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.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Walk the Line - Changing Landscapes

WALK THE LINE - Changing Landscapes 

This video shows people of Kings Norton 3 Estates taking part in Changing Landscapes 'Walk the Line' a Public Artwork comissioned by Birmingham City Council.

Artist Maurice Maguire with Rob Colbourne surveyed the route of the Wast Hill canal tunnel that passes under the Kings Norton 3 Estates Birmingham UK and marked it with blue on the surface. Residents were then invited to meet and join Maurice, Rob, Paul Conneally, Rob Hewitt and others to 'walk the line'.

During the walk participants were encoraged to engage with their surroundings and the canal below them via short talks from Maurice Maguire that gave an insight on the history and importance of the canal tunnel below the estate on the landscape and spaces of the 3 Estaes today. Paul Conneally introduced walkers to haikai ways of seeing everyday things, writing haiku and sharing them back with others in the Kings 3 Cafe after the walk.

Changing Landscapes is an artist led project conceived by Maurice Maguire
Changing Landscapes is curated by Maurice Maguire and Rob Hewitt.

This movie is part of the collection: Community Video

Director: Paul Conneally
Producer: Paul Conneally
Production Company: haikumania
Sponsor: Changing Landscapes - Birmingham City Council
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Keywords: Maurice MaguirePaul ConneallyRob ColbourneRob HewittKings Norton3 Etstatespsychogeography;transliteratehaikuhaiku hikemappingartperformance art

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wild Tea Party - Culhane and Conneally Loughborough Fruit Route 2014

Fruit Routes Wild Tea Party - Culhane and Conneally 2014

An ongoing element of my work with Anne-Marie Culhane is our Wild Tea Parties.

They involve collecting leaves and flowers from around the area where the party is to take place which are made into tea and served with cakes, scones and jam at the party itself.

The party becomes a talking shop where specific themes might be developed organically as locally foraged wild teas are drunk and cakes are eaten.

At some sites the wild tea party goers are static while in others, as at Fruit Routes, the tea drinkers change, some staying an hour or so, others leaving after a drink and a chat to replaced by curious folks drawn in as they are passing by.

Along with the tea and cake we usually introduce another element, tasseography (reading the tea leaves) or some other manual skill - here we made sugar ropes that would be used to attract moths at our moth viewing night later in the day or back at participants homes.

Each Wild Tea Party is planned specifically for the site (inside or out) and to encourage thought and talk around the commissioning group's current concerns and themes.

Involving participants in the collecting of the wild teas adds to the piece. The artists taking them for a guided foraging walk of the locality before the actual wild tea party.

Culhane and Conneally will consider all interesting suggestions and offers to host a Wild Tea Party you can contact us via Love and Barley by emailing:

Paul Conneally

June 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014


METAL RUST BRICK No.1 - Paul Conneally 2014

One of three appropriated metal, rust and brick sculptures on permanent exhibition from July 4th 2014 Loughborough University, UK.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Debbie Miles-Williams - Archeological Illustrator

Debbie Miles-Williams - Archeological Illustrator

Debbie Miles-Williams is an artist based within Leicester University's School of Archeology and Ancient History. Debbie is an archeological illustrator. She also runs a first class education outreach programme that enthuses others about archeology and ancient history and builds important skills in the school's under and post-graduate students.

Many will be surprised that in the days of digital imagery archeological illustrators still exist but they are an important element of the discipline and can show via the hand so much more than a photograph.

I'm pleased to be working with Debbie in planning exciting outreach work with schools and colleges and in exploring and learning more about archeology and how the stories it unfolds have relevance for us and our lives right now in the twenty-first century.

Paul Conneally

Leicester, June, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

OXO Cube Poetry Machine

Please Clean This Sink After Use - Paul Conneally 2014

OXO Cube Poetry Machine
New Parks Library
Leicester 2014

Poetry Machine is a series of six community poetry workshops for adults and school children given by Soft Touch with poet artist Paul Conneally.

The workshops are for and with Leicester Libraries and will result in a poetry machine that librarians will use in school and other community settings.

Photo: Paul Conneally June 2014

Monday, June 23, 2014

Culhane and Conneally - Artists

Anne-Marie Culhane and Paul Conneally

Culhane and Conneally are artists that work independently of each other coming together to work collaboratively, often on elements of Culhane's longer term environmental works and projects, such as Fruit Routes, but also on other shorter commissioned stand alone pieces.

Anne-Marie and Paul are pictured here just after one of their artist led Wild Tea Parties, this one in the Barefoot Orchard on the Loughborough University Fruit Route. Find out more about Fruit Routes: FRUIT ROUTES

The image here is by Conneally from a photograph by British photographer Chris Mear taken on Conneally's iPhone.


Paul Conneally 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014


'Sugar Rope'
Culhane & Conneally
Loughborough 2014

One of 20 hand platted sugar ropes hung in and around the Barefoot Orchard on Loughborough University's Fruit Route.

The ropes are made from a bed sheet ripped into lengths and hand platted by artist Anne-Marie Culhane with visitors to the Fruit Routes Wild Tea Party in the Barefoot Orchard.

The ropes are then soaked in a hot syrup, a form of 'lepidopterist's sugar' made on site by Paul Conneally, mixing and heating two cans of Mackeson, 1kg of soft brown sugar and black treacle.

In the evening the ropes are hung around the orchard area to attract moths. At the same time light traps are set up to also draw in moths for the gathered people to watch.

Fruit Routes is an ongoing project conceived by Anne-Marie Culhane for Loughborough University Sustainability Team. It now forms part of the wider university EAT YOUR CAMPUS (a Fruit Routes slogan) initiative that won the 2014 Guardian Higher Education Award for Sustainability.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Chris Mear - Photographer

Chris Mear - Photographer
Paul Conneally
Loughborough 2014

Adrian Russell - Moth Recorder

Adrian Russell - Moth Recorder
Paul Conneally
Loughborough 2014

Adrian Russell is the County Moth Recorder for Leicestershire and Rutland. He is seen here during the Fruit Routes 'Night of Moths' at Loughborough University.

Fruit Routes is an ongoing work conceived by artist and environmental visionary, Anne-Marie Culhane, for and with Loughborough University Sustainability Team which now forms part of the wider EAT YOUR CAMPUS (a Fruit Routes slogan) initiative at the University.

EAT YOUR CAMPUS won the prestigious Guardian Higher Education Award for Sustainability 2014.

Anne-Marie Culhane - Environmental Artist

Anne-Marie Culhane - Environmental Artist
Paul Conneally
Loughborough 2014

"I draw inspiration from the cycles of nature and seasons; permaculture (learning from natural systems); environmental and ecological concerns or questions and listening and responding to people, landscapes and particular sites (urban or rural). I am motivated to work with others to reduce the harm we are inflicting on our planet; to increase understanding our place in the family of things and to bring to life positive visions now and for the future."

Anne-Marie Culhane

Find out more about Anne-Marie and her work here: Anne-Marie Culhane

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Next Stop Brazil!

'Next Stop Brazil'
Paul Conneally
Leicester 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tributes to Misery

Looking over the shreadlines pieces made during my first Poetry Machine workshop with and for Soft Touch Arts and Leicester Libraries I realise that at least two of them have become for me football poems, in fact World Cup poems. The above shreadlines cardboard box hanging was originally titled Box Clever but now it's renamed TRIBUTES TO MISERY.


Business killed away-day
Brick by brick house flooding
Assaults on youth clueless council
Cup half-empty tributes to misery
Box clever increase fertility
In collision nail biting rider charged with sex
Handling goods patient says: BRAZIL

Paul Conneally and the Poetry Machine Crew
New Parks Library, Leicester, June 2, 2014

Monday, June 09, 2014

Self Destruct - Little Onion

He is set to self destruct
He is set to self destruct
He is set to self destruct
He is set to self destruct

I'm standing in the kitchen
Standing in the kitchen
Mixing up the the medicine 

I'm standing in the kitchen
Standing in the kitchen
Mixing up the the medicine 

He is set to self destruct
He is set to self destruct
He is set to self destruct
He is set to self destruct

I'm standing in the kitchen
Standing in the kitchen
Mixing up the the medicine

I'm standing in the kitchen
Standing in the kitchen
Drinking all the the medicine

He is set to self destruct
He is set to self destruct
He is set to self destruct
He is set to self destruct

Words and Music: Paul Conneally 2013

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Wound my heart with a monotonous languor

Today I met Paul Verlaine.

The great French poet's words were used to alert the French Resistance that D-Day was about to start. The BBC broadcast Verlaine's line "wound my heart with a monotonous languor" from the poem 'Chanson d'automne' to indicate that the D-Day landings would start within 48 hours of the broadcast, and they did on the 6th June 1944.

Seventy years on from D-Day I find Verlaine not on the radio but revealing himself to me from a butcher's chalkboard in Oakham, Rutland, England's smallest county. Below a selection of hams, plain, smoked, honey and mustard, there stands Verlaine, Lincolnshire chine.

Although not in Lincolnshire this butcher's shop, Leeson Family Butchers, servers up Verlaine daily in the form of cured pork interweaved with parsley, Lincolnshire chine. Verlaine lived and taught in Boston, Lincolnshire and in his time in the county developed a penchant for this delicacy. After leaving Lincolnshire he complained to friends that as hard as he searched he could not find Lincolnshire chine anywhere else in England other than around the county itself.

It's as difficult to find Lincolnshire chine now as it was then but when you do then pity the poor pig that was killed to produce it and instead of buying chine say hello to Verlaine who would, sensitive though he was, have perhaps given the pig little thought beyond its sensation on his taste buds, go home and read a few of Verlaine's poems.

This said, forgive me dear pig, the chine is fine too.

Paul Conneally

6th June 2014

Welcome to Oakham

Welcome To Oakham
Paul Conneally

Thursday, June 05, 2014

A DAY AND NIGHT OF MOTHS & MAPS Fruit Routes Events June 17 2014

Join us for a day and night of moths and maps on the 17th June 2014 at Loughborough University Fruit Routes.


Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Box Clever

'Box Clever' - Poetry Machine Crew with Paul Conneally
Soft Touch Arts, New Parks Library, Leicester, UK
May 2014

Sunday, June 01, 2014

PRODIGY - HOTRIDE - video by Daniel Levi

Video for The Prodigy 'HOTRIDE' by Daniel Levi - banned by their record company.