From home to home

Photograph by Max Creasy.

Photograph by Max Creasy.

I can report that a small and rather unusual project I’ve contributed to has seen the light of day. In this case, the light is pouring through holes in a hoarding surrounding a building site in north London, thereby magically producing poetry.

Actually, the poetry was produced by 12 writers, all of whom  took part in a Dark Angels Masterclass at Merton College, Oxford, earlier in the year. We were asked to create a collaborative work for the site, with each writer taking one line. Sounds easy, but there were rules:

Use no more than 34 characters, base your line on the theme of ‘home’ and start the next line with the last word of the preceding line.

The inspiration for the project came from designer Mike Abrahams. He wanted the development’s temporary panels to be more interesting than the normal property-developer declarations about ‘creative lifestyle environments’ and ‘contemporary living’. The shared work that has emerged is a rather gentle, lyrical piece quite different from the assertive, lofty claims that characterise hoarding-speak.

Each month a new line will go up, and we hope that our words intrigue passers-by. There may be a little rearranging of the original sense along the way, as the yellow stoppers used to create each letter can be teased out and re-placed (if you’re tenacious enough). If you’d like to see the words in situ, head over to 100 Shepherdess Walk, N1.

Here’s the poem (and each author):

From Home to Home

Home opens up your own vision of possible                               John Simmons

Possible dances new beginnings with joy                                    Faye Sharpe

Joy in your heart tread lightly with love                                      Neil Baker

Love and soft arms that hold us each night                                Sarah Farley

Night rooms of sorrows and ardour speak                                  Richard Pelletier

Speak dream bright windows to your world                                Charlotte Halliday

World made divine by the promises we keep                               Tim Rich

Keep dreams alive and nightmares at bay                                    Jan Dekker

Bay of belonging a shared harbour our own                                Sue Evans

Own part of my restless heart sweet place                                    John Dodds

Place me in the bosom of this loving house                                  Jamie Jauncey

House me in the heartbeat at heart of home                                Stuart Delves

You see more about the developers of the site at Solidspace.

John Simmons has written some thoughtful lines on the project, and on collaborative writing, over at his 26 Fruits blog.


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