Sign Change

Members of Thurmaston Action Group on the Sound of Water Haiku Hike – a piece for Charnwood Arts – the whole porject was co-ordinated by Jemma Bagley – who made my job so much easier with her meticulous attention to detail and good thinking – during the hike the group came across this sign post that seemed to be pointing the wrong way – for one of the directions the sign says Public Byway and has a red arrow the other says Public Footpath and has a yellow arrow – these mean different things – though i didn’t know what the exact difference was – both being public rights of way – brenda tells us that a byway allows vehicles as well as pedestrians and that horses shouldn’t be ridden down ‘public footpaths’ – only on ‘bridalways’ public ‘byways’ and roads best get them pointing in the right direction then…

Poems written during the walk and in other ‘The Sound of Water’ events were placed on sculptures in the landscape of the new Watermead building development in Thurmaston. A book of poems and contextual pieces was also published.

Part of the psychogeographic / splacist process was encouraging the group of local residents to plan the walk and subsequent walks themselves and use the phrase and fragment approach to engage with the spaces and places walked through. That the work was funded in the first instance through a section 106 public art planning order by a developer that this group of women were the action group against added another element to the piece.

Early on in the project I was invited on to the BBC to talk about it but felt it would be much better if Jemma and Brenda Seaton – one of the action group members – went on and explained what haiku were and what we were going to do – they were really good – and hearing the presenter call haiku ‘hikey poems’ made it for me given the number of haiku hikes / walks that feature in my work these days – heres the url for the interview:
Sound of Water Interview
Paul Conneally
And here’s an extract from the book The Sound of Water on Scribd:

The Sound of Water – Poetry Exploration

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