Chalk poems and bags filled with mystery – it must be York Curiouser

Look out for poetry appearing off the page…
9 Jun 2014 @ 10.45 am
| News
Look out for poetry appearing off the page…
Look out for poetry appearing off the page…

In their latest blog on the imminent York Curiouser art project, Lara Goodband and Hazel Colquhoun say keep your eyes peeled

We spent a few soggy wet days in May wandering about York looking for the perfect locations for some of our brilliant artworks. Our writer John Wedgwood Clarke has created an amazing set of poems called “In Between” – about the snickets, yards, alleys and courts of York – and they will appear, in, on and around those very places, during York Curiouser from June 14 to July 7.

So you just might see some chalked verse on a wall or pavement, or take a second look at a church noticeboard and even a post box – to find his mesmerising words giving a very different take on our city.

Keep looking at the website to find locations but you should also look in cafés, bars and libraries for our orange poetry postcards around the city, and they’ll give some ideas of where the locations might be.

One of the great things about this project is that we talk to so many people around York, and they’re all incredibly supportive of the project.

To get the poems into public places we’ve chatted with pub landlords, art galleries, churches and shopkeepers, as well as our friends at York council who are going to make sure John’s words don’t get washed off on the graffiti-cleaning run!

We did a bit of a practice run to see how this might work – if you’re down Mad Alice Lane anytime you might see the vestiges of our early efforts…

John’s poems also form part of the sound installation by Damian Murphy which will be installed in the courtyard at Kings Manor – Damian’s been pounding the in between spaces of the city to gather sounds for this fascinating audio piece.

As John says, “Spend a few minutes in the courtyard and you’ll discover a city you’ve always heard, but seen too well to hear clearly.”

Jacques Nimki at York Early Music Centre
Jacques Nimki at York Early Music Centre

Whilst Hazel was getting very wet looking for poetry locations, Lara had to lie around in the grass at the National Centre for Early Music (ah, the glamour of this project!), publicising Jacques Nimki’s intriguing installation there – which needs bags, bags and more bags…

Jacques will create his work with donated handbags and shoulder bags (and now man bags after Adam from Radio York suggested he could donate one). The bags will be filled with… something… and arranged around the beautiful grounds of St Margaret’s Church, where the Early Music Centre is housed.

To find out what is in the bags – you’ll have to visit the site!


  • Hazel Colquhoun, an independent public art commissioning curator, and Lara Goodband, an independent visual art curator, blog on YorkMix about the York Curiouser project
  • York Curiouser runs from June 14 – July 7. Artworks will cover a range of media including light, sound, ceramics, poetry and textiles, developed for specific city locations
  • Read more York Curiouser blogs here
  • For more information see the project’s Facebook page, its Instagram images or follow @yorkcuriouser on Twitter