library, Leicester, 2014

Sugar Criminals is a shreadlines piece - headlines from a particular newspaper on a certain day are cut up and put in a bag. Each line of the poem is written by picking out five bits from the bag and using at least three. The shreadlines process was developed by Paul Conneally in 1999 and though different comes out of Tristan Tzara method for creating a Dadaist poem:

To Make A Dadaist Poem

Take a newspaper.
Take some scissors.
Choose from this paper an article of the length you want to make your poem.
Cut out the article.
Next carefully cut out each of the words that make up this article and
put them all in a bag.
Shake gently.
Next take out each cutting one after the other.
Copy conscientiously in the order in which they left the bag.
The poem will resemble you.
And there you are — an infinitely original author of charming sensibility
even though unappreciated by the vulgar herd.


Yes 'the poem will resemble you'!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Dud Up Your Dash

England's army of princes
I'm feeling champion stick it
Dud up your dash
You life cover winger
Free broadband locked in cashpoint
It's still over 50s Britons

'Dud Up Your Dash' is a Shreadlines piece created out of cut up SUN headlines by the New Parks Poetry Machine Crew with artist poet Paul Conneally for and with Soft Touch Arts and Leicester City Libraries.

Shreadlines are created by cutting up headlines from a particular publication and putting them into a bag.

Each line of a shreadline piece is written by randomly picking five pieces of cut up headlines from the bag then using three or more of them to construct a new line. Any not used are put back in the bag.

The shreadline process was devised by Paul Conneally in 2000 where he worked with members of the public walking through Loughborough Market to make Easy Mother Expletives.

Shreadlines is a chance versus causality DADA type process that Conneally encourages all to experiment with as we approach 100 Years of DADA explorations (2016)

The Importance of Being "DADA"

Christo and Duchamp - Paul Conneally 2012

Marsden Hartley 1921

We are indebted to Tristan Tzara and his followers for the newest and perhaps the most important doctrinary insistence as applied to art which has appeared in a long time. Dada-ism is the latest phase of modernism in painting as well as in literature, and carries with it all the passion for freedom of expression which Marinetti sponsored so loudly in his futuristic manifestos. It adds likewise an exhilarating quality of nihilism, imbibed, as it is said, directly from the author of Zarathustra. Reading a fragment of the documentary statement of Dada-ism, we find that the charm of the idea exists mainly in the fact that they wish all things levelled in the mind of man to the degree of commonplaceness which is typical and peculiar to it.

Nothing is greater than anything else, is what the Dada believes, and this is the first sign of hope the artist at least can discover in the meaningless importance which has been invested in the term ART. It shows best of all that art is to betake itself on its own way blandly, despite the wish of its so ardent supporters and suppressors. I am greatly relieved as an artist, to find there is at least one tenet I can hold to in my experience as a useful or a useless human being. I have always said for myself, I have no office, no obligation, no other "mission", dreadfullest of all words, than to find out the quality of humor that exists in experience, or life as we are entitled to call it. I have always felt the underlying fatality of habit in appreciation, because I have felt, and now actually more than ever in my existence, the fatality of habit indulged in by the artist. The artist has made a kind of subtle crime of his habitual expression, his emotional monotonies, and his intellectual inabilities.

If I announce on this bright morning that I am a "Dada-ist" it is not because I find the slightest need for, or importance in, a doctrine of any sort, it is only for the convenience of myself and a few others that I take up the issue of adherence. An expressionist is one who expresses himself at all times in any way that is necessary and peculiar to him. A dada-ist is one who finds no one thing more important than any other one thing, and so I turn from my place in the scheme of expressionist to dada-ist with the easy grace that becomes any self-respecting humorist.

Having fussed with average intelligence as well as with average stupidity over the various dogmatic aspects of human experience such as art, religion, philosophy, ethics, morals, with a kind of obligatory blindness, I am come to the clearest point of my vision, which is nothing more or less than the superbly enlightening discovery that life as we know it is essentially a comic issue and cannot be treated other than with the spirit of comedy in comprehension. It is cause for riotous and healthy laughter, and to laugh at oneself in conjunction with the rest of the world, at one's own tragic vagaries, concerning the things one cannot name or touch or comprehend, is the best anodyne I can conjure in my mind for the irrelevant pains we take to impress ourselves and the world with the importance of anything more than the brilliant excitation of the moment. It is thrilling, therefore, to realize there is a healthy way out of all this dilemma of habit for the artist. One of these ways is to reduce the size of the "A" in art, to meet the size of the rest of the letters in one's speech. Another way is to deliver art from the clutches of its worshippers and by worshippers I mean the idolaters and commercialists of art. By idolaters I mean those whose reverence for art is beyond their knowledge of it. By the commercialists I mean those who prey upon the ignorance of the unsophisticated, with pictures created by the esthetic habit of, or better to say, through the banality of "artistic" temperament. Art is at present a species of vice in America, and it sorely and conspicuously needs prohibition or interference.

It is, I think, high time that those who have the artistic habit toward art should be apprised of the danger they are in in assuming of course that they hold vital interest in the development of intelligence. It is time therefore to interfere with stupidity in matters of taste and judgment. We learn little or nothing from habit excepting repetitive imitation. I should, for the benefit of you as reader, interpose here a little information from the mind of Francis Picabia, who was until the war conspicuous among the cubists, upon the subject of dada-ism.

"Dada smells of nothing, nothing, nothing.It is like your hopes: nothing.Like your paradise: nothing.Like your idols: nothing.Like your politicians: nothing.Like your heroes: nothing.Like your artists: nothing.Like your religions: nothing."

A litany like this coming from one of the most notable dada-ists of the day is too edifying for proper expression. It is like a window opened upon a wide cool place where all parts of one's exhausted being may receive the kind of air that is imperative to it. For the present, we may say, a special part of one's being which needs the most and the freshest air is that chamber in the brain where art takes hold and flourishes like a bed of fungus in the dark.

What is the use, then, of knowing anything about art until we know precisely what it is? If it is such an orchidaceous rarity as the world of worshippers would have us believe, then we know it must be the parasitic equivalent of our existence feeding upon the health of other functions and sensibilities in ourselves. The question comes why worship what we arc not familiar with? The war has taught us that idolatry is a past virtue and can have no further place with intelligent people living in the present era, which is for us the only era worth consideration. I have a hobby-horse therefore—to ride away with, out into the world of intricate common experience; out into the arena with those who know what the element of life itself is, and that I have become an expression of the one issue in the mind worth the consideration of the artist, namely fluidic change. How can anything to which I am not related, have any bearing upon me as artist? I am only dada-ist because it is the nearest I have come to scientific principle in experience. What yesterday can mean is only what yesterday was, and tomorrow is something I cannot fathom until it occurs. I ride my own hobby-horse away from the dangers of art which is with us a modern vice at present, into the wide expanse of magnanimous diversion from which I may extract all the joyousness I am capable of, from the patterns I encounter.

The same disgust which was manifested and certainly enjoyed by Duse, when she demanded that the stage be cleared of actors in order to save the creative life of the stage, is the same disgust that makes us yearn for wooden dolls to make abstract movements in order that we may release art from its infliction of the big "A", to take away from art its pricelessness and make of it a new and engaging diversion, pastime, even dissipation if you will; for all real expression is a phase of dissipation In itself: To release art from the disease of little theatre-ism, and from the mandibles of the octopus-like worshipper that eats everything, in the line of spurious estheticism within range, disgorging it without intelligence or comprehension upon the consciousness of the not at all stupid public, with a so obviously pernicious effect.

"Dada is a fundamentally religious attitude analogous to that of the scientist with his eyeglass glued to the microscope," Dada is irritated by those who write "Art, Beauty, Truth", with capital letters and who make of them entities superior to man "Dada scoffs at capital letters, atrociously." "Dada ruining the authority of constraints, tends to set free the natural play of our activities." "Dada therefore leads to amoralism and to the most spontaneous and consequently the least logical lyricism. This lyricism is expressed in a thousand ways of life." "Dada scrapes from us the thick layers of filth deposited on us by the last few centuries." "Dada destroys, and stops at that. Let Dada help us to make a complete clearance, then each of us rebuild a modern house with central heating, and everything to the drain, Dadas of 1920."

Remembering always that Dada means hobby-horse, you have at last the invitation to make merry for once in our new and unprecedented experience over the subject of ART with its now reduced front letter. It is the newest and most admirable reclaimer of art in that it offers at last a release for the expression of natural sensibilities. We can ride away to the radiant region of "Joie de Vivre", and find that life and art are one and the same thing, resembling each other so closely in reality, that it is never a question of whether it shall or must be set down on paper or canvas, or given any greater degree of expression than we give to a morning walk or a pleasant bath, or an ordinary rest in the sunlight.

Art is then a matter of how one is to take life now, and not by any means a matter of how the Greeks or the Egyptians or any other race has shown it to be for their own needs and satisfaction. If art was necessary to them, it is unnecessary to us now, therefore it is free to express itself as it will. You will find, therefore, that if you are aware of yourself, you will be your own perfect dada-ist, in that you are for the first time riding your own hobby-horse into infinity of sensation through experience, and that you are one more satisfactory vaudevillian among the multitudes of dancing legs and flying wits. You will learn after all that the bugaboo called LIFE is a matter of the tightrope and that the stars will shine their frisky approval as you glide, if you glide sensibly, with an eye on the fun in the performance. That is what art is to be, must come to in the consciousness of the artist most of all, he is perhaps the greatest offender in matters of judgment and taste; and the next greatest offender is the dreadful go-between or "middleman" esthete who so glibly contributes effete values to our present day conceptions.

We must all learn what art really is, learn to relieve it from the surrounding stupidities and from the passionate and useless admiration of the horde of false idolaters, as well as the money changers in the temple of success. Dada-ism offers the first joyous dogma I have encountered which has been, invented for the release and true freedom of art. It is therefore most welcome since it will put out of use all heavy hands and light fingers in the business of art and set them to playing a more honourable and sportsmanlike game. We shall learn through dada-ism that art is a witty and entertaining pastime, and not to be accepted as our ever present and stultifying affliction.

From Adventures in the arts: informal chapters on painters, vaudeville and poets. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1921. Pages 247 - 254.