Walk with Us

From August 2020 – July 2022 I’ve been part of a team of creative practitioners (Maya Chowdhry and Alex Peckham) making an augmented reality walk in partnership with the National Oceanography Centre for the seafronts of Dawlish (pictured) and Penzance.

The walk incorporates data from a new NOC ‘wirewall’ and existing local monitoring sites on wave height and speed, water levels, tides, beach movement, wind and other weather info into a fictional narrative.

Stopping points along the seafront (and beach, tide permitting) offer people time and visuals to re-view the sea, beach and seawall. Through spoken word and videos the story explores coastal erosion, climate change and the oceanic ecology, asking what is coastal resilience, change and adaptation. In July 2022 we’ll be launching two immersive walks that illuminate the work of the NOC, and past and future changes in the coastal environments along the sea fronts of Penzance and Dawlish,

In Penzance Six Lessons in Walking a Tightrope leads you from from Newlyn Art Gallery to the Jubilee Pool. Using audio, augmented realities and weather and ocean data, it balances the line between celebrating our world as it is now and accepting its changes.

Dive in Dawlish takes you from the railway station along the seawall to Coryton Cove on a magical underwater walk.  Blending science fiction with immersive visuals, you will descend into the ocean while never actually getting your feet wet. Exploring themes of coastal erosion and climate change, ‘Walk With Us’ is for everybody interested in the sea, what lives in it, and how it affects us.

More info here

Imaginarium Summer

This is a month-long laboratory into the art of writing by not-writing*.

It’s for any writer / artist / enthusiast wanting to begin a project, who wants a fresh way of looking at it, or someone halfway through one, wanting a new route through it. It’s for those who want to resist the inclination to write and produce tons of words, to expand expressing their ideas and experience in non-linguistical ways. Not-writing, especially for those of us who are habitually inclined to write regularly, allows ideas, images, themes and narratives to cook in a different chronology, take shape in an alternative form, split and slip down unexpected streams.

Imaginarium Summer invites you to put writing to one side, out of the spotlight, or even on hold for five weeks, and see what happens when you allow yourself alternative creative interactions.

You’ll explore what happens if you embark on a project, or a section of a project, without writing. What fills the gap that was occupied with words? How do you voice your interactions with the world, your hopes, fears and stories? And what then happens when you return to language as your creative expression?

Format

  • Provocations and inspirations, emailed as a pdf every Monday throughout August, invite you to explore your project idea or preoccupations without writing. Each pdf comes with mp3 note-making-not-writing accompaniment to provide an almost writing space for those who don’t want to go completely nonlinguistic.
  • An ongoing private blog forum to share your responses with other participants, reflect on your imaginative growth. This is a place for chat, insight and community.
  • A one to one tutorial with me in the autumn offers a gathering together of your ideas or an impetus for continuing a new momentum.
  • The time commitment for each week is entirely up to you. You could spend half an hour in response to the provocations, or you could dive in for a day a week, or anything in between.

Cost

There are, as usual, three self-selecting bands:
£50; £75; £100
all include all provocations, access to the forum, and a one to one tutorial.

How to Apply

There are 16 places, given on a first come first served basis.
Please send an email to me at sehymas@gmail [dot] com.

Also please email with any queries you may have

*The art of writing without writing acknowledges its debt to Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon and follows the ethics of nonseparation.
**Summer does not exclude writers experiencing winter. All welcome, whatever the hemisphere or season, for the English summer light to illuminate your wordless writing.

How we do anything is how we do everything

This programme, like all Imaginariums, rises from my own practice. It is guided by the desire to maintain a sense of self as writer during those times when you aren’t writing much or happily or with conviction.

I believe in the diversity of the creative moment, that the impetus and connection I experience through writing isn’t limited to the setting down of words. The creative flow, elemental to my writing, runs through many other activities, and inactivities. The fluidity and potency of tired or wavering creative energy can be revitalised, rediscovered or redirected when instead of writing I’m not-writing with intention.

To let go of words, temporarily, allows other seams of creativity to emerge from any given moment, and invites the body to lead the mind in nourishing encounters with our imagination. This Imaginarium intends to stitch words into one layer among many in your creative process.

I read ‘how we do anything…’ in Tom Waites’ book Innocent When You Dream years ago. I was initially horrified at the thought that my cavalier DIY style was how I write. That my botch-it paint job was analogous to editing a poem. Now I’m not sure it’s that straightforward. I think it’s about intention, and how I approach painting can teach me how I can approach adding shade or new colour in a chapter. Pulling ingredients together to make a cake can offer a new methodology for thinking about a seemingly unrelated bunch of images.

This Imaginarium will be food for your writerly practice. Food as nourishment and food as fuel. It offers the space for you to consider your creative practice through one endeavour to another. Your creative impetus will roam freely across form and time in a way words might not grant. It might even show you ways of sustaining your creativity when short of time for writing, or headspace for words.

For more info on the Spirit of the Imaginarium, see the main Imaginarium page or a post I wrote for Climate Cultures

What people said about the last online Writer’s Imaginarium

a think-tank for writers … a safe, encouraging environment … hugely inspiring … brain-expanding … gave me so many new approaches to writing … an other world. Quiet. Sacred. Beautiful. Intelligent. Deeply inspiring …


Changing shores

Earlier this summer, 2019, the National Oceanography Centre and Sefton Council approached me to work with them on creating a narrated coastal walk along Crosby’s shoreline, north of Liverpool. The plan was, through bringing together science and the arts, to raise awareness of shoreline change and coastal hazards, to actualize and make intimate the sense of movement and uncertainty that occurs along the coast. The poems capture changes in land use, coastal processes, shoreline management and observational techniques. They are located at five points along the Crosby shoreline, and can be heard in any order.  By becoming more aware of changing coastal conditions, we hope people will act as advocates in shaping how communities better prepare future change.

You can  download the GPS waypoints and MP3s here  or watch them here, accompanied by pics if you can’t get to the beach.

The project, Building coastal community resilience: preparedness through poetry, was funded by AGU Celebrate 100 grants.

The rest of the team can be found on twitter:  @Wirewall_NOC  @GreenSefton_

Sixfold

I belong to Sixfold, six widely published Lancaster-based poets with many well-received collections and awards between us. We work together in themed performances,  giving readings that celebrate our varieties of approach, language and voice. “the theme was a real force of unity that gave the programme a shaped quality, with impetus and flow, community and diversity”.