From the room where she writes, poet Janet Charman has a window to the outside world through which she can observe passersby and visitors.

However, like most writers, Charman, whose collection Cold Snack won the Best Book of Poetry at the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, works largely in isolation.

So when she saw an advertisement in a New Zealand Society of Authors newsletter for the Metonymy project, she decided immediately to sign up to meet other artists, share ideas and challenge herself.

Metonymy is described by its organisers as the creative equivalent of a blind date. It aims to increase links between creative practitioners by matching visual artists with literary ones, giving them two months to make a new work. The definitions of "visual" and "literary" are broad enough to encompass painters, poets, writers, musicians and comedians.

Now in its third year, Metonymy has attracted applications from 112 artists, performers and writers.

It has led to 56 pairings, among them recognisable names such as artist John Eaden, poets David Eggleton and Charman, writer Siobhan Harvey, musicians Otis Mace and Karen Hunter, and comedian Philip Patston.

"The idea is that artists from different disciplines will spark off each other, making work that neither would otherwise have made," says organiser Christian Jensen.

Now a panel of artists and writers - Sam Sampson, John Daly-Peoples, Riemke Ensing, Christine O'Brien and Simon Ingram - are selecting finished works to be exhibited at the Corban Estate Arts Centre in Henderson.

Charman has her fingers crossed the piece she has co-created will be chosen. She was paired with artist Ian Peter Weston, a relatively recent arrival from Britain, who was keen to meet like-minded folk.

"You can get quite insular as an artist and I wanted to break out of that," says Weston.

The two had never met before but hit it off immediately; indeed, interviewing them separately demonstrated how in accord they were.

Modern haiku is one of Charman's passions. Whereas traditional haiku adheres to a strict form with a basic 5-7-5 syllable arrangement, modern haiku does not stick to this principle.

"I like to describe it as like a little shock of intense language," says Charman.

Weston, who works as a physiotherapy assistant at the Elizabeth Knox Home and Hospital in Epsom, is interested in memory and how elderly people who appear to have forgotten much about their lives can have sudden moments of surprising clarity and coherence.

As soon as he heard Charman's description of her haiku, Weston knew these could be matched perfectly to artwork which explored ideas about ageing, memory and identity.

Both first-time participants in Metonymy, Charman and Weston say they were nervous to begin with but collaborated on what they think is an original and thought-provoking piece.

"Janet thinks outside the square so working with her has been a fabulous experience," says Weston.

"She comes up with all sorts of associations I would never have thought of and is very quick to make connections between objects."

In turn, Charman says she has learned more about visual thinkers. "It has certainly made me more aware of the possibility of how text can be used in other mediums.

"It is very interesting to work closely with someone who thinks in a tactile way, who uses colour and calligraphy and juxtapositions.

"When I'm trying to figure something out, I just use the alphabet and the dictionary."

While Weston and Charman are new to Metonymy, artist Liam Davidson and poet singer-songwriter Anna Kaye Forsyth have participated before.

"Sometimes when you are collaborating with others, it can be a challenge but I am always up for a challenge," says Forsyth.

Like Charman and Weston, Davidson and Forsyth quickly discovered a shared interest - a love of future-gazing.

They are fans of dystopian fiction and opted to produce a three-minute video about what the future may look like.

If the moving image is selected for exhibition, it will mark the beginning of a big few weeks for Forsyth, who also releases her debut EP, Little Bonfire, today.

Exhibition
What: Metonymy

Where: Corban Estate Arts Centre, Waitakere City, September 2 to October 16