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Polaroid Haiku

To get people into the exhibition and to engage with it in a fun way, I have asked other local artists to feedback into the project with a growing instant film wall. Our first session was Polaroid Haiku with Ian Horn. Writing poetry in this style is quite alien to me but I always relish a challenge.

The theory is that you create a 3 line poem traditionally inspired by nature or the seasons. The Japanese use a distinct pattern of syllables to sequence the poem as follows:

  1. A line that has 5 syllables
  2. A longer line of 7 syllables
  3. And, a final line of 5 syllables.

The responses were interesting and I really think that it should be explored further. It’s not that easy! My usual inclination is to waffle so it was interesting to limit the quantity of writing to focus solely on the eloquence of the sequence. It ends up being much more of an abstraction of thought that might only contain the essence of what you’re trying to convey. Very Buddhist in a meditative sense.

I’ll be in Mackies Corner tomorrow creating some cyanotype booklets with participants, and Mara will be watching the gallery for me. I’ll leave the instax in her capable hands in case anyone wants to attempt their own Polaroid Haiku.

I’ll try to keep regular updates, but I currently also trying to evaluate the project at the same time. If you have taken part in #wearexperimenting and would like to leave any feedback then please email:

I’d like to know if you enjoyed working with me, what you found most interesting, and if you would like to do more. I think this style of working with the public could have real significance. Let me know if you feel the same.


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