The Walking Encyclopaedia's Walking Artists of the Day - SMartwalks (Alban Low), Alec Finlay and Alexander Champion

In a continuing series throughout the duration of The Walking Encyclopaedia, we'll be highlighting, daily, the works of three practitioners who employ the walk within their practice. Each of the highlighted artists and artworks were submitted for exhibition to The Walking Encyclopaedia. In each case alongside their artist statement, a link to the artist's website is provided for further exploration.

The Walking Encyclopaedia is a co-production between AirSpace Gallery and the Walking Artists Network

#4 - SMartwalks (Alban Low), 2013


A SMartWalk is the act of taking written comment from the ephemeral world of Social Media (Twitter) and posting it back into the real world, or placing a 'restreet' in the public realm.
After choosing a location, SMartWalkers - Darren Atkinson, Harvey Wells and Alban Low trawl twitter, find content from local people and transform into magnetic artworks. The 5 x 7cm vignettes are posted along a route, photographed, GPS located and then tweeted once again.The three artists’ aim is to initiate a real dialogue with 'friends' from the internet, to reinvigorate public spaces with thoughts from local people and to make art accessible to all by giving the magnets away for free. The dialogue is not only an exchange of messages and addresses (We send a copy of their magnet to every participant) but one which explores the boundaries of what is public property on the web and society. SMartWalking is a positive force, giving a voice and affirmation to local people with something to say.

Website - www.smart-walks.co.uk/SMartWalks/Home.html


#5 - Alec Finlay

untitled (wall poem), Alec Finlay, 2014 after, John Milne's Celtic Place Names of Aberdeenshire (1912)

From a-ga: on ( and off) mountains

Alec Finlay (b.1966), artist and poet; never knowingly on a summit, faithful to one of the neglected precepts of Highland Zen: that of walking not up, but around a mountain. Finlay's collected thoughts on mountain viewing will appear in the book a-ga : on (and off) mountains(morning star, May 2014). Other works relating to (not-) walking, viewing and wilderness include Sweeney's Bothy (2013-14), A Company of Mountains (morning star, 2013), The Road North (2010-12), and  white peak / dark peak (2009).  



#6 - Alexander Champion - The Circumambulation of North Berwick Law

Champion sees walking and writing as inextricably linked. The work is entirely built around the act of walking and it goes hand in hand with the Japanese aesthetic, specifically Zen.
Champion walks to gain a meditative mindset finding the creation of short, Zen poems flows easily from that act. In these poems a structure of 3 lines of seven syllables is followed, bearing similarity to a haiku but remaining the artist's own poetic style, adhering to the same Zen rules: wabi (simplicity), sabi (solitude) and mujo (impermanence).
The walk is the work, making it temporal, a hint towards a walking experience never to be recovered. In the gallery, documentation of these walking moments is exhibited, usually in the form of Zen poetry.
Most recently Champion has  been performing Circumambulations ­walking in circles round an object­ as a way of circling into this meditative, poetical mindset. 

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