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)



Seething Town, the place I want to be

That Seething Feline (photo by Lucy Furlong)
That Seething Feline (pic by Lucy Furlong)

Back to the future. It all started in the Museum of the Future. It had been a detective agency once, reminded him of one of the Douglas Adams novels, Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency or something like that. The whole area was known as the Wells, somewhere he had passed by many times but he had heard many interesting stories about it and now here he was. He looked up and even the clouds looked a bit different. Definitely something different about the place though he couldn’t quite pinpoint what it was.

He started walking along the street, noticed a few road cones and a small yard with some hollyhock plants in it, then started walking along the main road near the river. A couple of cyclists went past, it reminded him that there was a big cycle race the following weekend, happened every year and always lots of people watching, some having picnics on the local village green or watching it pass by outside the local pub.

On past the local wine store and the Old waterworks building which was now a gym and student accommodation. He remembered the time the waterworks was still in use and even the slight smell from the old filter beds  and looking around began to imagine what it might have been like back in the day. Now it was a wildlife haven, a few years ago someone had the idea of building floating houses there but  fortunately that had been abandoned. So many stories he had heard about the area, about giants and caves and a mysterious goat-boy, wondering how many of them were true, maybe that was where the detective agency came in ..

He was brought back from his reverie by his friend passing by with his large but amiable husky type dog, he lived just round the corner and they chatted for a while, walking past the car showroom and the golf studio . After the man left he walked on towards the gated estate, no dogs allowed in the park there so just as well his friend had left by then he thought. He then noticed a cat was following him, as he approached the private garden, looked like a lovely place with large garden, shared walkway and small pond and fountain in the distance. He played with the cat for a few moments before it wandered back to where it had come from. Remarkable to think that the garden had once been a small reservoir, even Alan Titchmarsh hadn’t managed that big a makeover.

Soon be was passing the park where they held a community sports day every year, and then through the Wells estate on the way back to the Museum. There was definitely something different about this place,whether it was the distinctive appearance, the wild garden with the bee hives, and the back gardens of the houses near the Museum. Maybe it was here that the strange tale he had heard about the little goat boy who lived in a cave underneath the mountain originated, it all began to make a bit of sense.

Finally it was back past the old emporium shop with contented cat inside and back to the Museum

As he met up with his friends in the Young Sheep pub afterwards, he reflected, yes there was magic in Seething Town …

By Mark Badcock





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.


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….



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

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.




Oh little town of Seething Wells


Oh, little town of Seething Wells, how still we see thee lie – Meandering through our own waterworks, we risked being run down, by joggers or commuters we crossed at lights.

Tourists from another world, gazing in awe at blue painted railings, snapping brickwork and each other.  Visitors gathering samples to take back to our craft.

Like schoolboys we searched our pockets for things to drop into a well, took photos of the sun, quenched by filterbeds.
Brave voyagers, we walked amongst the resting places of a thousand souls.  Where were these creatures for whom water had been cleaned and towers built?

We called, yet no one answered, tuned instead to cobbled together tales of northern streets on glowing screens hung on walls where once their ancestors gazed benignly down.  Good grace stayed our hands that longed to knock and wake them up.

Leave them to their slumbers, like Titania’s host, we must away, to pick through the gathered fruits, choosing which to eat and which to store away.

By Robin Rutherford




Face Embellishing at Surbiton Food Festival

Photo by Tangle photography

I should be used to it by now, smiley people running towards me to
present their faces for glitter dots or a painted stencil of Lefi, or specially
for this festival, a design of a cup cake!

It wasn’t always like that.  I would show people a mirror and they would
shy away and say “yuck”. “Take that away I never look at myself in a
mirror”  Always a negative response and with a heavy heart I would ask
if they would like some glitter dots like mine?

“Oh ok” I carefully applied the liquid silver with tiny dots around the
eyes and forehead then showed the very same mirror. “That’s so
beautiful!!”  “Gorgeous.”

This glitter dotting has become a tribal look, and the face embellishing adds colour, interest and joy to the Seething events.
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.





The Wordsmiths

Before, there was just sound.


Gutteral utterings.

Inside a need

Outside, no form.

Then they came

A wandering band of vagabonds

A higgledy piggledy group of artisans

Skilled craftsmen and women all

A cart filled with wondrous tools

Cases packed with abundance

Dragged with joy from settlement to settlement

Infectious energy and smiles

Captivating hearts and faces

Their arrival a source of excitement

Their purpose as yet unknown

They stop and unpack their wonders

They are the Wordsmiths

An ancient band of creators

Capturing the sounds and making real

Once established they sit and wait

Slowly people come to forward

Sit, eyes captivated by what they see

Silence speaks volumes

A Wordsmith steps forward and points

The ‘tree’ is big with heavy boughs.

He points to one of the children and back

Slowly the child realises and makes the noise

The Wordsmiths scream with joy

Repeat the sound until it is fixed and set

Others join in chorus loud

With one gesture silence falls again

The Wordsmiths set to work

Tools blur, materials carved, sewn,

Forges lit, bellows strained

Effort precedes the emergence of

The word


Made real

There in front of them

A sound now physical and fixed


From their cart they take a case

Words tumble from it to the floor

Previous language captured

Now shared, passed, owned.

As dawn come up an empty space

Dents in the grass where once was



writ large

An elder turns to the assembled

“They have gone.”

Nods of understanding

Before, there was just sound.


Gutteral utterings.

Inside a need to communicate

Outside no form.

Then they came

A wandering band of vagabonds

A higgledy piggledy group of artisans

Skilled craftsmen and women all

A cart filled with wondrous tools

Cases packed with abundance

Dragged with joy from settlement to settlement

Infectious energy and smiles

Captivating hearts and faces

Robin Hutchinson

What Begins and Ends with Water -or- June, 2015


a municipal tanker truck’s hose

douses flower baskets

hanging from high street lamp posts,

the excess pouring onto pavement,

channeled along cracks and seams,

pooling in the most deeply damaged places;

in the morning, on the way to work,

stepping over these


milling around outside the venue

under a tarnished sky

between the ceremony and reception,

sporadic droplets and soured light

harry the guests and photographer

but have no affect on the smiles

of the groom or bride


before, during, and after

the heart attack, his shower head

fulfills its function, water delivered

through a constellation of holes

as always, rinsing him upright,

doubled over, collapsed,

the flow still cleansing, washing,

then washing away


easel poised on Kingston Bridge

as the day ends, face to the Thames,

back turned on traffic, a painter

wielding canvas, brushes, and palette

like fly paper, trying to catch,

intact, what never ceases,

reaching for everything

that’s slipping beneath him

David Russamano

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.