Sometimes projects come along that really help you to connect back with your own subjects and themes while at the same time exploring new territories, this is really the sweet spot for me, and it has been an absolute pleasure to work on a new project with the fantastic young people at Creatives Now.

Wide venn diagrams covering mapping, psychogeography, mass observation studies, poetry, local history archives and finally a window installation have been rich veins to explore that have not only allowed me to share some of my process with a new group, but also gave me the opportunity to be led and developed by a group of young people keen to make a creative impact on their town. The ultimate in win win. Overheard speech, book titles from archives and poetic responses to field work all came together in a rich and intriguing cultural soup which had almost endless possibilities- it is always fantastic to be in the middle of a project and almost have TOO MANY ideas on where it could go next!

I really think the opening of empty shop spaces to creatives (as well as inviting local groups in to explore collections) is a real way forward to town centre regeneration- look at Stockport, Glossop and beyond. In come the arts and there follows this mysterious and difficult concept to pin down…a vibrant culture. Bury and Radcliffe take note!

The final piece we created “The Anatomy of a Town” was a combination of found text, sculpture and an attempt to reimagine the town centre as something new. For me, it was also great to be working as an artist and workshop facilitator, a side of my practice which I continue to develop through collaborative projects and my work with Factory International (where I am keen to keep young people and local artists front and centre). Got a project? Feel like collaborating? Have an empty shop you think some artists could work in? Need a poet or artists to help articulate your project? Get in touch

This Way/These Words

Although I may have been quiet…I’ve actually been very busy. I was chosen as a successful applicant for a Bury Town Of Culture micro commission which is slowly coming to completion and is currently part of an exhibition at Bury Art Museum.


For the commission, I wrote five poems responding to Bury as place and its unique and often hidden history. Using a combination of local knowledge (from being a lifelong resident), half heard tales and archive material, I wrote about Kay Gardens, Bury Art Museum and Library, Bury Market, The Rock, and the Robert Peel statue. When the poems were written they have then been shared and as part of an ongoing process are being recorded by current and former residents to then be accessible as an audio tour around the town. It has been really fantastic to hear these poem brough to life in different voices with unique intonations and phrasing. I also performed the poems on a busy and blustery Bury Market (next to the chippy!) and then last week in Bury Art Museum to launch the exhibition. Seeing your poems up in print and being able to share them with a wide audience is a really great feeling and I am really proud of the work. (Huge thanks to Anna, Steve and all the BAM team who have put the exhibition together and helped support the live events.)

The recording and editing process is still ongoing If you wish to record your own version of one of these poems to be included, please contact me via with the heading poetry and the emails and recording instructions will be sent out to you.

You should also take the time to check out the other commissions- some really fantastic work by local artists, illustrators and photographers that really reflects the vibrancy and diversity of our local community. The exhibition runs until 22nd February 2022 and sits alongside the excellent exhibition programme at our amazing gallery an sculpture centre.

Out of sorrow…something new.

a4250049049_16Where are we now?

Where are we going?

It was in this thoughtful frame of mind that I recorded and released a new EP called “Kummerspeck/Sowrrow Fat” which brouhgt togetther songs I had been working on for a while and new pieces written in lockdown. A lot fo the songs featire samples or found sounds which I have recorded and which take on a different life when embedded in these tracks. Yoko Ono imploring the crowd to breathe captured as part of Bells for Peace at Manchester International Festival   become a medativie mantra sitting behind the story of Breathe while sounds recorded as part of Not Quite Light Festival dawn walk in 2018 bubble up between the sound of guitar and vocals in Not quite light.  Using garageband, I created and produced all the trakcs and (for once) had the time to complete them in a way I was really happy with. I still need to skill up on some aspects of this but I think this captures well songs written and produced in a unique moment.

Album available here

Kummerspeck EP

with a great bio written by Lee Ashworth

Lee Ashworth Site


If you build it…


It’s has been a long time in the making and Pomona seems an awfully long time ago but fellow artist and writer Lee Ashworth and myself have finally got around to putting together our new exhibition “Living and Dying in Our Grandfathers’ Houses” which will open on 24th May 2018 at Insitu in Manchester. Preview is 6-8pm

We have been working on this for a long time and unlike the Pomona exhibitions the source material is much more emotionally and physically close to us as it relates to shared experiences, family memory and place. It is also the first exhibition under our joint working title The Manchester Art Authority

I don’t want to give to much away as we would like the work to speak for itself. The exhibition runs from the preview on the Thursday night, all day Friday and all day Saturday.

Pomona Year Zero

Pomona Year Zero is the second exhibition I have created with fellow artists and writer Lee Ashworth at Nexus Art Cafe in the Northern Quarter.

This exhibition continues exploring the themes of city, place and progress we explored in Pomona Is Rising but with a new site specific installation in the front window and stair well (a magnificent space!)

We also created a limited edition, hand numbered a text/art/map which we have distributed as part of the exhibition.

Step into the city…the water is complex.

Tweets and instagram pictures tagged with #pomonayearzero



There is a hole in the city…

Dark ships… are on the horizon,

profane cargoes,

holed up and howling.

ipad pictures 447


to the centre of it…


  1. There is a hole in the city.
  2. The edge of the hole is ringed with steel.
  3. Nobody has seen the whole of the hole.
  4. The hole is not the head or the heart…the hole is the pancreas.
  5. The hole is not black but that does not mean it has never been or may not yet be.
  7. Arrows, roads and paths mark the centre.
  8. 6 hours walking to it, from it and around it.
  9. “We roped ourselves together”
  10. A single bell hung from a lamppost was rung every 13minutes.

Dark ships…

moored in the tepid swell,

unload their cargo.

Pomona is rising. ipad pictures 508





When is a place not a place?

Other map tools are available.

Other map tools are available.

Out there…



The wrong side of the tracks and the dark end of the street are always alluring places; they pull at us to visit, to cross the line and to peer over the edge.  In a world where everys square inch seems to be developed or developing, finding a place that is essential a non space , neither here nor there, is somewhat of a challenge.  It was in search of a place beyond the valley of the shadow of concrete that a trip to Pomona (Manchester’s finest abandonded waste land) has long been on the cards.

Much better writers than me have written much more about Pomona and its history and there are numerous excellent articles on the skyliner blog so I won’t repeat it all here.

Today myself and fellow writer Lee dipped our toes into the interzone that is Pomona and found the water…inviting.

We ambled from Cornbrook upto the Pomona tram stop because we kinda sorta couldn’t figure out how to get onto the abandonded island and I think that were reticent about stepping out into this no mans land.

When we did finally get to it there was a frozen moment where we stood on the edge, not really wanting to enter before striding forth into this uncommon urban wasteland.

The wastreland stretched ahead with the Beetham tower in the distance.

The wasteland stretched ahead with the Beetham tower in the distance.

And essentially… thats what it is; a wide open space , banked by canal and tram which nature has reclaimed. Streetlamps sit odly amongst overgrown weeds and shoulder high buddlejaa. Roads and pavement are broken and cracked as weeds have taken root and exploited the untended and unused walkways. Yet.. it has a feel…a unexplained wildness and freedom that comes from the lack of control which is placed upon it. As we walked on we saw other people using the space, jogging or foraging and its seemed less alien and more welcoming. There was eveidnce that people had been and left their mark (grafitti and stickers) so,  as part of the My Pomona art project,  I put in a tempory work called “Miles from here” which gives the straight line distance to Pomona Californa.

Pomona CA. is 5273.661 miles in straight line distance from this point.

Pomona CA. is 5273.661 miles in straight line distance from this point.

It didn’t feel right to leave something too permanent as everything there felt fleeting.

We walked on discussing the place (and books ad music and the sort of things you can actually THINK about when not bombarded by the city) and meeting some of the other people who were using the space until finally we were back amongst the ubiquitous high rises that fringe this place and all we had was the chance to look back.

We did not turn into pillars of salt.

We did not turn into pillars of salt.

It is a curious place as it isn’t really a place, it just is. Between developments it sits as a empty space which feels like it is full of potential: to explore, to develop an artistic response or simply to remain as a wasteland. One interesting point was how disorientating it is to come into central Manchester from a different point and how easy it is to still lose your bearings when your usual visaul clues have been taken away. As a Will Self fan, the idea of only getting to know a city through walking it became clear as we moved from wasteland to city, it felt like rediscovering Manchester, a city I have known for lifetime.

There are plans afoot to develop the Pomona site and altough this seems inevitable it would a shame to lose this wild space to more and more faceless highrises or soulless (see Spinningfields) corporate developments. I hope the art project and the save Pomona campaign are successful,  it is a fascinating place that the city would be less interesting without.

Warning: I wouldn’t go and visit alone and I would avoid at night purely for your own personal safety. It is close to the city but there a few people around and I imagine there would be no street lighting at all. Be safe in the Hinterlands!

Fix up look sharp

I do, on occasion, like to dress well. If you know me you will know I’m not adverse to a sharp looking suit and all the trimmings. I feel better smart and when I’m off out for a dance (especdially at Manchesters premier Northern Soul Night The Black Bee Soul Club Looking the part in your best dancing shoes is all part of the fun.

Here are my (nowhere near definitve) tips.

1: The devil is in the detail.

Tie your outfit together with attention to the small detaisl. Pick out a colour in your shirt, tie or suit material and highlight it with socks or a pocket square of the same colour. The right people will notice, everyone esle will think “get you!”  Braces, cufflinks, tie pin, pocket square… these are your little flourishes.

Oskar onwards 193

2: Buy what you like, not whats “fashionable”

Us normal people with real bodies look rediculous in fashion clothes. The “slim fit” suit or shirt is the scourge of the modern age, sacrificing comfort and fit for a stuipd ideal anbd an unrealistic body shape. ( TIP: slim fit suits often have a rediculously high crotch too which makes them painful to wear for any lenght of time, I tried a few on and put them back as I couldn’t imagine THAT feeling all day long!)  I buy things out of season but that fit me and that I like. In that way I can buy decent clobber at a price I can afford and be my own man. If you can, spend time searching for quality. That shirt from primark may be cheap but there is a reason ,and you’ll know what that is when the buttons fall off and the stitching goes.

3: Know your size

When iwas at my fattest (post giving up smoking) i bought clothes that were far too big in an attempt to hide. WRONG. I looked even worse. Now I know my size and accept what I am. I always try stuff on though as many places (H&M) being the worse have adopted a S/M/L sizing scheme which gives you none of the proper dimesnsions. This is especially frustrating for shirts! Im a 15 1/2 collar, is that S/M/L ?? I still dont know. Also, and who knew this was true, sizes at different places are different. I always thought this was a myth but it aint!  Try before you buy

4: Suits you sir

I love a suit. classic British tailoring, usually a single button with thin lapels and if at all possible, pocket and ticket pocket. I like a bit of a mod look. I dont know a lot about suits but I know what fits and what looks good. Oskar jan feb march april 222

Jaegar Suit ,(   Ben sherman shirt , Grandads knitted tie. Jaegar make an excellent suit and although they may sometimes seem a bit pricey you can find a bargin when the seasons change and pick up a beautiful suit that will last you well)

(TIP: the only time all the buttons on your suit jacket should be buttoned is if it has a single button! If it has three, top two and leave the bottom one open. Trust me, all buttoned up you look silly and uncomfortable)

5:Be bold be brave!

Red socks, why not?! Floral pattened shirt? Do it. Stripes AND checks?? Sometimes it works. Be bold, be brave, be an individual. In a world of sameness, you can stand out in the clothes you wear and the way that you wear them. They might not like it…but they certainly will remember it…and anyway, who cares what they think .

Suit shirt tie combo

Jaegar Suit, paul smith shirt, Dads tie.

Oh, and if all else fails…channel the spirit of a beatnik poet, dress all in black all the time and you can’t go wrong.Oskar onwards 301