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Walking

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My last tutorial in January was postponed because of illness – it’s now crept up on me and it’s tomorrow!
I’ve managed to catch up a bit and tomorrow I will present the latest pieces – still not sure where I’m going with this but hopefully the tutorial will clarify a few things. I’ve introduced text into my work and spent considerable hours in the university’s marvellous letterpress facility. I’ve always collected natural and man made objects when I walk and have been wondering how I can incorporate these in my practice rather than leave them sitting around on the windowsill in my studio. These are 2 pieces that I formed from collected lichen by continually rolling it around in my hands while I was walking – the one that has formed a natural pathway seems particularly relevant!
Remnants from the cyclical workings of nature! My walks are providing the material and approach to devise a visual language, based on a phenomenological approach to transcribing the experience of ‘dasein’ (Heidegger’s term translating as ‘existence’ or ‘presence’ )

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A lovely sunny walk on Dartmoor last Sunday, a quick drawing because it was too cold to remain without gloves for more than a few minutes, and a rubbing which I am using to create a solar plate print

ImageImageThe walks on Dartmoor are a collaboration with a painter friend, Judy Cockram. We have discovered so far that we look at very different things when we’re walking – it will stretch us both – the legs and the art! We are planning a book of our responses at the end of April.

I have had a nasty virus for the last month and have been unable to do any long walks or related artwork – I’ve felt pretty awful, very low and unmotivated and consequently I am way behind with my MA work and have missed my group crit.  I’m gently easing my way back by doing a large drawing 30 ins square based on my ‘not walking’ frustrations and it seems to have been influenced by the circular theme that emerged a few weeks ago, when I last posted……

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Circular walk

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Circular walk detail

most of my walks are circular walks so it kind of makes sense.  I have 2 walks planned for this week so I hope to progress the work further.

This is where the large drawing has got to but I am going to work into it further

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on not walking

During the drawing I took some prints – body movement traces

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Trace

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Trace

Merleau Ponty said “the world is around me – not in front of me”. He rejects all dualisms that introduce separation between subject and object – he believed that the physical body was the seat of perfection and the vehicle for being in the world. Heidegger referred to it as ‘dasein‘.
For me the challenge is finding a visual language adequate to my experience of being in the landscape rather than ‘looking at a landscape’. I am attempting a phenomenological approach, a touch dependant methology, to transcribe and transpicture my experience of being in place, in time, through
Walking
Observing
Touching
Collecting
Recording – notes, sound, drawing
Deciphering
Assembling
The small works I am making are experimental and will be displayed in the first of my MA crits the week after next…….. The work below ‘A circular walk’ is made up of 12 photograms from collected material and attempts to refer to both space and time.

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A circular walk

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Detail of ‘A circular walk’

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Detail of ‘A circular walk’

‘A walk only exists as it is being made – the artwork can only try and make present and actual a past event by summoning aspects of the walk’.

Back to the MA after what seems like quite a long break when I’ve done very little actual practical work – I’ve skimmed through the ever growing mountains of books and revised some of the power point presentations for the Critical Frameworks module but I have felt mounting fear about my practice! I have been unable to do much walking (and walking is a big part of my practice at the moment)  due to the endless drizzle  we have been experiencing – on the one beautiful sunny day (New year’s day) I took myself off to the beach and managed to fall and dunk my camera in sea water and sand – not a brilliant combination – in fact everything I’ve since read suggests it is death to the camera but miraculously it seems to be functioning after a week of slowly drying out – however it is still by no means certain as the techies at Canon told me it can corrode up to a month or 2 later – anyway I have duly sent the camera off to them to see if it still has more life in it! (I managed to save the photos however). I was too busy looking at this wonderful light……..

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and not noticing a sweep of water from the incoming tide, as dusk fell so did I…….

As if that wasn’t enough fun to start 2013 a few days later, in the week I had allocated for studio work, I got flu! So here I am back at where I was 3 weeks ago with my practice!

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coastal area prints

I have scanned in some of the prints following my last tutorial.

3 etching plates on red line walk

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Cover of tiny walking book 5cms sq.

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concertina of tiny walking book

I am documenting the movement of my body while walking in an attempt to abstract the walk and concentrate on the experience of walking. I saw an exhibition by Hamish Fulton a few years ago in London and I bought the catalogue – his work is very much about the experience of the walk and translating that experience into the artwork for the viewer to also have their own experience.

oh yes and I’ve made some sound recordings which I hope to do something with once I’ve understood how to use Audacity software – more to follow

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