My previous walking work, as an artist, can be split into two groups: the first being the project The City as Written by the City, and secondly collaborative work with Simon Pope – From Unspoken Landscapes, Figures in a Landscape, Postcards Home – to name a few. The drawing device from The City… and landscape from the work with Simon have been the intrinsic non-humans. In the collaborative work with Simon we were working out relationships to landscape – traditions, representations, and concepts of landscape. I have also been exploring co-working and co-learning with children – a solution to the quandary of trying to maintain some sort of artistic practice while being primary caregiver to a small child. Taking an Object for a Walk has come out of all this work.
I also have an interest in walking as method – both in art making and research – and this is what I focused on for much of my Geography MA. In particular I wrote about the qualitative research method of the snowball as a way to gather a community while on foot. The basic premise is you start with one person, and this person leads you to the next and so on until you have amassed a network, or community which gives you insight into your research topic. Taking an Object for a Walk has this same approach to “community building” yet in this case community members are both human and non-human. We started with ourselves and the chosen object and from there traveled to other related/linked things, people, or places. The “research” enabled the walk.
Taking an Object for a Walk – a new work born out of a commissioned workshop – is the first step in a longer journey. I have some nice ideas about where this project could go. Much thanks to WalkingLab for allowing me to develop things a little further.