From August 2020 – July 2022 I’m 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. There’ll be stopping points along the seafront (and beach, tide permitting) that offer people to re-view the sea, beach and seawall. Through spoken word and visuals we’ll explore coastal erosion, climate change and the oceanic ecology, asking what is coastal resilience. By July 2022 we should have an entertaining walk that illuminates the work of the NOC, and past and future changes in the coastal environment.
‘Walk With Us’ offers two self-guided walks along the sea fronts of Penzance and Dawlish, launching in July 2022.
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.
the hispering (Black Sunflowers, 2021) dissembles and reassembles how the world speaks to us and what happens if we listen. It contains meadows, oceans, fairytales and the whisper of unseen creatures. A sequence of prose-poem-like glimpses slip between dream, waking and storytelling; plant and human ecologies; the pervasiveness of water; and how being-birthed and birthing are seeded in every word. Written in the intensity of the April 2020 lockdown in England, it feels as strange as those times, perhaps more hopeful. Read more about its creation on EchoSoundings, or a review of it by Carla Scarano on the Friday Poem
melt is an oceanic song of love, of hope, of belonging and longing. It begins in the north west of England, on the shores of Morecambe Bay, and ends in a future that may or may not have been foreseen in the Arctic.
Interspersed with images, tickertape on plastic updates, prose, poems and fragments, the book is an assemblage of joy and despair, of bodies, human and morethan. More ripples surrounding the book can be felt here
melt is a book that demands our attention, slipping as it does, curiously and carefully, between enfolded worlds of intellect and feeling, giving us unique access to an archaeology of perception. As Hymas brings pressure to dailyness and the ordinary, she reminds us of the importance of locating ourselves in an increasingly precarious environment. This is a wise book that asks us to read slowly; a must read for these uncertain times. Deryn Rees-Jones
In poems of precise observation and restless energy, Hymas shows us world and self as intertidal zones of flux and exchange, ‘ebb-dragged / and flood-ripped open’. There is mourning here, in the face of loss and ecological damage; there is questioning, an interrogation of our human ways of being in the world. But there is also hope, and above all a boundless sense of curiosity, yet without any demand for final knowledge: ‘I want to ask /more questions / I cannot answer’. melt is the work of a poet deeply engaged with the world, always open to ‘what will become’. Helen Tookey
Sarah Hymas does not ignore that which we do not want to have to comprehend about our ocean, but nor does she preach at us. The restrained prose passages situate the work in the local as place of learning; the lyric sea poems explore extending what is possible for the human body within the more-than-human world. melt forms part of the necessary and exciting work emerging today from new understandings of the bodies of water that surround the landmasses we inhabit. Harriet Tarlo
“The voices, the stories, the detail and the imagery are powerful, superbly-crafted and original.” Bernardine Evaristo
“The poetry is earthy and takes a no-nonsense approach to setting out their journey from community-based god-fearing and pious, through to the complexity, toughness and verging on faithlessness, of modernity.” Anne Stewart in Artemis
“… excellent at capturing social and religious codes of behaviour, with the acuity of Austen or Alice Munro … Host is a tactile and muscular collection, rooted in the complexities and textures of the physical world. Hymas has created fresh and exuberant work that, at its best, captures the awe of being alive.” Sarah Westcott