Saturday, December 08, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Circle of Fire Word Map

click map to enlarge
A word map tracing the route of the Grow Sheffield / Off The Shelf Renga Ramble from Mushroom Lane (Weston Park Museum) to organic gardening guru Richard Clare's allotment on Crookes Quarry Allottments.
The piece was conceived and led by artist / poets Anne-Marie Culhane and Paul Conneally and explores what happens when the renga process is taken from its normal 'one space' setting to travelling through an area stopping at various points to write, read and select the poems that go to form what became the 'A Circle of Fire' renga. This renga combined the walking/writing process with the one space process - the first 6 stanzas being written during the walk to the allotments where the last 6 stanzas were then written in situ.
The renga form used is an adapted Junicho form - a 12 stanza renku form with the schema with its seasonal, moon and love positions written by Culhane & Conneally. The experience of writing a renga, keeping to schema, linking and shifting and walking through 'this place' from here to there is a very different experience to writing in one space one place and highlights how the environment the surroundings and people influence the writing process and how the writing - the renga process itself - transforms the space the place in which - and when renga rambling across - that - the poem is written.
The walking through public space - in this case from a central city location through residential areas to Sheffields urban edge - and the stopping to write, read out loud and the master poet selecting the next stanza before moving on again - highlighted the performative aspect of the process of renga perhaps differently to when in one space where the process is still performative but different. A Circle of Fire embraced both with the last 6 stanzas written in a greenhouse on Richard Clare's allotment.
Nine poets performed / made A Circle of Fire:
Paul Conneally (master poet) Anne-Marie Culhane (host poet) Felicity Stout Nadine Wills Joseph Conneally Vanessa Senger Jenny Laird Andrea Allsopp Su Walker
renga haiku japan japanese haikai conneally & culhane

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Circle of Fire

A Circle of Fire
a renga ramble
Weston Park Museum to Crookes Quarry Allotments

Friday, October 19, 2007


Grow Sheffield
Anne-Marie Cullhane
Steven Watts
Jo Salter

Monday, October 15, 2007

Grow Sheffield - Planter!

A participatory workshop supervised by Richard Clare from Sheffield’s Organic Food Initiative has improved the SOIL using locally-sourced organic matter (compost and leafmould) AND planted 30 locally-grown varieties of annuals, biennials and perennials that will make up a mixture of edible plants, culinary herbs and salads.It has been designed for sustainability, low maintenance, aesthetics and durability from the tall plants at the back to the creeping plants at the front.

The Quick Way

A twelve verse Junicho renga in the season of Summer, 16 June 2007
Barracks Lane Community Garden, Oxford

A black bucket
filled with redcurrants
making jelly the quick way

there are many reasons
to celebrate

the magistrate offers
a road safety course
instead of a fine

rail track closed
due to snow

my phone is full
of your messages
which one shall I erase?

on the horns of a dilemma
finding it difficult to rest

bent double
a pair of students seek mushrooms
lit by sunset

we bring my geraniums indoors

in the east end
a line of bulldozers
moves through an allotment

this is my home
I lie flat beneath a vast sky

by the light of the moon
a frog sings
in a puddle

rain drenches
buds and blossoms.

Anne-Marie Culhane (master poet)
Paul Conneally (host poet)
Catherine Naysmith
Oonagh Desire
Jo Salter
Dave Jones
Jenny Stanton
Anita Joice
Joseph Conneally
Colin May
Becky Didlick
Gaby Hock

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Hidden Gardens

The Hidden Gardens

Written by Alec Finlay and others
Renga Schema by Paul Conneally

Twenty-Four Hour Hyakuin Renga

Summer feet enter
hover at varying heights
above stone chippings

murmur of children building bird
boxes, we make warm verses

hearing aid feedback
cymbal sounds
go on and on

the cat’s and the dog’s noses twitch
reading each others minds

a lunar eclipse
draws a russet curtain
on summer’s plans

viewing the apple orchard’s
transient constellations

why try so hard when
our words fall into silences
and so will the leaves?

starting to speak at the same time
eyes glance down

it doesn’t matter
yet truly I did think
he would be interested

a bouquet of crocuses
on balance, a bad idea

so a blue tree
there in the top corner
en plein air au Barbizon

Paris in Springtime without

across the table
the children exchange
arguments and kisses

there’s a face you’d leave home for
he says of the waitress

pulling her mink tighter
fur buttons too fat
for their holes

bored by the long break in play
they throw snowballs at the spectators

teeth gritted
then the song that gets everyone
up on the floor

dazzled by the glitter ball
over silent fields

a famished wasp
charges its ring tone
on the last bramble

that waterdrop sparkling web
invisible? anything but

ignoring the blind spot
and pulling out, the passenger’s
right foot twitches

smoke, wrote Brecht, while you drive —
if it goes out, something’s wrong

in late summer
closing the door of her mother’s house
for the last time

a flat palm
smashes open the garlic

an angled lemon
the chopping board

green tea and Qigong on the long haul
prevent jet lag

in the quiet
the monk offers the traveller
a blow-job

after the ceremony
there’s nothing to do but eat

early potatoes
already sprouting
but there’s lead in the soil

salt ‘n’ sauce? both hesitate
unsure of the others’ tastes

forgetting herself
a mother on day release
cuts up her lover’s meat

after breakfast they send out
for more oysters

whether with or without
our noticing
the sun’s almost gone

the night was made by Provost MacTavish
and his good lady

boxes crammed
with bread, vegetables
and cans of mixed fruit salad

floating amongst it all
a big dollop of vanilla

the Lismore ferry —
vehicles, and fattened calves
heading for market

stuff your bloody correctness
you’ll lick arse if you have to

sixteen shirts every week
they don’t iron themselves
you know

flat white drifts
crunched in footprints

dog shit melts
a hole
in fresh snow

his paintings emptied
till they were all sky

two stars
tell us the night is cleared
for darkness

some theorists forget
that thinking is a bodily function

he throws the beach ball higher
so she’s forced
to stretch

the lines of labour
written on her belly

in the loft
the last train to Partick
runs all night

fumbling through his euros
at the Skye Bridge toll

at Sligachan we trace
the first and last of the snow
on Sgurr nan Gillean

Meg asks can she see Sorley’s room
the window that looked to the west

now the weather’s warmer
she shortens her skirts
for Blythswood Square

after the demo paper everywhere —
another man’s job

hosing down the corpses
pale human flesh —
Che, Marat, Christ

I am the lamp
which guides me

even when you can’t see
beyond your nose
follow the smell of smoke

lighting cigarettes in the rain
hunched together

the callgirl’s nickname
for Henri Toulouse-Lautrec
was teapot

reading the leaves
marriage, briefly

an out of tune piper
lamenting the dead
at the gates

marked Private
she can just see bluebells

Spring Bank Holiday
everyone hits the road
signposted Solitude

too many cooks
spoil the pancake race

in the evening
nodding off on the sofa
startled by the phone

father in Australia
talks mostly of cricket

dew freezes the outback
radar is ranging
the moon

commuter’s day —
leave before sunrise return after dark

catch nothing

The Waterfall of the Maiden
icy in June

damp patches on her blouse
a mother’s surprise
supply on demand

we’ve come to expect
food, fuel, gratified desire

the leaves come off
a glut of green
tomato chutney

mulch under wellies
kicked into the porch

the cats hope to impress us
with small overnight deaths
left on the mat

from the oak a candle
falls down and out

we’ve brought a nightlight
for the little one’s
next visit

leave the frogspawn alone
you’ll get all sticky

the tadpole succumbs
to a carp —
so much for evolution

picking the samphire
at low tide

a selkie you say?
already wondering
how she’ll taste

her past lovers lie
heavily on his side of the bed

a torrid night
in the attic the moon
slips through the panes

sweating up The Rest and Be Thankful
wishing for a flat tyre

let down once too often
from now on the failures
will be beheaded

clear-cutting the rainforest
the whole tribe gets whooping-cough

from under their shrouds
feet of men, feet of women
feet of children

at the school nativity
the angel kicks the donkey

tempers rising
Ted slaps
Sylvia back

even in the silly season
poets don’t make the headlines

you miss one week
and the recycling box
takes over the hallway

pungent wood smoke from next door
they say he saves the ash

shrivelled little figs
that never made it
to the table

swirling a late cup of milky tea
what she’d like is sunshine

wedding day breakfast
coffee with whisky
then whisky

eggs over easy
on rye

like sprinkled pepper
these moles on your back
or stars

after weeks of deciding
they named her Cassiopeia

now she sets ablaze
the horizon
of his eightieth year

new clothes for Easter
dancing in the street

all mouth this spring
lots of flounce
but nowt left hanging

allotments flourish
all the way to the summit.

a hyakuin renga in Summer
night of the full blue moon
the hidden gardens (nva), tramway, Glasgow
(noon) 31 July — (noon) 1 August, 2004

nine poets

Larry Butler
Ken Cockburn
David Connearn
Gerrie Fellows
Alec Finlay
Peter Manson
Dick Pettit
Beth Rowson
Colin Will

renga schema

Paul Conneally

with thanks to

Anne-Marie Culhane, Morven Gregor
& Linda MacDonald

Some Thoughts on Twenty-Four Hour Hyakuin Renga

A group of poets gather in time-space.

What’s in a day?

100 verses is 4.5 verses an hour; is one every 15 minutes; is a natural rhythm

From noon to noon things change.

The minutes go so slowly.

The hours go so fast.

How much sleep can you do without. How much do you need?

‘I stayed up until I got a verse in’.

Time away from the platform may do you as much good as time spent trying to, and failing to, sleep.

A hyakuin renga is a key chain; one that is unlocked by the sun setting, the moon rising, the moon setting, the sun rising.

Think slumber party.

Expect to feel grumpy, and ecstatic.

Someone will always go to sleep beside the renga.

Eat together after.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Peace to the World

Little Onion Peace To The World featuring Guru Sandesh Shaunak

this track is donated to the world - free to download

"Peace to the World"say it make it happen

paul conneally

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Transliteracy - A New Cognitive Tool?

Poet Simon Perril proposes that transliteracy might be a new cognitive tool or the recovery of an older one.

Later at the Transliteracy Unconference in discussion with Paul Conneally, Howard Rheinegold and others he likens transliterate pieces to bricollage which gets Conneally thinking about French DIY stores – Conneally later drops off at the Leicester B&Q DIY store and wanders the aisles for half an hour collecting his thoughts and various screws that ‘will come in handy’

During this drift he realises that he and Simon are destined to make something together – maybe a shelf.

Saturday, September 08, 2007


Earlier this year I took part in The Rewnewabilty curated by Tomomi Iguchi which included an exhibition in Mile End Arts Pavillion. Artist John Kennedy of LandLab also took part. At the time was talking enthusiasticly about his proposed new work Halo which was to be installed on the moors in Rossendale. Well it's now installed and i can't wait to see it at night when all the lights are finished hovering above the moor like some flying saucer.

Here's a link to a news story about halo: HALO

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Walk The Line - Brendan Jackson

Walking the Line across Hawkesley Square

During Walk the Line - a piece that forms part of artist Maurice Maguire's bigger project 'Changing Landscapes' and involved us walking the line of the Wast Hill Canal Tunnel overland through the 3 Estates -I had the pleasure of meeting Brendan Jackson and today found a piece by him on his site about the event and so much more too - a good example of how engagement with space with people can connect us with past present and place all at the same time.If you've never dropped by Brendan's site here is a link to the piece coming out of Walk the Line and you can travel on with him from here:

I'll post more on Walk the Line soon.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

What is Animate? 100 Verses for Three Estates

100 Verses for 3 Estates is a piece conceived by Alec Finlay in answer to the question "What is Animate?
100 Verses for 3 Estates forms part og Gavin Wade's ongoing work 'Strategic Questions'
The Book '100 Verses for 3 Estates' comes out of a series of 6 renga conducted in and with the community of the Kings Norton 3 Estates over a whole year working to a schema proposed by Alec Finlay.
Master Poet for all 6 renga was Paul Conneally.
The film '100 Verses' by Ravi Deepres was premiered at the New Generation Arts Festival 2007 in Birmingham UK

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


A small area of Shinjuku, Tokyo was watched over
on the evening of Thursday the 26th of July, 2007.
Invigilators: Nikki Pugh, Orie Inoue, Eri Akagi.
Invigilation 3 of the INVIGILATOR series
Paul Conneally Nikki Pugh Kevin Ryan

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Walk to Work - CHONGQING

Walk to Work
paul conneally & kevin ryan 2007

I asked artist Kevin Ryan to map out his normal route to work in Loughborough UK as a series of LEFTS RIGHTS and STRAIGHTS and to then transpose this journey to Chongqing in China where Kev was visiting on a British Council funded visit exploring the sharing of approaches to art and do some work where ever he ended up.

So one morning Kev set of to 'walk to work' in Chongqing on reaching his 'work destination' Kev went about photographing the area doing about 2 hours work. Click on the image below to take you to Chongqing 'Walk to Work' slide show:
Kev's thoughts / context can be found here: CHONGQING WALK TO WORK

This is the first piece to came out of 'Walk to Work' more pieces have followed / will follow as walks are gathered from around the world and transposed to different parts of the world. A major new 'Walk to Work' piece 'Invigilator' with artist Nikki Pugh is currently in process.


picture by Kev Ryan

Click the photo or here to take you to Kev Ryan's Photos of INVIGILATOR : DERBY

INVIGILATOR is a Walk to Work piece by Paul Conneally Nikki Pugh and Kevin Ryan


Friday, July 13, 2007

Twenty Jaffa Cakes

a rengay

twenty jaffa cakes
a mistake to try and take
in her hand luggage

a slow and silent pat down
from the woman on gate one

stilettoes x-rayed
but her carbon footprint is
not for scrutiny

a hugely fat man
asks for the front port aisle seat
to rest his bad leg

smile and permanent jetlag
slept in uniform again

deep into morning
i finish my book somewhere
over africa

nikki pugh
paul conneally

July 12th

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


a forest of still green
maple leaves

paul conneally

Saturday, July 07, 2007


cutting his throat
with her mobile phone
the morning sun

paul conneally

Thursday, June 21, 2007


photo by kevin ryan


beneath gloomy hills
homeward i walk
in solitude

sometimes we play
on the way home from school
on Wincobank Hill
breaking into gangs
to throw stones at each other

off Newman Road
in the half-built houses
it’s hide and seek
up and down ladders
scaffold pole javelins

a happy time
for me a time of rapture
clear and loud

paul conneally

Walk to Work - INVIGILATOR
paul conneally nikki pugh kevin ryan

Sunday, June 17, 2007


the elements
feeling and thought
pain and fear
the smell of piss
in the underpass

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Walk to Work INVIGILATOR undertook its 2nd invigilation this time in Derby UK.

Here is INVIGILATOR on the platform at Derby railway station starting his walk to work:

photo by kevin ryan

Invigilator follows the transposed directions LEFTS RIGHTS AND STRAIGHTS - distance doesn't matter - of artist Nikki Pugh's walk to work in Birmingham as a gallery invigilator at VIVID - when he reaches his work destination he will set up his chair tidy the area and invigilate it watch over it. He wonders where his walk will take him.


INVIGILATOR is an ongoing Walk to Work peice exploring ideas of work and place

conceived and performed by

Paul Conneally Nikki Pugh Kevin Ryan

Sunday, June 10, 2007


an ongoing collaborative piece coming out of the Walk to Work series by artists paul conneally kevin ryan and nikki pugh
the piece involves the transposing of artist nikki pugh's walk to work as an invigilator at the gallery space Vivid in Birmingham UK to other places - the actual work destination being arrived at by following the left rights and straights - distance doesn't matter - of nikki's Birmingham walk from different starting points different towns
the invigilator wears the red Vivid t-shirt that all invigilators at Vivid have to wear when on duty
on arriving at the work destination the area is tidied by the artist who then sits down and invigilates the space watches over the space
the first invigilation took place in the New Forest on the weekend of saturday the 10th of June 2007 with the next taking place somewhere in the UK East Midlands very soon.

UPDATE: The second Invigilation has now taken place INVIGILATOR:DERBY

Friday, June 08, 2007

CHONGQING - Walk to Work

Walk to Work
paul conneally & kevin ryan 2007

I asked artist Kevin Ryan to map out his normal route to work in Loughborough UK as a series of LEFTS RIGHTS and STRAIGHTS and to then transpose this journey to Chongqing in China where Kev was visiting on a British Council funded visit exploring the sharing of approaches to art and do some work where ever he ended up.

So one morning Kev set of to 'walk to work' in Chongqing on reaching his 'work destination' Kev went about photographing the area doing about 2 hours work. Click on the image below to take you to Chongqing 'Walk to Work' slide show:

This is the first piece coming out of 'Walk to Work' more pieces will follow as walks are gathered from around the world and transposed to different parts of the world. A major new 'Walk to Work' piece 'Invigilator' with artist Nikki Pugh is currently in process.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Portrait Shed

The Portrait Shed - Windmill Community Garden at Windmill Allotments, Notingham, UK - Paul Conneally May 2007

The piece explores the nature of portraiture through 12 wordsearch portraits of people in the allotment space. The portraits return to the place of their creation after being on tour including a three week exhibition 'The Renewabilty' in Mile End Arts Pavillion London.

Now they are home.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Thursday, May 03, 2007

14 Nights in Carnac - Installation

14 Nights in Carnac - installation Mile End Arts Pavillion - Febuary 2007

14 Nights in Carnac - mixed media - book and oak leaves - ceramic tiles and foldup chair
- This installation comes out of and a piece made by UK artist Paul Conneally in July 2006. The artist spent 14 nights in Carnac famous for its megoliths its standing stones. He lived and slept below two oak trees. Each night he read sections of Haruki Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and plucked an oak leaf from the trees which he placed inside the book as a bookmark.
The installation includes four ceramic tiles featuring images of the oak leaves inside the book (the actual book is on the chair) representing 4 specific nights. The 4 tiles are from a series of 14 tiles.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Writing About Artefacts

Just watched the Teachers TV 'Writing About Artefacts' featuring ss Great Britain's new Education pack.

As Master Poet on this project I really enjoyed my original sessions working with Ashton Gate on the SS Great Britain and back at school to produce the materials for the SS Great Britain Creative Curator Pack.

Seeing Jackie (the teacher featured in the video) using the materials with such confidence and so well and the responses from the children in riddles, acrostics and tanka poems has really made my day.

The programme itself is well put together.

The pack's a real credit to the Education Team at ss Great Britain - this section just being one part of a large and rather wonderful pack covering many aspects of the national curriculum and more.

I'm looking forward to working with other museums and schools in exploring new ways of interpretation and interaction with artefacts through poetry and art including new approaches to labelling.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

hailstone tea

hailstone tea
a patch of purple crocus
by the ninth green

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Shooting Hoops

for a better world shoot hoops

Paul Conneally works with British basketball legend Karl Brown in the latest of his 'for a better world' series of works.

The piece includes a performance from Conneally with former England baskeball star and coach Karl Brown where they explore with children the philosophical question as to wether or not objects including knives, guns and drugs can in themselves be good or bad or if only humans can be good or bad.... later Karl returns with Paul to run basketball training drills with the children, revisit the ideas explored and share moments from his life with them during the process...

strap lines coming out of the work:

shoot hoops not drugs

shoot hoops not guns

don't carry knives shoot hoops

'for a better world shoot hoops'

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Moonage Golf Dream

help our daydream become reality

for a better world play golf on the moon

Installation by Paul Conneally and Tim Wright at Mile End Arts Pavillion, London UK.This collaborative work forms part of Wright's ongoing work 'Golf on the Moon (with David Bowie)' and Conneally's 'For a Better World...' series of pieces.The video shows some of the visitors to The Renewability Exhibition,which was curated and conceived by Tomomi Iguchi of Crossover UK, holing out Hole 2 which goes from Arnold Circus to Mile End Arts Pavillion in Mile End Park, London UK.Conneally believes that most golf courses are environmentally unsound and urges: 'for a better world play golf on the moon'

The game of 'golf on the moon' involves a hole being set up somewhere - in this case in Mile End Arts Pavilion - and a tee being set up somewhere some distance away with a particular significance - in this case the mound in the centre of Arnold Circle - a place where ley lines converge amongst other things. Arnold Circle is on the Strand Ley through London.

The players tee off and then pick up their balls to walk back by what ever route takes their fancy to the hole location - a splacist version of a psychogeographic detournement. Along the way they are encouraged to talk to each other and engage with their surroundings - they too become looked at a little more than usual as they are carrying golf clubs - at least one each. When they reach the hole location they put their balls back on the ground and putt until they hole out.

Everyone wins.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Sound of Water

powered by ODEO

Jemma Bagley and Brenda Seaton discuss The Sound of Water – a piece exploring the area of Thurmaston via a haiku hike led by artist / poet Paul Conneally and co-ordinated by Jemma Bagley of Charnwood Arts, Loughborough, UK.

Words from the poems written during the psychogeographic drift – the haiku hke – will be engraved on to a series of sculptures by Richard Thornton in the new Watermead housing development.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Green

The Green - Play Golf on the Moon - Hole 2

for a better world play golf on the moon
installation Mile End Arts Pavillion
paul conneally 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Playing Golf On the Moon (with David Bowie)

After the playing hole 2 from Arnold Circu to Mile End Art Pavillion with Paul Conneally and Gordon Joly
Commander Tim Wright takes time to re-focus:


"For a better world play golf on the moon"

Saturday, February 10, 2007

for a better world play golf on the moon

paul conneally holes out at Play Golf On The Moon hole two
inside Mile End Art Pavillion, London uk
the installation called 'for a better world play golf on the moon'
is a collaborative piece linking conneally's work
from the renewabilty haiku hike
with tim wright's ongoing piece

'playing golf on the moon (with david bowie)'

Commander Tim Wright, Paul Conneally, and Gordon Joly
teed off from Arnold Circle and finished here inside the Art Pavillion.

here's a picture of Commander Tim Wright teeing off

conneally believes that most golf courses are environmentally unsound and urges you

'for a better world play golf on the moon'

Monday, January 29, 2007


Here is a piece curently on show/in progress at The Renewabilty Haiku Hike Exhibition at Mile End Art Pavillion London UK:
The piece by Paul Conneally is a large wordsearch pinned to the gallery floor. The words come out of the deconstructed haiku that were written on the Renewabilty Haiku Hike through the London Olympic Development Site from Three Mills. Visitors are asked to engage with the walk, the individual walkers and the landsacpe walked through by finding a word and ringing it in one of the Olympic ring colours. The piece is finished when the wordsearch is finished or the exhibition finishes.

Three Estates Renga (number 6)

Here are ome pictures taken by Nikki Pugh at the last Three Estates Renga this last Saturday the 27th of January 2007. The peice is conceived by Gavin Wade and Alec Finlay with Paul Conneally as Master Poet throughout the project. The renga is the last of 6 conducted across the Birmingham '3 Estates' at various sites both outside and in.
Nikkis Renga Roundup is here:
Renga Roundup