The Walking Encyclopaedia's Walking Artists of the Day - Alison Lloyd, Amy Sharrocks and Andreas Rutkauskas

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.

#7 - Alison Lloyd - I Cannot See The Summit From Here, 2013

‘Unlike myself, Alison climbs mountains, returning their given names to their stubborn peaks’. Alec Finlay

Since leaving Arts Council England in 2010, as Head of Visual Arts, East Midland’s Office, Alison Lloyd has led walks for galleries, festivals and artists, as a way of developing her own practice through walking. She began her contemporary art and walking life leading a team building day for Dance4. Walking through mist and rain along White Edge in the Dark Peak. Linking navigation and route planning with the work of contemporary art and walking - and most recently was commissioned to make a one hour walk for the On Walking Conference, in Sunderland - ‘Contouring’ Alport Moor, Gethering Clough and the Grains in the Water along the banks of the River Wear.
The work "I Cannot See The Summit From Here" results from experiences of two concurrent residencies, One was a one week residency at Outlandia, Glen Nevis in June 2013 and the other as resident walking artist with Ordinary Culture’s Dukes Wood project.

My preferred walking terrain are places where I feel challenged by a feeling of remoteness and actual geographic remoteness.  Where it is necessary to have a degree of navigation knowledge.  During the process of developing a sense of dislocation in an urban environment, as well as bringing a scholarly interpretation of wilderness/remoteness I have considered the impact on consciousness of finding that I/we are lost.  What I mean by this is temporarily, when I am not sure where I am on the map.  I know which mountain  I am on, but not exactly whereabouts on it.
 Walking, sometimes more wandering out for long periods of time is important.  I have described this act of walking as, ‘marking the contours’ getting to know the intimate detail of an area.  At other times ‘striding out‘ over a greater distance and clocking up the miles, the duration of a walk is important.  These modes of walking reflect my interest in what has been called, time based media, performance.  I went to art college between 1975 and 1979, at a time when, we were still a part of the, ‘tradition’ that performance, within fine art practice, developed out of sculpture.  An example that also refers to walking is cited by Solnit in her book on the history of walking, Wanderlust (Solnit, R. 2001:273)  Great Wall Walk  by Marina Abramovic and Ulay.  They walked the Great Wall of China in 1988.*  My walking in challenging environments; through practice and reading I would like to find out if there is a difference in practice between the genders.  I would like to reclaim the ‘wilderness’ territory for myself, and other women, and raise the profile of walking in these places, as a process and method by women land/earth/nature artists.    Perhaps a paradigm shift in the pattern, where women and their walking practice have not been extensively written about.
 A challenging environment for me is one where weather, terrain, altitude, wilderness/remoteness can have a profound effect on my walking experience.
My primary challenging environment is the Mountainous areas in the UK.  My secondary challenging environment is to be found in urban spaces.  I have purposefully walked in the dark wearing a head torch to not so much re-enact some of my experiences of hiking in geographically ‘remote’ places instead to devise a walking experience for myself and for participants where a sense of wilderness or remoteness can be felt in an environment that might not immediately be considered to be a place where I/we would experience any difficulty or hardship or be dependent upon ourselves, and remote from any immediate help. 

Website - http://contemporaryartofwalking.com/


#8 - Amy Sharrocks

made as part of Keeping Up to accompany a large installation of shoes, stilts and all kinds of things to totter on, at the solo exhibition Season for Falling, at the Royal British Society of Sculptors.
A Virtual Tour

Amy Sharrocks is a live artist, sculptor and film-maker.

She invites people to come on journeys in which their own experience, communication and expression are a vital part. Undertaking these journeys with a sense of humour, joy and risk radically implicates the public, creating a bond and an outcome that is rich and unpredictable, different every time. This invitation and the bravery and invention of people’s responses, produces new avenues for exploration and fantastic visions within the everyday.

For many years she has been investigating water and our connection to it. On 12 July 2007 she made SWIM, where 50 people swam across London from Tooting Bec Lido to Hampstead Heath Ponds. In 2009 she toured drift around England, taking people one at a time to drift on swimming pools in her boat, and in 2011 completed London is a River City, a series of public walks tracing and dowsing 7 of London’s buried rivers. WALBROOK (See Below) was the largest of these walks, where 65 people were tied together to walk silently along the Walbrook riverbed through the City of London at rush hour. These water works have been collected in a large article for Performance Art Journal. She is currently gathering donations for Museum of Water: a large public collection of water that people want to preserve, in the container of their choice. The Museum is touring for the next two years (2013 -2015). She continues to make many walking, stumbling works across Europe, and is encouraging people to sign up for Swim the Thames, a mass swim in 2015 across The Thames River, underneath Tower Bridge.

With the help of a dowser, artist Amy Sharrocks re-mapped one of London’s oldest rivers with the help of a group of Londoners, attempting to reclaim this great body of water and prompt a different understanding of our landscape. Tracing the course of the buried Walbrook River from its source in Islington to its mouth at the River Thames, this public walk thronged the pavements with people, who were joined together by the waist for the duration of the walk.

Tracing a memory of water through built up London streets, Walbrook made its way through the heart of the City, and across the Bank of England itself. If there were only water amongst the rock...




#9 - Andreas Rutkauskas

Andreas Rutkauskas is a visual artist whose practice is largely concerned with the landscape in response to shifting technologies. His principle medium is photography; therefore he usually develops his process around an initial selection of photographs. He believes, however, that the photographic medium can be limited in completely articulating an experience in the landscape, so he often incorporates video and other media into projects as a way of providing the viewer with a more diverse perspective. While his projects do not engage directly with portraiture, there is often an implied human presence and dialogue with local communities has been fundamental to understanding the depicted landscapes. Walking has been a central process both as a method of gathering images, as well as directly figuring into the work in the form of drawings made through the use of GPS, conceptual book works comprised of raw GPS data, and videos made by tracing routes in software such as Google Earth. The two video pieces submitted to the The Walking Encyclopaedia form parts of larger projects titled Virtually There (2010) and Stanstead Project: or how to Cross the Border (2011).

Andreas Rutkauskas - Cache

The video Caché takes its title from the process of emptying the cache of the Google Earth software after determining a virtual point of view in the landscape. As the software begins to download the data, the landscape materializes in front of the viewer. The prominent red line in each clip shows my trajectory in the mountains, as logged with a GPS. The act of building detail in the landscape is evocative of traditional landscape painting, whereby the artist begins with rough blocks of shape and colour, and gradually defines details. Caché is part of my project Virtually There, which was realized during art residencies in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Before setting out on these residencies, I examined historic photographs of the mountains, topographic maps, and GPS tracks from the web. After considering this data, I composed views of the Rockies in Google Earth. Upon arriving in the mountains, I re-enacted these simulated explorations, and created photographs from the same vantage points using a large-format camera. Aside from photography and video, the project also includes an artist’s-book that presents plain-text GPS data in the form of a 19th century journal of exploration, and a number of drawings made with a GPS.

Andreas Rutkauskas - Walk The Line

Walk the Line is a five-minute video with ambient sound that was designed to be presented as a loop. It is comprised of four shots made along the border between Canada and the United States, where the International Boundary Commission is responsible for clearing a six-metre-wide swath of land. The only action in these static shots is generated by the wind in the leaves, and through a brief appearance of the artist walking the line, and disappearing into the foliage. Like Caché, this video is also part of a larger project that I produced for the Foreman Art Gallery in Lennoxville, Quebec – a town near the Canada/US border. Conceptually I am interested in how this border exhibits the dual function of a site that is heavily monitored, where humans are discouraged from lingering, yet is also part of a vast territory that many think is nearly impossible to fully control. The project also includes a series of photographs, an artist’s book containing a GPS drawing made along an 18km stretch of the border, and a historical map of the borderlands near the gallery. 

Website - www.andreasrutkauskas.com   

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