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What is Taunton-ness ?

Arts Taunton

residency commission

May-June 2017

The commission was to ascertain the concept of Taunton-ness and over a couple of months I set up a few investigations to try and round this up. 

Initially these works started with some cheeky teasing surveys, but rather than ask the question directly 'What is Taunton-ness' I have tried to come at it with a little more playfulness.

The second element of the commission was to capture some words through Poetry Boxes left across the town during June. 

Image from Cecil Sharp's photographic exhibition at The Museum of Somerset, Taunton


This image was taken by Cecil between 1904 and 1909 when he was actively capturing folk songs across Somerset.

Is Taunton more pie than flan?


Is Taunton more pie than flan

More sweet than savoury or sour

What shape of bloom is the Taunton flower


Is it more soup than stew

More seven up than iron brew


More morning, evening or gathering dusk

More slow burn than boom and bust


Is it more Super Dry jackets than sandals with socks

More power dressing trouser suits than blokes in frocks


Is it more signalling left then turning right

More crochet blankets than romps in the night


Is it more glove on the railings than teddy in the gutter

More rambling punters than gamblers flutter


More greek myths than martial arts

More the Haynes manual than the sum of its parts 


More carrot than parrot

More passenger than poet

More Cava than Moët

More pigeon pie than hedgehog crisps

More packed lunches and lists of lists

More early riser than morning sickness

More boasting of girth than assessing the thickness


More alphanumeric than alpha male

More esoteric than economies of scale


Less the Cathedral more about the willow

More about company than the pillow


More the mate than the captain

More the plate than the platter

More the rabbit than the hatter

More the dentist than the decay

More the lead actors than the play


More quiche than niche

Or obvious pastiche

But more or less

It's so hard to assess

That elusive concept of Taunton-ness

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