Wednesday, 14 September 2011


Pigeons have been popping up all over the place this week. I love how something as ordinary as a pigeon can inspire a huge variety of art.

First my friends Kaaren and Richard have been documenting the pairs of pigeons nestbuilding in a Parisian windowbox. Just like K and R, these Eurasian Collared Doves are a loved-up pair, who live in artistic and exquisite surroundings, and enjoy some of the simplest and best things in life. Kaaren is a writer whose wonderful insights are informed by a huge knowledge of myth; Richard's beautiful photographs add a vibrant dimension to their joint work.

At the other end of the scale is Brian the pigeon, the Parisians' downmarket London cousin. His blog is earthy, foul mouthed and hilarious. Brian's "PR agent" is Lisa Shand, a talented up and coming writer, who has a great handle on first person narrative, and whose first novel I will be looking out for.

Finally at Bury Literary Salon this week the affable poet and artist Josef Minta showed a short film he'd made featuring pigeons flying in a city sky. They circle and swoop and turn above the rooftops against a haunting soundtrack. To me they seemed like a squadron of world war two bombers, then a pair lifted off into the sky like a still from Jonathan Livingstone Seagull. If you watch it, expect to see something different.

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