Deja vu

It is eerie, to walk into a just-made space and know it intimately – the lines on a piece of paper given dimension; a scribble in the margin turned to steel; carefully drawn rectangles now rough, baked brick. It is eerie, to turn a corner and feel surprised even though you knew exactly what would be there. It feels good, to see it come about.

Inspired by a conversation with Jason Waddy, project manager for Gardiner & Theobald LLP at The Skirt Of The Black Mouth


Every day she drew the river

She grew up with things that move – trees and grass and clouds and birds, those kinds of things. When she came to the city she went looking – found the river was the only thing that would do, slipping between the concrete, refusing to stay put. She walked it day and night – just her and the water and the walls, and sometimes a firework show for one flickering across the waves. Every day she drew pen across paper to remind herself how it moved.

Inspired by a conversation with Caroline Jones, Creative Director of Merge Festival, at The Skirt Of The Black Mouth


It follows him wherever he goes – his eyes straying to ceilings and walls not exit signs and furniture. He sees the building’s body, its bones, its breath, each pock of air, each edge, each line; can guess how many rods and links are hidden inside; knows that just below the surface are the rough corners of stone.

Inspired by a conversation with Graham Ward from Byrne Bros at The Skirt Of The Black Mouth

Looking for words

He grew up in that park. Across from the house. His mum at the window. Long summer days. Roundabout. Swings. Stone fights. Laughter. Graffitti.

He goes back. Finds it layered-up with memory. His tags are long painted-over, but fresh in his mind. The heady smell of spray paint, wet blue letters on the bricks – his name; his city.


Inspired by a conversation with Yemisi Blake at The Skirt of The Black Mouth

Waiting for permission

Why shouldn’t we grow food on the window ledge?
Why shouldn’t we forage for lunch?
Why shouldn’t we take the time?
Why shouldn’t we turn this space into something else?
Why shouldn’t we light fireworks in a pocket park?
Why shouldn’t we twin a garden in Southwark with a garden in Philly?
Why shouldn’t we walk here?
Why shouldn’t we say ‘I own this too’?
Why shouldn’t we have the same access as you?
Why shouldn’t we go out and look?
Why shouldn’t we say ‘yes’?


Inspired by a conversation with Carole Wright at The Skirt of The Black Mouth

The Feasting Table

The scaffolding escaped – out the back, through the gaps between the burnt wood, onto this white beach with its strewn rocks and forgotten trees. It was done with the building site – concrete blocks, fluorescent clothes, each kick tipped with steel; dreamt instead of long lunches, meandering conversation, a table on a beach by a street in a city. It stays low to the ground. Most people don’t pay it much attention. It isn’t planning on going back.

Inspired by a conversation with Sara and Nic from Exyzt who designed and created the feasting table and oven at The Skirt Of The Black Mouth.

Picking potatoes

Whenever he sees a robin – on a city wall, in a city hedge – he remembers Saturday mornings on the allotment. The world stretched out in greens and browns. His dad with the big wooden-handled spade, slicing up the ground to let the potatoes out; each plant like an extended family of pale fronded roots and tight yellow tubers. Every time they dug potatoes, a robin would come, bright eyed, close enough to touch, waiting for the worms.


Inspired by a conversation with Chris (who was eating a Chipotle salad) at the Skirt of The Black Mouth

Waste not

Her mum empties the fridge – the corners of waxy cheese, the half-eaten yoghurt with its crusted white edge, the last grapes softening in the cereal bowl. Her dad hates the waste. He’ll eat anything, regardless of the tiny black numbers indicating a date long gone. It’s fine, he says, it’s as good as new.

Inspired by a conversation with two interns at IPC Media, at the Skirt of the Black Mouth