We worked with Adam Chodzko and students from the University of Kent to explore artist walks as possible alternatives to artist talks. They aimed to test the proposition that a walking journey with an artist could be as valuable as hearing her or him address a lecture theatre, and that sharing a range of sights and sounds could reveal something that slides and video clips do not.
Information about the artists and the politics, history and imaginative potential of the landscape being walked through were disseminated before/after in a document in order to keep the walk itself as ‘present’ as possible.
Walkers were invited to mix and mingle during the walks, with an emphasis on informal conversation. Midway through the walks, students presented a set of questions to the artists which were later be collated, with the artists’ responses, via a blog for each walk.
Each route was designed to culminate at a point along the Medway estuary and river Swale, forming a string of reference points from which the connections between the walks can be contemplated.
Places on the walks were limited and available on a first come, first served basis. Tickets cost £5. Walkers each received an artist’s pamphlet.
Walk 2, with Ruth Ewan, encompassed Kingsferry Bridge, Iwade, Ridham Dock and the strange “elephants’ graveyard” of decaying Thames barges in the mouth of the Medway. The walk began and ended at Swale Station. An artist’s pamphlet was be provided to each walker.
(Click here for details of other Artist Walks.)
Ruth Ewan (b.1980, Aberdeen)
lives and works in London. Ewan’s work explores histories of radical, political and utopian thought, bringing to light specific ideas in order to question how we might live today. Often engaging with children, historians, traditional crafts people, horticulturalists, archaeologists, musicians and bakers.
Recent exhibitions of her work have included Camden Arts Centre, London; Tate Britain and the Collective Gallery, Edinburgh; Kunsthal Charlottenborg,Copenhagen, the Glasgow International and the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe.
The walks will be largely off-road. Participants are recommended to wear waterproof walking boots and warm outdoor clothing. Please also note that access to drinking water and toilet facilities will be limited.