Out at a restaurant in Gerona having dinner, late in the evening, Andrew Stuck discovers that his plan to interview walking artist Yannis Ziogas the following morning have gone awry as Yannis has to leave on the earliest flight. So to interview Yannis in person, they had to do it there and then. They walk near-deserted streets close to midnight, talking about Yannis’ unique bond with Prespa, on the disputed, remote northern border of Greece. 32’26” 15.2MB
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Andrew Stuck is in Olot, Catalunya, in the company of Clara Gari, the founder of the Nau Côclea Contemporary Art centre and of The Grand Tour, an annual nomadic walking art residency that Clara has developed over the last eight years. Previously having received public funding to run a conventional art centre offering exhibitions, workshops and talks, a political change meant the funding was withdrawn, and Clara struggled to keep the art centre alive. Thinking out of the box, she reprised a personal walking journey she had made in 2003, in which she walked for three weeks on a 200 kilometre route that linked artists and friends, to create what she called The Grand Tour that now follows a spiral route through eastern Catalunya and the Pyrenees. 22’23″ 10.5MB
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On a hot summer’s day at a walking conference in Girona, Catalunya, Andrew Stuck is accompanying self-styled photo troubadour, Jez Hastings on a short stroll. Jez has been known to walk to similar conferences, including a walk through Italy, Albania and Macedonia to reach a gathering in Prespas – walking long distances is in his blood. They talk about why that is so, and how and why Jez has developed his practice of ‘a pace of purpose without purpose’, of making art through experiencing landscapes on durational walks, and in taking fewer photographs…27’31” 12.9MB
Andrew Stuck is in the company of Alex Middleton, one of the creators of Vespucci Adventures, that encourages people to put away their smart phones, to walk in the ‘great outdoors’. He has come to Greenwich to walk around Andrew’s local neighbourhood and talk about how he and his co-founder have worked tirelessly over the last five years to build a business around a shared passion for walking. It may be a passion, but as yet, it is not a profitable business. The COVID pandemic brought trials but let them also develop the business in other ways, and Alex tells us what their plans are for the next five years, as well as offering some candid advice to anyone considering turning their walking passion into a business. 26’44” 12.5MB
Photographer Quintin Lake set himself a daunting challenge, to walk and photograph the coastline of Great Britain. It is turning into an 8-year project, as he is now editing hundreds of photographs he has taken on the coastal walks, around what he has aptly called ‘The Perimeter’. Andrew Stuck catches up with him on a bright and breezy day along the Cotswold Way, a favourite local walk of Quintin’s. Although Quintin has spent five years solitarily walking, which he describes as ‘oneliness’, he is great company, and he tells Andrew about why walking and photography are so integral to his life, and how there is a kind of creative magic in walking more and photographing less. 26’02” 12.2MB
Feature and portrait image: Tom Martin, all others: Quintin Lake
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Andrew Stuck is in Bognor, in West Sussex on a very hot day, walking around the University of Chichester campus with Andrea Vassallo. Andrea is completing a PhD with an installation in which gallery visitors will be able to experience walking beside him on a long walk. For Andrew, long walks tend to be 12 to 15 kilometres; for Andrea, he chose to walk from his home in Lancing (UK) to his childhood home on the outskirts of Venice (Italy) during the summer of 2021.
If you happen to be anywhere near Bognor in the first two weeks of September 2022, visit the installation and experience, falling in step with Andrea as he walks to Italy.
The conversation is about the walk Andrea undertook and why long distance walking is so important to him and (spoiler alert) we also cover details of the exhibition – the conversation opens with Andrea explaining how far he walked and how it took him. 28’47” 13.5MB
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There are 19 long distance national trails in the UK and you are about to hear from Martyn Howe, a man who has walked each of them, but he hasn’t stopped walking, and he is now completing the newly designated English coast path. So what got him going in the first place, and what kept him going, and what is his advice to anyone considering walking one or more of the national trails? Andrew Stuck tries to keep up with him as they walk through Regent’s Park in London, as Martyn explains his mantra of beast, feast and yeast and how his endeavours got published in his book, aptly called the Tales from theBig Trails. 23’10” 11.1MB
“Tough Soles“, aka Ellie Berry and Carl Lange, set themselves a challenge to walk and make video recordings of each of the 42 national way marked trails in Ireland. This adventure was in part to better understand their home country, and grew to be an awareness-raising project encouraging others to discover the trails and the countryside through which they pass. One marvels at Ellie’s and Carl’s determination and discipline. Andrew Stuck would have loved to have accompanied them on the trails as their infectious enthusiasm and sheer joy spills through in this interview, that we recorded on Zoom. Andrew was also intrigued to establish how this mammoth walking adventure might have impacted on their relationship. 28′.53″ 13.5MB
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Ben Clifford, was almost stranded in Melbourne at the beginning of lockdown. He returned home to Croydon on almost the last flight leaving Australia. With time on his hands, he began mapping and walking the parish boundaries of this large outer London borough. Several weeks later, having walked hundreds of miles, Ben has traced out 8 interconnected walks and called his project “Beating the Bounds”. Having walked the boundary of the London borough of Greenwich, Andrew Stuck was interested to find out what Ben had discovered. They meet on Conduit Lane, close to the start of the Vanguard Way, a long distance trail from Croydon to the south coast. 25’ 10″ 11.8 MB
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Hugh Lupton is a storyteller, living in East Anglia, who has been walking the lanes and ways of Norfolk learning stories through walking, and sharing them across the globe. We meet on a cold and windy day in April on one of his favourite walks, beside the River Bure, and talk about how people can value place in a different way if they have a sense of the narratives that are associated with it.
It is not the first time that Andrew Stuck and Hugh have met. Both of them took part in the Sideways nomadic art festival, that included a walk across Belgian Flanders in 2012. 20’27″ 9.6MB
In 2010 Jonathon Stalls walked from Delaware to California, crossing the United States on foot in 242 days. Quite an endeavour but it pales besides what he has achieved in the last ten years. He is the founder and creator of Walk2Connect walking beside thousands of people. It began in his home state of Colorado, and has expanded to several states, and even to the UK. It encourages people to walk (or roll) together, at an unhurried pace, to connect more closely with one another and their surroundings, in turn, building their appreciation of the environment and opening their eyes to the obstacles faced by pedestrians. In this extended interview – our first undertaken on Zoom, a month before the COVID pandemic struck, we explore Intrinsic Paths and Pedestrian Dignity, Jonathon’s new creative endeavours, and look into the future at what he anticipates he will be working on in the next 20 years. 32’28″ 15.2MB
As a walking artist, Jonathon sustains much of his creative work by way of patrons. You can learn more about becoming an Intrinsic Paths patron here.
STOP PRESS – buy Jonathon’s new book WALK: SLOW DOWN, WAKE UP, AND CONNECT AT 1-3 MILES PER HOUR – more details here
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Writer and academic Kerri Andrews has recently written “Wanderers: A History of Women Walking” that challenges the male-dominated history of walking. Drawing on her own experience of hill walking and through research, she has written a compelling book that includes intriguing stories about women walkers since the early 18th century. She focused on women writers who reflected on what walking meant to them, many of whom have been overlooked or ignored.
Unlike the majority of Talking Walking interviews that are undertaken out and about on foot, the COVID pandemic has meant that this interview had to be recorded over the Internet. The interview opens with Andrew Stuck asking Kerri about her own passion for walking and how it began. 24’33” 11.5MB
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Photo: Beinn a’Bheithir near Ballachulish Credit: Ewan Tait