These writings by Layzell/Paxton frame and underpin The Naming, an ongoing artwork with a strong relationship to narrative and fiction. They follow the project’s intuitive evolution and challenging discoveries in such varied locations as Skyros Greece, Ephesus Turkey, Konstanz Germany, Hastings UK, Limehouse London and Halifax Nova Scotia. 

Common as Muck

Stroud’s Mucky and Wonderful Commons Renowned performance artist Richard Layzell returns to Stroud this May with his new project Common as Muck. He will be found exploring, investigating and probing the boundaries of the extensive common land that surrounds the town. What secrets are there hidden in the commons? Finding out can be a muckyContinue reading “Common as Muck”

The E-L-M

It hadn’t been easy in Hackney, so she decided to rework the first section into something approaching sound poetry. More in tune with Dick Higgins than Pam Ayres she recalled his Snowflakes and then the words appeared quite quickly on the page. This performed approach to language would surely communicate to the 120 pensioners atContinue reading “The E-L-M”

Beached in Limehouse

Text for the ‘Come Hell or High Water’ event that was postponed due to the lockdown in May 2020 The land mass of river bed become beach, beached, eased, allowed for, swept back, sunken, elevated, given space to breathe. You wake in water, looking down. You bathe at the edge, down the rough wooden stepsContinue reading “Beached in Limehouse”

Siskins in Salen

What looked from the other side of the room like mist is a fine rain that needs another name than drizzle. This is something else. Call it smether. The lodge is still warm from storage heater excess. Out there is not weather for tripods and filming. It’s a subtle soaker. There’s little wind and itContinue reading “Siskins in Salen”


You’re at Ashley’s front door, returning the dibber. ‘Thanks again for this, Ashley.’ ‘Glad to be of service. Get your work done?’ ‘It was perfect, such a simple and effective tool.’ ‘Like me, simple and effective. That’s how Jean used to describe me anyhow. You wanna come in for coffee?’ ‘Thanks, but I was onContinue reading “Kronos”


You find a dark pool outside the Langham Hotel. It’s triangular and does not photograph well. The still image fails to capture this suspended plane of darkness in the road, holding the rainfall. The rain falls and pools, settles and waits, as a heavy lingering and miraculous reflective surface that takes you deep and down,Continue reading “W1”

The Dibber

The park is under the topcoat now, behind the eyes and ears. You’re drawn to find other ways to mess with it, to lift the carpets, tousle the hair, open the windows. There will be more trips. The first one will involve guerrilla gardening and you’ll need to prepare for it in Mark and Andrea’sContinue reading “The Dibber”


The city needs a central park and it sits here between the cemetery and the museum. They named it the Halifax Public Gardens.  She arrives early on Sunday morning, wearing a dark blue trilby and a black suit jacket, and heads straight for the green wooden benches, forty of them lined up in parallel rows.Continue reading “iii”


She goes into the museum looking for the Mi’kmaq displays. Yesterday she stood outside Mic Mac Mall holding a sign saying Mi’kmaq Mall as a hurried gesture of defiance and solidarity. Mic Mac, in this form, with a space between the syllables, has a catchy ring of contemporary living and fast food, so why changeContinue reading “ii”


You ask yourself if you could ever live opposite a graveyard or cemetery. And that’s what you’re doing. You walk out the back door, squeeze past the pristine car that’s too large for the backyard, turn right alongside the house and you’re facing the always six lanes of traffic, three by three. The heavy automobile flowContinue reading “i”


You carefully touch the sharp crusts, snapped off in an unconvincing even pattern, brittle, dangerous, demonstrating when stones become aggregate and for effect, the look of it, just lovely, the concrete edge of a huge building at ground level for nudging. The pebbles give strength to the dull grey syrup mass, manufactured offsite and assembledContinue reading “DBC”

Eyes Down Top of the Shops

You’re looking out the window on the first floor of the old department store in the High Street. This was Williams and Griffin, Colchester’s own, which started out down the hill in the street of your ancestors. It’s now Fenwicks. They’ve splashed out on the refurbs, although the metal-framed windows haven’t changed. You’re looking acrossContinue reading “Eyes Down Top of the Shops”


Hastings comes alongside like the fishing boat marooned on a traffic island outside the station. You thought it would be a good follow-up to Ephesus. Now the test comes. The studio in Duke Street backs on to railway tracks. This row of warehouses on the north side has direct access to the lines, goods out,Continue reading “Hastings”


You’re not asleep. You’re aware of your breathing and see the pulse moving at the back of your wrist where the watchstrap squeezes. There’s a bright halo around the stones and grasses at the edge of your vision. He’s talking to you. He’s talking. Fuck this is not weird. He’s telling you things. He saysContinue reading “Heraclitus”

The Museum

Here it is then, a bland cubic building on the edge of Selçuk. You pause outside to look for the tethered goat you passed earlier climbing a tree on the pavement. How did it get over the wall? Is this a portent? You’re here and not here. Your disappointment is a heavy raincoat. Sometimes feelingsContinue reading “The Museum”

The Walk

It’s early afternoon and he’s looked at the map often enough to comfortably find the start of the walking route of approximately four kilometres. He negotiates a goat on a leash chewing bark from a roadside tree, and heads west on the road to the coast and the small airport. And, yes, it’s signposted toContinue reading “The Walk”

The Flash

He takes a shortcut through the park in torrential rain, passing the deserted lake of amusement with its awkward swan pedal boats tethered lifeless at the edge. Now the animation comes from the heavy drops falling, splash, pound and ripple. Momentarily sheltering under the awning of a windowless building he hears the distinctive sounds ofContinue reading “The Flash”


You’re the first through the gate.  You prowl like the dogs packed and ranging in their territorial landscape, silently eyeing each other you are.  It’s clear who’s in the ascendancy.  They’re lying down from vertical to ground level lolling and rolling, hard and defiant. Their colour shifts across each individual, shaded with a subtlety lostContinue reading “Izmir”


The subtlety of the experience is utterly beyond you.  You wave your arms and legs around and think you’re having a spiritual moment.  You hug me and I feel nothing.  It’s all about you, always.  Every particle of my being is responding to the finest and most subtle flicks and leanings of this air stream.Continue reading “Paradies”


The clever wooden tower by the lake almost award-winning.  The viewing platform that’s all about the climb, the steps of spiral and the objective is arrival so leave your mark.  The pine needles collected and flown out from a tarmac path in a London park packed in the bag for this here. To scatter whereContinue reading “Elevation”

Door Window

Eudoxia had forgotten he was coming and was surprised to see him as he walked through the garden to where she was chopping aubergines, but she had space and offered him Room 3 for 25 euros a night. Since it was a cash transaction he assumed he could do pretty much what he liked, soContinue reading “Door Window”

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