DeepMap/Thin Place

In June I am attending a short course of workshops ‘Writing for a Change’ with Lori Diggle at the Church House Atelier, Combeinteignhead. At the first workshop we heard about artists who work with deep mapping, and we did a walk around Combeinteignhead.

As is often the case, walking reminded me of childhood walks. I prepared this aide memoire:

and photographed this assemblage …

accompanied by this haiku …

        Excess plumage plucked
        Swans synchronously swim
        Rememb’ring Swann’s Way

Looking forward to next week …

More Walking

It’s impossible to say what constitutes an ‘art walk’ – The ones that I have made a separate post for here are mainly characterised as either being led by a bona fide ‘art walker’, and/or having clear arty objectives. Consequently there are quite a few posts about walks organised by ‘Wrights and Sites’. However in between, although I am not a keen walker, I have done many walks, with others and alone, which I have only documented informally or not at all. My preference is for urban walking (does that make me a flaneur?) and each walk has produced food for thought and for my artistic practice or writing.

Here is a short list of some other more formalised ‘art walks’ that I have participated in over the past few years. I may add some text or pictures in due course:

  • Torbay’s ‘The Tale’ – Full day walk and telling of stories around Torbay (Sept 2017)
  • Hound Tor & Dartmoor – Medieval village – Walked with a group (Aug 2015) and with artist friend Clare (June 2018)
  • Labyrinth walk in Stonehouse with Phil Smith (April 2019)
  • First Lockdown walking (March – June 2020)

The Architect-Walker Misguide Walks 2018

The Architect-Walker Misguide was published during Art Week Exeter in 2018. The authors did a number of walks to celebrate AWE and promote the book. I attended walks led by Phil Smith and by Stephen Hodge around a small area in the centre of Exeter. The walks were typically idiosyncratic, entertaining and thought-provoking. Here are just a couple of pictures:

Stephen Hodge reading from The Architect-Walker
Phil Smith in full flow

You can read about the book here and get it from there or from the usual sources.

Listening to the City 2017 + Exeter’s Vanished Rock Venues 2018

In 2017 I attended the ‘Listening to the City’ podcast course at Colab, Exeter with Hugh McCann. The outcome was a roughcut podcast ‘Exeter’s Vanished Rock Venues’ – a walking tour of places where bands had performed over the years. However, the volume of research material that I received led to the recording not being finalised. But it also led to an ‘Art Week Exeter’ exhibition, which brought together fellow story-telling artists with an EVRV display which invited Exeter people to contribute their memories of old Exeter venues.

Subsequently this progressed to me producing and presenting a number of radio shows – on Phonic FM, Soundart Radio and (which produces programmes for radio stations, including Radio Caroline).

The story of the EVRV podcast and the ensuing developments can be found here.

Writethemap Bitton Railway Walkshop 2017

“Experimenting with ways of walking to free the subconscious, and connect our internal journeys to the landscape in ways that kickstart our creativity”. In this ‘walkshop’ led by Christina Sanders we walked (individually) the area around Bitton station on the Avon Valley Railway line. You can see the callout and access Christina’s excellent blog about walking here.

Several of us subsequently attended a follow-up workshop and I made an illustrated presentation, bringing together my impressions. The actual presentation was ‘live’, talking to the images. In this version I have married up the images with my speaking notes.

Leaving the Building 2015

Exeter misguide 001

In August 2015  I did a short ‘Misguided’ walk in Exeter, led by Simon  Persighetti, a founder member of ‘Wrights and Sites‘ and co-author of ‘An Exeter Mis-guide‘ and ‘A Mis-guide to Anywhere‘. The walk planned to ‘look at the spaces between buildings and to focus on the relationship between the person in the street and the architectural environment’ – and to provide research for a new Misguide publication ‘Architect-Walkers’.  It was a fascinating morning.

For an account of the walk and photos follow this link.

Earthwalking July 2015

Earthwalking 018

This was a two day walk along the Jurassic Coast from Beer to Sidmouth, 13-14 July 2015.  The Earthwalking event was organised by Anne-Marie Culhane with the University of Exeter and was billed as providing an opportunity for ‘exploring earth as a living system through different stories of the sea and land, time and change … with contributions from artists, scientists and the local community‘. It was thought provoking – and physically challenging …

For an account of the walk and photos follow this link. Anne-Marie’s post on ecoartscotland can be found here.