15/03/2014

The Walking Encyclopaedia's Walking Artists of the Day - Pete Ward, Simon Woolham, Sinéid Codd, Squirrel Nation, Steph Fletcher, Stephanie Bradley, Timothy Hill, Tom Baskeyfield, Tom Sykes, Tomie Hahn, Wendy Morris and Yoav Admoni

























In a continuing series throughout the duration of The Walking Encyclopaedia, we'll be highlighting, daily, the works of several 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.

#87 - Pete Ward - Pebble Ridge

http://peterwardearth.carbonmade.com/projects/3915674#5



Walking is an important dimension of my practice, whether it as research, workshops or the process of gathering and making or as the artwork itself. connection to our environment, and in particular the earth beneath our feet, is an essential element of the creative process promoting a sense and appreciation of place...

In 2012 i organised an interdisciplinary mini-expedition to explore the evolution of a landform as part of the appledore visual arts festival in north devon. After an amount of initial feet-on research, the expedition invited a number of people from different disciplines (ornithologist, conservationist, geographer, dancer and site-artist, and social philanthropist) to explore and respond to experience and issues connected to the landform. despite extremely inclement weather the walk resulted in a number off small artworks (works in the environment, photographs, films and stimulating conversation, which have been documented to a certain extent) and a very well received artists talk at the festival.


Can a single action be creatively catalytic in effort and effect?
May we truly listen to the wind and waves and utter her words for all the world?
Is a prayer from the heart as large as a shout in a crowd?
Only with a relationship and understanding of the natural world can we realistically engage with the challenges, both environmental and social, that we are presently facing. My contemporary practice hopefully enables a sense of connection and compassion through the use of appropriately derived materials, and cross-disciplinary actions and events.
Over the past 20 years Peter’s internationally recognised environmental art practice has included painting, illustration, installation, residencies, workshops and interpretative displays for ecological education projects. He has conducted extensive research into the history, geology and uses of locally sourced earth pigments and has developed interdisciplinary projects and events to explore and celebrate our relationship within the natural world. In 2012 he completed an MA (Art & Environment) at University College Falmouth, receiving the Sandra Blow Award for Outstanding Achievement. Peter’s final MA project examined our relationship to natural resources – in particular sticks and wood – and the way art practice may be utilised to enable and transform our understanding and behaviour towards such. A full account of this work - A BUNDLE OF STICKS a reflective process towards cultural ecologic empowerment - may be downloaded here… He is presently working with the Burton Gallery and Museum towards a new permanent display celebrating The Story of Bideford Black (www.bidefordblack.blogspot.co.uk).
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#88 - Simon Woolham

http://www.darkcorner.co.uk/

Wythy Walks




A series of walks around Wythenshawe called the ‘Wythy Walks’ act as an interview methodology as well as a method for expanding the field of drawing, as works in themselves. An ongoing sequence of recorded collaborations around Wythenshawe with old friends, family, and acquaintances who grew up there. The walks start out at the house where the person was born, still live, or spent the majority of their time in Wythenshawe. Guided by the collaborators own memories, we then walk towards
different locations, depending on what we talk about.

Following this personal and emotionally instinctive rapport to guide us around Wythenshawe, encouraged by the rhythms and what we see on the walks, parallels the way I perform and process drawing. From this stream of consciousness, new works have and will be made, highlighting the expanded field of drawing, personal geography and ultimately a better understanding of the relationship with our immediate surroundings.

‘The derive entails playful-constructive behaviour and awareness of psycho-geographical effects; which completely distinguish it from the classical notions of the journey and the stroll.’ (Debord, 1989, p.50) I will reference Debord and his notion of the Derive in relation to the ‘Wythy Walks’ being guided by memory, the ‘playful-constructive’ (ibid) routes around Wythenshawe. The ‘Wythy Walks’ arenalso a strategy that not only jolts the collaborator out of the everyday situation, but enables us to develop a relationship that otherwise would not exist, related to the free flowing process of both walking and talking, the loosening of inhibitions and the opening of the memory banks.

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#89 - Sinéid Codd

www.sineidcodd.co.uk







Sinéid Codd makes images relating to time and ambulant movement, in monotype prints that possess stillness and immediacy. Areas of subtle or often vivid and intense colour contain forensically detailed images, taken directly from found flora and fauna and, importantly, preserving actual scale and features. As such, her work references early photography and film, through her use of rhythm and image sequencing.

The narrative format of the vertical works originated as a response to walks made in Cornwall in the late 1990’s. The artist wanted to express the sensation of walking, during which internal reflection and external observation of the landscape – both distant and close, were experienced at the same time. She felt that the format of these works, which can be as narrow as 10cm and as tall as 200cm, gave the viewer a feeling of moving through space and time as if making the walk.

The scope of these works is further developed in a series of digital works combining scans of prints with photographs, which were commissioned by Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital NHS Trust in 2004 for a walkway corridor between two wards.

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#90 - Squirrel Nation - Oxford Road

http://oxfordroad.wordpress.com/





A psychogeographical observational film piece inspired by Manchester photographic archives. It captures the changing landscape of a pivotal road in central Manchester that leads all the way to Oxford through a filmed walk.

The project is a collaboration between Caroline Ward (Visual Artist), Erinma Ochu (Writer) and Kevin Logan (Sound Artist) and produced by artist filmmaking collective, Squirrel Nation.

Oxford Road is an audiovisual experiment to capture a changing city. It is a durational piece that draws on the analogy of using a walk, time and archives to capture and structure the narrative of a city. We are interested in how a city, like Manchester is shaped by small changes in different parts of the built environment, over time, and how this affects the cultural memory of place reflected in people’s tacit and explicit knowledge of the city.

Walking along Oxford Road with a video camera, we captured, an hour at a time, the changing nature of a street that leads all the way to Oxford. We are curious about how people navigate and traverse Oxford Road on foot, by bus and train. We wanted to capture and archive this ‘living knowledge’ in a dynamic and creative way that can bring a city’s history to life both now and in the future.

We are interested in re-exploring the social history and narratives embodied in the urban built environment and have used a walk, photography, past and present, to inform our process to storyboard, shoot and edit the film. Essentially we are interested in the social choreography, the movement around the urban built environment, what are the professional and social routines that unfold along the Oxford Road ‘Corridor’ over hours, days, weeks?

Further, the relocation of two major cultural organisations, The BBC and the Cornerhouse, from two buildings within close proximity of one another, presents the opportunity to explore how the city and its people respond to changes in the urban built environment between 2011 and 2012 when both organisations move to new urban developments, Mediacity, Salford and First Street, Manchester respectively.

The film and all of the footage shot is stored in the North West Film Archive, presenting a future opportunity to reflect on how a pivotal Mancunian through-road changes and re-shapes the city. The BBC have since re-located to media city and the building has been knocked down (it is currently a car park).


The film was supported by the Sync South East programme through Accentuate http://www.accentuate-se.org/



Squirrel Nation is artist filmmaking collective, Caroline Ward and Erinma Ochu based at Grumpy Studios in Manchester.

We make durational film pieces about space and place, using walking, digital video, social media and informed by academic research to investigate cities and sense of place.

Previous work includes the cycling documentary, Cote D’Azur, which was selected for screening at the Olympics Big Screen and Live Sites 2012 and more recently Feeding Cities and Everyday Growing Futures 2013, which explore urban food growing. Souvenir of a City which captures the big wheel in Brighton was commissioned by Short Circuit and screened at Brighton Digital Festival and VideoJam 2013.


Our next project is ‘transition meadow’ which originates from a performance walk along the 17-mile High Peak Trail in the Peak District and aims to recreate a meadow from seeds collecting along the Trail.

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#91 - Steph Fletcher - Reverse Commute




Project:Reverse Commute 2012/ongoing) is a walking project, which involves mapping a usual journey to work - and following it the exact opposite way.The seemingly illogical route serves to question the daily pattern of our normal work rituals,and offer time and space to reflect on the way contemporary work shapes our lives.
The project is ongoing and anyone is welcome to make their own commute, alone or together.This mini-zine documents my first journey.

Steph Fletcher is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer and freelance project co-ordinator/curatorbased in Preston, NW UK.Her current practice explores themes around work-life, labour, the city, urban travel,philosophy and anarchist theory; focussing on the hybrid role of the artist/activist.

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#92 - Stephanie Bradley - Tales of our Times

“Tales of Our Times”, my first book, launched on the 19th October 2013, came about from my involvement with the paradigm shifting Transition movement as it developed from a local community effort in Totnes, Devon to become an internationally recognised charity working towards changing the stories we believe from those of disempowerment to new stories of collaboration, cooperation, care, and Great Community Happiness.
I wanted to meet the people in England who were making those changes in their communities, in villages, towns, and cities. I chose to walk to them in my faithful old pair of red flip flops primarily out of a sense of personal comfort, but also to make a statement: to challenge the stories that tell us that to be happy we need designer trainers and sleek 4 wheeled chariots.
My art and my walking are more than a practice to me; they are a way of life. I own no car, my choice of year round footwear:  a pair of aubergine wellies and a pair of red flip flops, and my constant companion; a small green backpack.
I walk, I listen to the stories people want to share with me, about their lives, their loves, their fears, their hopes. I weave those stories into folklore, the tales of Our times, and then I share them with others. We are history in the making, and my practice is to document it.
Get involved with a StoryWalk every August in Devon. We start at the sea. We walk from the mouth of the River Dart at Dartmouth and a week later we reach its source, high up on Dartmoor. We walk, we forage, we fish, we tell tales, we sing, we cook, we connect with nature, each other, and with our own innate sense of who we are. We create art to express our experiences and share it with others. Join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/374696342657617/
In June 2014 I will be walking through some new places. Invite me to hear and tell tales in your village, town, or city. E mail me transitiontales@googlemail.com.

Steph Bradley
Walking Artist, StoryWeaver,Writer, Poet.
 Twitter: StephBradley@WynnAlice

Weblinks:  

Steph’s website & blog:
To buy a copy of “Tales of Our Times”
http://www.storyweaving.co.uk/ 
Tales of Our Times website:
http://www.tales-of-our-times.org/

See a video of Steph telling her “Tales of Our Times” at her book launch:
http://youtu.be/rpbTR_cF0vY
The blog of her 6 month walk around England can be found on the Transition Network website::
http://www.transitionnetwork.org/blogs/steph-bradley
Steph also blogs on Creative Community Devon:
Help CrowdFund Steph’s next book: about the Utopia of 2050
http://www.sponsume.com/project/flip-flop-tale-our-times
“Like” her Facebook to read excerpts from the new book:  


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#93 - Timothy Hill


Tim's artistic practice consists of collecting and appropriating whatever he notices is amusing. He lives and works in Bristol and graduated in Photography from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth. The films are about movement in urban environments rather than walking specifically but the themes and ideas tie into a wider discourse on walking.

Life's about the journey [3m06s]


People unable to pass through glass doors [3.31]

People squeezing through small gaps [3.27]


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#94 - Tom Baskeyfield


Walking; Engaging; Connecting

                 


My art derives from the land, in particular that which can be reached on foot from the front-door of my home.

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I seek an art that takes stock of the place in which it is made and of the relationships between people, place and nature.

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This art should promote questioning and reflection; it should stimulate thought and develop understanding.

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I see walking as the thread that aids this process. The slowing down of movement that allows mind, body and earth to deeply interconnect.                                                            



Tom Baskeyfield
2013


Alternative RoutesWalking Boundaries and Year on a Hill where all created between the spring of 2009 and the summer of 2010. At the time I was living in the centre of Macclesfield town, in its post-industrial depths, and would frequently take walks up the hill to get a bit of space and time to think. I had grown up in the town but had been living away for a while.  As A child and adolescent I was seeking the town and its links to other urban centres but I found as an adult it was the countryside that held far greater interest. These three works grew out of a sense of discovery, a discovery of something unknown within that which one considered known.  

Alternative Routes
Alternative Routes came first. After taking regular walks for a while I realised the restrictive nature of roads, footpaths and dry-stone walls. I could find space up on the hill but my movements were still restricted and defined by boundaries. In Alternative Routes my aim was to defy these boundaries, to run free through the open-space I gazed upon from beyond the wall; to seek alternative perspectives on the places I had begun to know; to deepen my relationship with these places.

Walking Boundaries
In Walking Boundaries it was the wall itself that I wanted to know, and the view it had. The thought that really drove this work was the notion that since the wall had been built no-one had experienced what it was like to stand, view and feel, the place from the ground the wall now inhabited.
The wall in the film sits a top a windy hill, higher up from the sites of the other works but within comfortable walking distance.  I first came across it the previous winter where it lay in the cold misty air like a beached whale. An eerie yet beautiful sight. I walked it mid week in mid July on a warm, yet very wet and windy, day.

Year on a Hill
Year on a Hill came about through my continued walks and a developing interest in the passing of the seasons (something one notices directly when walking is a regular activity) and their effect on place. I had come across the path in the winter of 2008 whilst researching another work. It had stayed with me due to its sense of wildness yet relative closeness to town and the straightness of its path cutting across the hillside (later I became further mesmerised by it when I realised I could see it clearly from town). I was struck when first there that such a place could exist so close to my childhood home yet I knew nothing of it.
The work is as the title describes – a document of a year on a hill. I videoed a walk along the path once a month, starting west to east, then east to west, and so on until a year had past.

Dwellings grew out of this time also but had a slightly different conceptual framework. The work was created as part of a group show with three friends. ‘IV’ was a collaborative idea which took as its grounding four rules devised by four artists (ourselves) to form a discipline to create a piece of work within a set timeframe.
The rules where: 1. We will not discuss the work. 2. We must spend 52 hours making the work from 1st May 2009. 3. All work should be made at no cost to the artist. 4. We will present one item at the end of the time limit.
The ‘dwellings’ photographed in the work show my current home at the time and a shepherds’ shelter I had come across whilst performing Alternative Routes in the April prior to beginning the work. My initial plan was to walk from my home to the shelter 52 times (it’s about a 30minute walk). But in the end I didn’t mange such discipline, the blank spaces represent the days I didn’t make it. The work is exhibited laid out flat on the ground, with the intension of it being viewed whilst walking.

Dwellings
In late 2010 I began an MA in Art and Environment at, what is now, Falmouth University. Through my previous projects (and my reading at the time) I had developed strong feelings toward notions of localness and being connected to ones immediate surroundings, and the effect of time on place and myself. I had also developed interests in the land and broader nature and our relationship to it. Of Time in a Field explores and addresses these interests (the book of the same title works to collate a coherent collection of my work with this place – Little Beach Field).
Contemplating the Birth of a Field functions as an attempt to place myself within the dialogue between humans and nature - a field existing as a bridge between the two. It is a meditation on the act of physical labour and toil employed over millennia to tame the land in an attempt to be settled. It is about stone and soil, skin and bone.
Little Beach Field lay less than a mile away from my home, sat on the banks of the Penryn River. I visited frequently between October 2010 and August 2011, always on foot.

All these works and my current practice have been informed, to a greater or lesser degree, by the thoughts of Guy Debord and the Situationists (the Dérive in particular) current writing about our relationship to nature, place and the land (that of Roger Deakin, Robert Macfarlane, Rebecca Solnit, Kathleen Jamie and Sara Maitland in particular) work by the charity Common Ground and ideas surrounding Deep Ecology. The works of Roni Horn, Francis Alÿs and Matthew Barney’s early Drawing Restraint have all shaped my thinking.

Apart from Dwellings and Of Time in a Field / Contemplating the Birth of a Field the other works have not been viewed by an audience before. 


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#95 - Tom Sykes - The Site as Muse
Georges Perec and Walking into Topophilia 




a self published extended essay based on my experiences as an architect and architecture student and the role that walking has played in the way designs develop, a kind of methodology that encourages the designer, and their design, to evolve alongside a nurtured love for the place where the building will be, a 'topophilia' that emerges from repeated immersion on the site and the careful recording of this immersion.

The piece was originally written as the dissertation for a Masters of Architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture, where it was submitted to the Royal Institute of British Architects' annual awards, the President's Medals, where it received a commendation.  From here the thoughts in it have also been adapted into a research paper that was delivered at the 'On Walking' conference in Sunderland last June



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#96 - Tomie Hahn, Ruadhan Ward, and Camila Sobral - Chalkscape



Chalkscape is a collaborative piece by three women—Tomie Hahn, Ruadhan Ward, and Camila Sobral—that involved storytelling, walking, and drawing (Spring 2013). In this piece walking animated drawings on a college walking path. Through Chalkscape we realized that rituals of walking between places creates paths both literal and metaphoric. The flow of people through places stirred memories, creating both physical and ephemeral pathways. We found the chalk inscriptions connected people. Not expecting the depth of the emotional, intimate, chalk impressions, we later imagined them as secret messages that needed to be uttered, displayed, walked over, and then released.
Let us tell you a few stories folded into a larger story about walking and encountering, or moving through, memories of familiar places. Three women, Tomie, Ruadhan, and Camila, collaborated on this project. We had roles to play... Tomie as instigator, Ruadhan and Camila as enablers of stories and drawings on a busy walking path on a college campus in upstate New York.


Story One: NOW! - Heightening sensory awareness

Tomie: As part of an artistic residency at Bard College, I instigated ten students to engage in artistic-ethnographic collaborations that would stir up their senses and prompt awareness. One of the three collaborations from this residency responded to a weekly exercise—called “NOW!”— that I hoped would instigate creativity. My NOW! instructions:
• Over the next four months, several times during the week, I will email you with the subject line “NOW!”
• When you receive this email please close your eyes, pause for a minute and... listen!

what do you hear? be open to the field of sound you are inhabiting—close to far.
• Respond to my email with a handful of words and or sentences that reflect what you experienced during this minute.
In the following weeks the sensory themes of NOW! shifted from sound to smell, to taste, thought, sight, touch.


Story Two: Chalkscape

A duo collaboration arose from the NOW! exercise. Running with the concept of building awareness in 
the immediate present, the planning for Chalkscape began. Camila and Ruadhan planted themselves at a major intersection of pathways through Bard campus with several boxes of street chalk. With their new sensory-ethnographer hats on, they approached fellow students walking between classes, asking “would you write or draw a memory you have of this spot?”
Ruadhan: The concept was to ask random passersby for a memory of the area they were walking through, and then display it. As in our NOW! exercises, the surprise of being asked a personal question on the spot invited walkers to first focus on a place they might not have truly realized they were walking through, and then to think about their experiences there. These are actions that most people do not consider in their day-to-day walks, their journeys. This process of creation became a circle of giving. The Bard campus would elicit a memory from someone, who would then display it on Bard campus. The practice adds to the campus itself, and allows other students to glimpse a part of a life from a community member.
Camila: We decided to use chalk as our medium for display. This added a playfulness to the project. It made the display impermanent, somewhat like our memories.
Ruadhan: Looking back, we provided a space for walking experiences through 
Chalkscape, but I did not expect that it would also be such a moving experience for us (“artist/questioner/ instigator”). Also, there were after effects of altering a space we walk through every day. Students were reacting differently to the space after the chalkscape was created and, interestingly, it seemed to have a lingering presence after we left.
Tomie: I noticed that people walked on or around the chalkscape memories, rerouting their physical routines. But I also heard participants and those passing by saying that the chalkscape was rerouting their emotional pathways. Stories within stories arose. I watched walkers interacting with the drawings and stories... reading as they walked, playfully making shadows on them, stopping to add their own memories... and from time to time a few people stopped on a bench to ponder this common space that they traverse everyday, but had now transformed to a chalkscape. A week later, although Chalkscape had almost entirely washed away, Ruadhan and Camila reported hearing students still talking about the piece. The ephemeral nature of memories arising and passing appeared to be linked with qualities walking—coming and going. 


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#97 - Wendy Morris 
I am a visual artist/short-filmmaker living and working in Belgium who has recently completed a doctorate in the arts at LUCA / University of Leuven. I started walking as a means of researching an autobiographical film and found it extremely productive as part of an artistic practice. It has now become an integral part of my practice



Heir to the Evangelical Revival 

A great number of my forebears fled or emigrated to South Africa because of their religious convictions. French and Flemish Huguenots in the 17th century, English Protestant missionaries and clergy in the 19th century. Though I am atheist-agnostic-apostate I must trace my South Africanism to the religious convictions of my ancestors. I love church spaces and architecture. I am fascinated by the history of religious dissidency from the 12th century onwards. I balk at theological arguments, religious dogma, and organised religion. I will take no part in religious services. The film is an attempt to position myself towards the religious-historical baggage that I inherit.





















From nov 2010 until nov 2011 I kept a walking book in which I recorded over a hundred walks. In sept 2011 I walked on the old pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela. These are pages from the first day of that walk.












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