Fiona Hesse, is the guest curator of WALK!, the current exhibition at the Schirn Kunsthalle Gallery in Frankfurt that includes work from more than 40 international artists. Recorded over a Zoom call, it was Andrew Stuck’s pleasure to learn more about Fiona’s own journey to becoming a curator, her enthusiasm for contemporary art, and in how she undertook a PhD on walking artist, Hamish Fulton. Hamish was one of the first Talking Walking interviewees back in 2008. Although the opening of the WALK! exhibition was delayed by COVID, some of the artists featured were able to include work they had created under pandemic restrictions. Fiona reveals some of the criteria used to select works, offers a useful working definition of walking art, as well as suggesting a couple of walking art practices for listeners to try. 24’51” 11.6MB
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Andrew Stuck is in Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, in the heart of Britain’s West Midlands, walking beside the River Rea with psycho-geographer and documentary film-maker, Andy Howlett, who recently completed “Paradise Lost” an essay-film about Birmingham’s Central Library and the death of modernism. Just before the first pandemic lockdown, Andy joined forces with Pete Ashton and Fiona Cullinan to create a walking art collective called Walkspace. Despite the lockdown, WalkSpace has grown exponentially, attracting artists, walkers and writers from across the region and support from the British Council. Andy talks about his own enthusiasms as a documentary film maker, as well as adventures by the Walkspace collective, that have included, a mapping project involving ‘extreme noticing’, a search for the geometric centre of Birmingham and a moonlit night walk in which magic spells were cast, as part of a series called ‘Walkspace erratics’ as well as a forthcoming international exhibition on ‘parallel walking’. 28′.10″ 13.2MB
Anna Dighero is a contemporary dancer, whose passion for walking is inspired by family walking holidays in the Italian Alps. Not to be frustrated by the restrictions of the pandemic, she sought means by which she could keep in touch with physically-distanced friends, creating audio stories that they could walk in their local neighbourhoods. Weaving her dance experience, passion for walking and newly found interest in geo-locating sound recordings. Andrew Stuck meets Anna in Battersea Park on a warm sunny evening, as lockdown eases in London, and the interview opens with Anna telling us about her dance training. 19’15″ 9.0MB
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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.
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“Peddars Way, A Walk with Chalk” is an illustrated book by landscape artist and long time Norfolk resident, Tor Falcon. Tor became intrigued by the Peddars Way described by some as Britain’s loneliest national walking trail. It follows a Roman Road for almost 50 miles from Thetford in the Breckland to Holme-next-the Sea. So taken with walking and drawing, Tor has gone on to follow and draw every river in Norfolk, and describes how during lockdown she’s also been chasing the moon. Between pandemic lockdowns Andrew Stuck caught up with Tor.19’11” 9.0MB
Children’s book illustrator and comic book artist, Lizzy Stewart, when drawing herself, draws herself walking – striding confidently across the urban scene. Her latest book, called “Walking Distance” is a personal account of the way she sees her life out and about on foot – she argues that walking is the ‘clearest way to participate in life’. Her work touches on themes of how women are observed in the city, both in reality and on film, as well as revealing insights into her creative process and her own ways of working. Recorded in and around the gardens surrounding the Horniman Museum in south east London on a February day in 2020. 22’08” 10.4MB
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Jack Cornish is a programme manager for the “Don’t Lose Your Way” campaign at Ramblers, the UK charity promoting walking and defending rights of way. That’s the ‘day job’, but there is much more walking in Jack than just from 9 to 5. He has walked the entire length of the British Isles and is walking every street in London. The interview opens with Andrew Stuck asking Jack what “Don’t Lose Your Way” is all about and what his role entails. 22’06″ 10.4MBY
Since the recording was made, Jack has taken on a new role at Ramblers as Head of Paths.
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On a visit to LISTEN: A Season of Sound Art taking place in Frome in Somerset, in the summer of 2019, Andrew Stuck participates in an immersive geo-located audio piece called ‘Walking Memories’. The piece has been composed by Phill Phelps and Ralph Hoyte, two of three partners who make up creative team Satsymph, who had been invited to use hours of recorded interviews from a Frome oral history group to create ‘Walking Memories’. Ralph and Phill, with their colleague Marc Yeats, have been making located media since 2004. Their latest work in Frome uses a hugely modified platform they call Satsymph QR with which they compose ‘spatial audio’ as Ralph describes it. For the interview, Andrew, Ralph and Phill are in a car park in Frome, a ‘sound pool’ within ‘Walking Memories’. The interview opens Andrew asking them both to explain a sound pool, and it is Phill’s voice that you hear answer him first. 19’19” 9.0MB
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Helen Ottaway is a musician and composer, and Frome resident for 22 years, who has been invited to curate LISTEN: A Season of Sound Art taking place in Frome from the 20 July until Sound Walk Sunday on the 1 September, 2019. In this episode, interviewed midway through the LISTEN, Helen explains how it came to fruition, its breadth of events taking place, and how she particularly wanted to include a listening walk and a geo-located sound walk. Helen herself, has been involved in creating sound art outdoors and is keen to include more walking in her future work. 21’24” 10MB
Listen: A Season of Sound Art runs until Sunday 1 September – check the programme of events here
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Swiss artist Simone Etter’s ‘Walk Book’ is full of techniques to disorientate you, not necessarily to get you lost, but to muddle your thoughts, even on a familiar route. Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, and Simone set out on a walk together towards a campsite beyond La Romieu in south west France, where they have been attending Made of Walking. They know where they are aiming for but don’t know the way to get there, and once they are there, they are not sure as to how to return via a different route. Along the way, Andrew is convinced that Simone is applying her techniques, as he becomes increasingly more disorientated as to the route – his only hope is that you as a listener can follow it too. 16’38” 7.8MB
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Simone Etter’s WALKBOOK is currently only available in German at the University of Art and Design Basel.
Lesley Cartwright – “Love tokens & Bad pennies” 2019
Alban Low is the curator of an unusual art exhibition involving more than a dozen artists and as many writers, called “Love Tokens and Bad Pennies“, which you can explore by walking the streets of London in February 2019. He tells Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, he is like an absent party host, arranging experiences and artistic interventions in public space for everyone to enjoy, while himself, keeping to the shadows. A publisher of chap books, illustrator and cartographer, he has a lot of projects on the go, for which walking and walks are integral. 15’39” 7.3MB
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Discover some art on the streets of London – seek out work by more than a dozen artists and writers in “Love tokens & Bad pennies” curated by Alban Low – happening all through February 2019.