Viva Seething

Seethingography was originally a way for me to come down to Seething and start a writing group, and to engage Seething Villagers in thinking about what made the place that they live in special to them. I ran workshops, meet ups and an event for National Poetry Day, plus we went on a drift through Seething to explore its many quirks and secrets.

The blog has seen lots of writing and images exploring this theme, and led to the publishing of two anthologies of writing in The Seethingographer, the first from Seething Writers and the second from writers all over the world (as Seething has no boundaries!) writing on the theme of ‘Going Home’.

The Seethingographer #2

Anyone who is familiar with my own writing, and practice as a walking artist, may know that much of my work is concerned with place- how we are affected by it and how we affect it. This led to my publishing a chap book, Villiers Path, about a narrow footpath in Surbiton, which has a surprising history attached to it. I hope to do some walks and performances there later this year. See my blog or Facebook page for updates on this in the Autumn.

Villiers Path: Scalloped Time Chapbook

I was also lucky enough to publish local ecologist and bat expert Alison Fure’s pamphlet, Kingston’s Apple Story By A Michelson’s Seedling, about the local history and apple growing heritage in the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames and surrounding area. I am delighted to say this is now in its second print run, and I have been chuffed to be able to support Alison’s drive to try to save the Tolworth Apple Store in publishing this important work.

Kingston’s Apple Story by Alison Fure

Chapbooks are for sale here at £2 + £1.20 p&p

The chapbooks were published by Sampson Low Ltd, a wonderful and historic publisher, and I am very grateful to Alban Low for his support.

Thanks as ever to The Marvellous Smellymaroo for her skill and kindness with design and layout of all the chapbooks.

I was very lucky to be able to use the Museum of Futures to hold events and workshops for Seething Writers, and am grateful to Robin Hutchinson and the Community Brain for allowing me to do so. Thank you!

This is my final post for now for Seethingography. I am handing it over to the lovely Seething folk, Simon Tyrrell and Sharon Zeqiri, who took over the running of Seething Writers earlier this year.

Seething is believing….So long and thanks for all the sardines!

Lucy Furlong

http://www.lucyfurlong.com/

Lucy Furlong is a widely published writer, performer and walking artist. Her poetry map, Amniotic City, was featured in The Guardian and her pamphlet , clew, was published by Hesterglock Press in 2015. Her poetry map, Over the Fields, was published in September 2015, and her latest chapbook, Villiers Path, was published by Sampson Low this year.

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Seething Sparkles

Seething Sparkles
*Seething Sparkles*

I turned up to the Seething Events planning meeting to send my apologies and offer face embellishing at the community days. The immediate response was “oh can I have some glitter now!”

“OK is it someones birthday because I need an excuse? Ah Andy Cummin’s is going to Edinburgh for a month! OK then if I put my hand into my bag and find glitter I’ll do it.”

Of course it was the first thing my fingers touched so off I went walking around applying glitter dots to the beautiful faces…

Simone Kay has been painting faces since working on a play bus in the early 80’s and face painting at the first  Kingston Green Fair.  At Glastonbury festival she started to cut and use her own stencils to help speed up face painting 160 people in two hours with her team. She has always enjoyed using sparkly glitter as it seems to lift the spirits of participants and observers.

(*note from the Editor- I’ve been saving this post for a rainy day)

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Messages to the Future on National Poetry Day

Exciting news! The Time Capsule installation from the pop-up exhibition ∀ – universal quantification, by the art collective futuremellon/not yet art, held at the Museum of Futures back in July, will be part of the event on National Poetry Day.

timecapsule

TIME CAPSULE (installation, 2016) concept & realization futuremellon/not yet art

During the pop-up exhibition ∀ – universal quantification, held at the Museum of Futures in Surbiton, the art collective futuremellon/not yet art, asked visitors to leave their messages to the future. All the letters were kept inside a time capsule, which will be finally sealed during the National Poetry Day 2016.

On the 6th of October 2016 participants will have the last opportunity to leave their personal message addressed to a chosen recipient. By adding a recipient’s contact (email or home address), their messages will be delivered to a special person once the time capsule will be opened into a far in the future day. The opening date of the capsule is still unknown, but it will be drawn by lot after the time capsule is firmly closed. Until then, the capsule and its keys will be safely stored.

So please come and a write a message to someone in the future and be part of this adventure through time.

More information about the events being held at the Museum of Futures for National Poetry Day can be found here and Facebook event is here.

Message Ends….

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‘Say It With A Poem’ at The Museum of Futures

This year’s National Poetry Day theme is ‘Messages’, so come along to the Museum and have some fun creating your own poetic messages. There will be a range of activities and writing exercises to try…and more!

  • From 3pm there will be after-school family writing activities, so come along with your kids and have a go at Poetry Lucky Dip, or write a haiku to your dog, or a poem to yourself in the future…there will be plenty of things to try in a relaxed setting, with help on hand should you need it.

If you or your children would like to bring a favourite poem to read and share, or would like to read the poems you have written there will be a chance to do that too!

 

  • After 5pm – pop in on your way home from work or drop by to take part in activities for generating messages of all kinds using various poetical techniques: an ode to your favourite sandwich. A thank you to the postman. A sonnet to a freshwater Sardine, a cut-up poem to the person who carved you up on Tolworth Roundabout yesterday… See what you can come up with and bring friends – there will be collaborative writing activities too.

chickenreading3

  • From 7.30pm there will be a chance to read the work you have written, come and share favourite poems, or bring your own poems to read.

There is more information to come, so please join the Facebook event and keep up to date with developments.

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Picnics and Paintings…24 hours in Seething

It started, as it so often seems to in Seething, with the Guinea pigs… shopping for picnic ingredients in Sainsbury’s. And then a hop, skip and jump to St Andrew’s Square, frilly with bunting and with Lefi in attendance. Rum punch galore and fine music played by a man in the baggiest trousers I have witnessed outside of Glastonbury. Could one want for any more on a scorchio August Bank Holiday in the suburbs?

But there was more- after the picnic came the art- a marathon of it- at the Lamb, with the promise of a cape to be fashioned, looooooong pictures for colouring in, competitions to enter, metal to be twisted into new and exciting shapes, large pieces of fabulous art on the gates outside the pub, and on the wall in the garden.

Not forgetting of course, the small matter of a Fairy staying up through the night to magic up a wonderful watercolour…

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And- even more- the next day,beginning this morning, Sim running a stained glass workshop in the garden!

 

All for charity, with the finished pieces to be auctioned later this year and you can still donate here for Creative Youth – because all of this was done to raise funds for this superb charity.

I still wonder if all these amazing things can really be taking place in the sleepy town where I grew up…but they really are.

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By Lucy Furlong

www.lucyfurlong.com

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Art for a Day…Today!

Kay Galbraith- The Art Fairy
Kay Galbraith- The Art Fairy

Art For A Day will be a multi-disciplinary art event over 24 hours raising money for Creative Youth.
Beginning at 3pm on the 29th August during the community picnic in St Andrew’s Square, Surbiton, Art For A Day will see multiple artists creating work and running workshops over the 24 hours and will be spread out between the Lamb Pub and the Museum of Futures.

Two artists Kay Galbraith and Eddie Langham will be creating a piece of art over the 24 hours. Kay will be painting and Eddie will be making a fashion piece. Members of the community will be invited to bring their inspiration and take part in both pieces.

From the Lamb website:

The wonderful Kay Galbraith will be creating a painting over 24hours, she told us a little bit about her and the project:

“I started painting in January 2012 and shortly after I found myself illustrating a book written by Robin Hutchinson called The Little Rainbow Coloured Bird which supports Creative Youth.
From then on I always supported Creative Youth and the wonderful festival that fills Kington with energy and life for a few
weeks in July.
I had been mulling over what fund raising event I could possibly do to support them when I came up with the idea of painting a watercolour over 24 hours! Another reason being is I feel I don’t paint enough and this will make me paint!!!
The painting will then be auctioned later in the year with all monies going to Creative Youth Charity.”

Throughout the event many other artists will be producing work which will culminate in an exhibition and auction in a few months. There will also be many workshops and opportunities to get involved and create something of your own which could be included in the exhibition.

The money raised through this event will go to Creative Youth, organisers of the international Youth Arts Festival. Creative Youth enables young people to realise their potential through the arts, develops young people by equipping them with the skills and confidence to succeed in business and the arts, and celebrates the achievements of young people in the arts worldwide during the International Youth Arts Festival. It is a special charity helping the headliners of tomorrow get noticed and helping those young people who need skills, direction and support to get noticed too! Have a look at www.creativeyouthcharity.org

Our community always gives very generously and we’d like to say a big thank you! To give you an idea of the difference your donation can make to, here’s an idea of what it can go towards:

£900 covers the new and much needed music equipment
£320 covers the cost of road closures for an event
£100 covers the cost of hiring a van for a day
£12.20 pays for travel for a musician, another £12 covers a meal and drink as well
£25 buys art supplies
£3 buys a box of pens

If you would like to make a donation please follow the link bellow to the team Just Giving page.
https://www.justgiving.com/teams/artforaday

 

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Seething Writers of the Walking Kind

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So, Seething Writers of the Third Kind, as it was billed on Facebook, became Seething Writers of the Walking Kind… our first foray into what I have been calling Seethingography, and this was it- a walk around Seething Wells for just over an hour. We met at the Museum of Futures and the walk began with a small reading from Phil Smith’s wonderful book ‘On Walking’, followed by the famous Walt Whitman lines:

now voyager

It was great fun, and we were very lucky to be accompanied by Seething experts Simon Tyrrell and Howard Benge who have studied the history of the filter beds and Seething Wells water works, amongst other local history. It will be interesting to see what writing comes out of this psychogeographical exploration of the area.

view from the lambeth waterworks steps
view from the lambeth waterworks steps

The next Seething Writers meeting takes place on Monday August 22nd, from 7.30- 9pm at the Museum of Futures in Surbiton. There is a Facebook Group here or email seethingography@gmail.com to be added to the mailing list.

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Seething Writers: The Second Coming

SW_4thJuly2016

Our second meeting, held last Monday evening, July 4th, was a great success. Some superb writing was produced in a very short time in response to a writing exercise called: ‘Ready Steady Write’. If you remember the TV cookery show where various people would turn up with a carrier bag of random food items, which a chef would then have to turn into an array of delicious dishes, this was a take on that. A few random items were selected and put in a carrier bag and people wrote in response to one, all or a combination of these objects.

Look out for up-coming posts featuring some of this writing!

You can also join the Seething Writers Facebook Group here.

The next Seething Writers meet is July 25th, Museum of Futures at 7.30pm. If the weather is ok we will go for a walk and come back to the museum to write about our explorations and adventures. Do join us!

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What is Seethingography?

FUSbadge with FUSin it (1)

What is Seethingography? The etymology of ‘graphy’ is the process of writing or recording. I am certainly a Seethingographyer, as is anyone who writes on this blog, posts a Facebook status or sends a text about having a great day at a Seething event. I have spent a many fun years being a Seethingographyer, even producing a PhD Thesis on Seething for University College London and the Free University of Seething.

So what is Seething? Well if you ask Seethingers it is likely that they will mention, community, togetherness and, as I was once told, being a bit a little bit stupid just because life is a little nicer when those things are involved. I once described the State of Seething to other anthropologists at a conference. I showed them pictures of myself with a giant paper sardine on my head, an image of the then UK environment minister sliding precariously skiing down a hill with blocks of ice laced to his feet and a video of a mildly drunk man dressed as a 15 foot giant, hurtling towards oncoming cars whilst balancing on a segway. Anthropology is the study of the things people do and want to do to make them feel more human. As such many of the other anthropologists in the room studied such things as the rituals of Papua New Guinea, the emerging religious ideologies of China, the ways in which new manufacturing techniques are shifting global understandings of economy and notions of work and so on and so on. After listening patiently one anthropologist asked ‘it sounds like your work is a lot of fun, how is this anthropology?’

The answer is simple; having fun is a thing most people do or want to do (some don’t, I met one once, they ask awkward questions at conferences). So what if we take stupidity seriously for a minute, we can ask, what does this actually do? How exactly does it help us be more, well… us? Let’s start with the heritage of suburbs. Many people imagine suburbs as that place of twitching net curtains, of rows of mowed lawns and commuter monotony which induces a suburban zombie death (bear with me). My friend and fellow academic, Helen, once wrote an excellent piece which argued that Seethingers take the non-history and this imagined dullness of suburbs in order to play, that is, to insert life into the imaginary of suburbs through the very myths, stories and histories it lacks. Around these myths much fun, togetherness and community building is had, all fueled through being a little bit stupid. But still what is this ‘stupidity’ precisely? The Oxford English Dictionary says that ‘stupid’ is the lack of sense. Now take the Sardine Festival parade, which consists in part of four (sometimes five – important to note) guinea pigs pulling a cart full of sardines through the streets of Surbiton, following the fishing catch from the Thames which was aided by a good serenading of Seething shanties. The parade is followed by Seethingers replete with banners, fish hats and giant cheese costumes along to a park where drinking, dancing eating and drinking is had in plenty. One could say that this would, upon first viewing, make little sense and whilst not wrong, it’s not quite right either. If you live in, or even pass through, or just know a little about the borough of Kingston then you will know that the symbol of the fish are everywhere. They can be found on street signs, on bins and lamp-posts and on all council correspondence. The fish, as the symbol of the borough, relate to the historic link to the doomsday book of 1086, where three fisheries were recorded upon the site of Kingston. So the sardines, being as they are fish, have some link to Kingston, so there is some sense, perhaps? One Seethinger once told me of how he once walked Kingston’s streets and thought of the fish he saw as the symbol of a stuffy local council, of a deep history to which he didn’t relate and of a royal association (via the fish pond in Hampton Court). The fish were a symbol of a social hierarchy of which he was not a part. However he went on to tell me, in beautiful detail of how, since the Sardine parade he sees the fish as little reminders of singing sea shanties on a sunny day, of watching the community dress up and confuse the local traffic through being fish and of dancing and sharing food in a local park, which until then he had seldom used. Now he sees the fish and smiles as the fish remind him of something, something fun, happy and, just a little bit stupid. So stupidity, or almost stupidity, which is making something make slightly less sense, has the ability to take something, such as the idea of suburb, or the way a fish symbol makes you think, and change it a little into something else. This little change, where there is less sense but still sense makes things different. What is that difference? It is the difference between smiling and not, between fun and dull, between being somewhere and living in a place which is yours, ours. In this way being a little bit stupid is hugely important.

As I learnt more about Seething I asked a number of Seethingers to take me on walks. Eventually a series of Free University of Seething walks were done together in groups making a map and some films in the process. We learnt from each other, told stories and wandered streets. In the process the Free University of Seething was established. This did a very Seething thing, it took what a university was, stuffy, hierarchical, expensive, and made it Seething, fun, for everyone, for free. Currently, we have a Facebook page where you can enrol; we have curated exhibitions and had a number of lectures. Even though Seething, and its university are a little bit stupid I take my PhD from FUS as seriously, if not more seriously, than the one from UCL as it’s the one that does something, makes it from somewhere and means something great. This is why I encourage you to blog, post, write, and share. Take FUS for your own, for Seething and please, remember to be just a little bit stupid.

Jeeva