Category Archives: Artist

Interviews with artists

Maggie O’Neill talking walking

Maggie O’Neill is a leading academic researcher in criminology and sociology.  Walking is a key element of her ethnographic research into the lives of asylum seekers, the homeless, refugees and sex workers in England’s northern cities.

Maggie walking on Lindisfarne

A recent recipient of a Leverhulme Scholarship, she invited those she had encountered through her research to walk with her, along and across borders of significance in their everyday lives.

Andrew Stuck caught up with Maggie on a brief visit of hers to London. Just as they set our for a walk, the heavens opened, and they sought shelter, so the interview took place in a crowded hotel lobby. 20’05” 9.4MB

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview with Maggie_O’Neill

Julie Poitras Santos talking walking

Chatting to Julie Poitras Santos, you can’t help but be enthused by her sheer exuberance about her work in bringing people together to walk and tell each other stories. A lecturer at an art school in Portland, Maine, on the east coast of the United States, she has travelled a lot to embed herself in many different communities.

Map & Universe (photo Josima Quintilier)

She is currently exploring people’s sense of getting lost and the techniques they use to find their way again, both physically and metaphorically. In part she uses a labyrinth, and in our conversation, we discuss how group walking of labyrinths can bring clarity in thought and a strong sense of camaraderie, amongst strangers. We are walking on a warm summer’s day in La Romieu in south west France, one of the entry points to the long distance pilgrimage route known as the Camino de Santiago. 24’ 31” 11.5MB

The interview was recorded in August 2017 as part of “Made of Walking” at La Romieu in south west France. Published in December 2017.

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview with Juilie_Poitras_Santos

Geert Vermeire talking walking

 

 

 

 

As the five day 2017 Made of Walking event in La Romieu, south west France drew to a close, Andrew Stuck had an opportunity to talk to Geert Vermeire, it’s organiser and a walking poet and philosopher, in his on right.  We sat in an ‘echo-ey’ dining hall, in front of a small audience of Made of Walking participants, a couple of whom contribute to the interview by asking questions.  Throughout Made of Walking, Andrew had been trying to pin Geert down for an interview, but he was never still for long enough, so on the off, Andrew wanted to explore his role and how he came to make Made of Walking happen. 26′ 12″ 12.3MB

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview of Geert_Vermeire

Duncan Speakman talking walking

Duncan Speakman, modestly describes himself as an ‘outsider artist’ and a ‘jack of all trades’ with no formal arts training and experience gained as a composer, sound engineer, documentary post production, digital artist and now writer.  His ‘walking pieces’ have delighted Talking Walking producer, Andrew Stuck, who thought he might describe them as immersive taking you away from your surroundings, Duncan likes to think that his work is making you more present in the city, using sounds and music in ways to shape our experience.  Andrew was lucky to catch him between ‘performances’ of his latest work, “It Must Have Been Dark By Then” which was being played at the British Library. We tried to find some quiet streets away from the busy Euston Road, covering much of the territory that this latest walking piece may draw you through. 11.5MB 24’29”

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview of Duncan_Speakman

Bruce Mowson talking walking

Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, may have been podcasting for ten years, but he always has a little bit of trepidation when he is about to interview an artist who works in sound.  Out and about on a walk, he can use the ambience to cover up some of his clumsy editing, but in conducting an interview over the Internet there are few ways to conceal his inadequacies. When it came to interviewing Australian sound artist Bruce Mowson, Andrew had arranged to walk with him in Greenwich Park while he was in the UK on a family holiday, but fate played its hand in the guise of a train strike, and we never got to do that walk.  So what follows is a call Andrew made to Bruce once he had returned to Coburg, Melbourne, in which they talked about his enthusiasm for walking and how he has put years of studio recording experience behind him in making a piece called “Adventures in Sightlessness“. 23’26” 11MB

 

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview with Bruce_Mowson

Sharon Thompson talking walking

Excerpt from ‘Forever Young’

Australian Sharon Thompson trained as a classical singer and contemporary vocalist, worked in a variety of musical contexts, in addition to performing and devising, she coaches solo artists for TV and Music Theatre and the music industry. Passionate about the natural environment, she’s been known to turn her musical skills to assisting with environmental campaigns.

Sharon’s private and professional walking practice is diverse and represents a learning journey in site-responsive listening and making. Interviewed in central London, she had just finished a run of Forever Young at the Traverse in Edinburgh, working with Australian theatre collective one step at a time like this.16’35” 7.8MB

‘Dirt Song’ performed in a Melbourne storm drain

Download notes of items mentioned in the Interview with Sharon_Thompson

Julian Rickert talking walking

Since I suppose commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare Co 2014

Australian, Julian Rickert is a founder member of internationally acclaimed theatre group ‘one step at a time like this’. He was a late starter in theatre, only going to drama college in his thirties, where he met future partner and co-producer Suzanne Kersten. ‘en route’ was a site responsive immersive theatre production first created in the laneways of Melbourne that took the theatre company around the globe, including a visit to London as part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012.

Taking to the streets they have created performances for audiences of one at a time, in which you as the audience member engage both imaginatively and directly with the city, passers-by, narrative and your own place within these.  They have devised cinematic experiences on foot using audio, and performances that include overlaying an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure on Chicago and Nashville, in which they use a technique they call “follow film”

Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, caught up with Julian on a visit to Bermondsey in London in 2015. 24’20” 11.4MB

Download notes from the podcast interview with Julian_Rickert

Tim Ingram-Smith talking walking

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Tim (far right) with fellow Spiral walkers

Tim (far right) with fellow Spiral walkers

Andrew Stuck first met Tim Ingram-Smith back in 2015 when he came on a walkshop to reveal the lost neighbourhood of London’s Kings Cross, on which Andrew had collaborated with fellow Talking Walking interviewee, Tom Bolton.  Tim mentioned that he was about to embark on a 3 year expedition to discover parts of London he had never visited.  He talked about how he was going to navigate his way across the metropolis, by following a set of spiral routes, beginning from Kings Cross. Andrew’s curiosity was piqued and he knew at that at some point, he would need to join Tim with his sound recorder to hand.

Recorded in November 2016 on part of a leg of the London Spiral, from West Ham Park to Forest Gate station. Published in November 2016. 19′ 18″ 18.2MB

full-spiral-route

Full Spiral route – November 2016

If reading before the end of 2018, why not join Tim Ingram-Smith on a leg of the London Spiral – further details here:  https://londonspiral.wordpress.com

Download notes from the podcast interview with Tim Ingram-Smith

Ben Waddington talking walking

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Getting under the skin of a city like Birmingham isn’t something you can do overnight, although that was how Ben Waddington and a group friends began their quest some ten years ago. It was almost by accident that Ben became a guide to the hidden, overlooked or secret parts of the city.  He was trying to help people out in finding out about forgotten characters in Birmingham’s cultural and industrial past.

 

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Images from previous Still Walking events

Ben quickly recognised that he couldn’t be an expert in all things Birmingham and has since set out to help others reveal what is under the city’s skin, by setting up the Still Walking Festival, and supporting local people to tell their stories.

Interview by Andrew Stuck: Recorded in July 2015 on a walk in Old St Pancras Churchyard in London. Published in April 2016 25’07” 11.8MB

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview with Ben Waddington

STOP PRESS – SEPTEMBER 2017

Ben Waddington has drawn together an intriguing mix of walks and talks for the Still Walking Festival – it is a fantastic programme that includes the British Army and tightrope walkers. Read more here..

 

 

Diana Wesser talking walking

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DWARThe Leipzig City Quarter Expeditions is an intriguing walking art project which debunks prejudices about urban neighbourhoods – we all have heard of a notorious neighbourhood in one or other city, and Leipzig’s Eisenbahnstrasse had notched up infamy as “The worst street in Germany.” Diana Wesser and collaborator Antje Rademacker, both living in Leipzig devised a project in which residents of such neighbourhoods had a chance to tell their stories about living in these places, revealing just how different actuality is from perception.

Photo credit: D Wesser

Photo credit: D Wesser

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Photo credit: D Wesser

Photo credit: D Wesser

 

 

 

 

Baking and exchanging cakes are key to residents collecting and sharing stories about where they live – so entranced were some that they openly invited visitors into their homes, workplaces and lives.

The interview is recorded at the Vienna Walk 21 Conference in October 2015, at which Diana collected a Visionary Award.  21’10” 9.9MB

Download notes from the podcast interview with Diana_Wesser

Blake Morris talking walking

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e-ATT_1450652233884_received_10156241458400456_2It is difficult to resist the infectiousness of Blake Morris’s enthusiasm for walking and walking art.  Originally from California, via Seattle, New York and now based in London, Blake is co-founder of Walk Exchange, an intriguing ‘think tank’ on foot in New York City.  An advocate for reading about walking as much as walking about reading, he has devised the Walk Study Training Course withWTSC
New York based artist Dillon De Give.   Take the course and you get the chance to walk, read and study walking art with others and to create your own.  When Andrew Stuck came across Blake 2 or 3 years ago, he was so intrigued with the Walk Exchange and what it had already achieved that he wanted to emulate it here in the UK.  Blake has trounced that idea by coming to London and running it here himself. 22’57” 10.8MB.

Notes from the podcast interview with: Blake_Morris

Photo credit: Christopher Wellington

Idit Elia Nathan talking walking

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Idit Elia Nathan was brought up in Israel in the 1960s, her memories of playing in the streets of Jerusalem either side of the Six Day War have frequently influenced her thinking and actions, on how she, her children and all of us can and might ‘play the city’.  Recently she has exhibited and presented work in galleries based on documenting her seven walks through Jerusalem and anIditNathanIMG_3868 adaptation of a Monopoly game that she calls Hegemonopoly (in which you can win power to control the movement of others).  Believing that playfully limiting a walk often generates creativity and unexpected encounters, she has worked with fellow artist Helen Stratford as “Play the City now or Never” to develop an app which will disrupt people’s movements through the city to reclaim some of its spaces through play.  Concurrently, she is completing a PhD titled Art of Play in Zones of Conflict focusing on the case of Israel Palestine.

Andrew Stuck joins her on a walk around Hampstead in London not far from where Idit’s father lived during the Second World War. The route they follow was determined a by a throw of a dice. 10.5MB 22’20”

Download notes from this interview:Idit_Elia_Nathan

STOP PRESS

Meet Idit Nathan in person:

Please join us Play the City Now or Never (aka Helen Stratford and Idit Nathan) for lightbulb walks at the National Theatre in London this Saturday 18th February 2017 1pm and 5pm (45 mins), £3 – see details and book here or at https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/lightbulb-walks

Meet in Dorfman Foyer,

  • Walk and talk in and around the National Theatre with artists Idit Nathan and Helen Stratford to play the cultural spaces in and around the building with the help of props, cards and dice.
    Wrap up warm and be ready for a short walk with stops along the way.