Category Archives: Artist

Interviews with artists

Charlotte Spencer Projects talking walking

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Walking Stories is described as an audio walk, but it is much more than just a walk in which one wears headphones, in all it includes performance, observation, thoughtfulness, play and interaction with fellow participants and the surroundings in which you find yourself in.  Andrew Stuck caught up with Charlotte Spencer and two of the multi-disciplinary artists involved in devising and producing this extraordinary piece of immersive performance.  Walking Stories.5We met in Greenwich Park days before they put on Walking Stories, and before Andrew was able to sign up to take part himself.  The ambient noise of aircraft, helicopters, parakeets and children playing is intrusive in parts of the interview, however, it strangely echoes the way in which these artists have interwoven a soundscape of current and prerecorded sounds within Walking Stories itself. Part scripted with directional instructions, the genius of Walking Stories is the way in which it allows participants to follow their own course whilst all listening to the same soundtrack. 29’45” 13.9MB

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Walking Stories will be back in 2015 touring a range of different
parks in London. Keep up to date with news of dates and locations
through the website: www.charlottespencerprojects.org

Photo credits: Pari Naderi

Jennie Savage talking walking

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Going to interview someone who is intent on getting lost is likely to be an adventure, and so it was when Andrew Stuck went to meet Jennie Savage in the New Forest.  Jennie creates ambient soundscape audio walks punctuated with instructions on various routes to follow.

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Photo credit: T. Hall 2014

On the 3rd October 2014, Jennie invited people from all over the world to ” Fracture Mob”,a website from where to listen to such an audio walk and “Get lost”. This downland was only available for the week up to and including the 3rd October 2014.  23’38” 11.1MB

The experience of taking this walk was unexpected. Meditative and surprising. There were moments when the sound track and what I was seeing seemed to make sense. It was at once disorientating and re-orientating.

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview with Jennie_Savage

Jess Allen talking walking

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Originally a biologist, Jess Allen gained a PhD from Aberystwyth before joining Herefordshire Council as officer on the ‘Lifescapes project’ – a landscape-scale habitat mapping and community conservation scheme. She then went on to train in contemporary dance, latterly with an MA in Dance Making and Performance from Coventry. She has since worked as a landscape officer (Worcestershire County Council), dance lecturer (Bristol), community arts facilitator (Multi-Story Water) and as an aerial performer for Blue Eyed Soul Dance CompanyFull Tilt and everyBODY Dance. She is currently doing a second PhD with a President’s Doctoral Scholarship from the University of Manchester, developing what she calls ‘tracktivism’: walking and moving in rural landscapes as an activist arts practice. She uses walking to facilitate talking and listening; creating unexpected encounters in unusual places. Her curiosity lies in how the aesthetics of a walk and intention of the walker can open a space of embodied dialogue around politics and sustainability.

10303965_10152106056427043_4756582764436750547_nIn 2012, from her then home in South Herefordshire in the heart of the rural agricultural economy, she developed a month-long walking performance “All in a Day’s Walk”, first performed in the winter of 2012 and repeated in summer 2013.

We arranged to meet on Offa’s Dyke. I walking north from Chepstow, she coming south from Herefordshire on her way to the Green Gathering, however, our rendez vous wasn’t so successful, as we found ourselves on parallel paths, and to retrace our steps. 27’38” 13MB

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In 2013 Jess Allen contributed to Talking Walking’s 5th anniversary 5 year walking forecastlisten here

What Jess has been doing since her interview:

Jess Allen is a performance artist from Aberystwyth. She combines long-distance walking art with one-to-one performance in rural landscapes, using the walk to set up unexpected interventions with the strangers she encounters. Her work is characterised by conviviality, conversation, camaraderie; the epic scale of the walk set against the intimacy of person-to-person connection. She has a PhD in biology from Aberystwyth University, and a PhD in contemporary performance from the University of Manchester. She trained as a dancer in between. She has worked as landscape and conservation officer for local government, dance lecturer (improvisation/somatics), community arts facilitator (AHRC Multi-Story Water) and as an aerial dancer for Full Tilt Aerial Theatre and inclusive (disabled/nondisabled) companies Blue Eyed Soul and EVERYBODY dance (UK/US/Europe). She is a qualified AeroZen aerial yoga instructor and currently teaches on the Syrcas Byd Bychan community circus programme at near-zero-carbon Small World Theatre down the coast in Aberteifi (Cardigan).

Her current solo portfolio includes:

Drop in the Ocean (2013-18)
Water Treatment Walks (2016)
Trans-missions (2015)
All in a Day’s Walk (2012-13)
Tilting at Windmills (2010)

She will be presenting Drop in the Ocean at the SPILL Festival of Performance from 1-3 November 2018. She will also be participating in the lunchtime talks series with festival director Robert Pacitti and artist Nabil Vega on Weds 31 October 2018.

Photo credits:  Paul Richardson, Bronwyn Preece, Richard Cott

 

 

Sara Wookey talking walking

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Sara Wookey is a creative dancer and choreographer, who when based in Los Angeles works as a movement consultant to Metro Transit the underground public transport system, winning over discretionary metro riders to experience the city on public transport beside discovering life on foot.  Walking in LA was the means by which Sara discovered the city when she moved there in 2006.  Being a pedestrian in LA is not something that many aspire to, walking in the city, or riding public transit is for those who can’t afford a car. Sara’s work as a movement consultant has also taken her indoors to museums and galleries, where she works with museum visitors to explore collections in a more playful way, and out and about in neighbourhoods working alongside urban planners.  24’09” 11.3MB

In summer 2014, Sara was  performing at the Raven Row Gallery, in London, in a historic dance piece devised by Yvonne Rainer in 1966, likened to being a pedestrian as the performance links day to day movements.

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Photo credit: David Kelley

Lottie Child – talking walking

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Lottie Child, a participatory performance artist who has devised “Street Training”, in which adults and young people learn how to be more playful in our streets. Through Street Training participants, young and old, learn how to let go of the social mores, testing the confines of what is considered normal behaviour in our cities and streets.  Lottie has helped the Metropolitan Police, amongst others, to have a better understanding of young people’s desire to play. 20′ 29″ 9.6MB

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Susan Trangmar talking walking

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Artist and Lecturer in Fine Art at Central Saint Martins, Susan Trangmar is a visual artist working in the context of landscape, place and site and in particular the evolving relationships between material formations of ‘nature’ and ‘culture’. An early training in sculpture and photography has developed into lens based practices using digital ‘moving’ and ‘still’ image, sound including the spoken word and text.

When Susan learnt that Central St Martins were going to move from their historic Charing Cross Road site to their new home in Granary Square, Kings Cross, she set out to walk her regular routes in and around Bloomsbury framing the city by its street trees. Interested in ways that the street tree acts as both focus and frame for our perception and experience of the city, she considers the tree to be a key figure in the construction of an urban imaginary through photography. She developed this photographic project  ‘A Forest of Signs’ into the photo-essay ‘A Divided Glance: A Dialogue Between the Photographic Project “ A Forest of Signs” and the Figure of the Tree in Virginia Woolf’s Writing’ published in Literary London Journal (2013).

 

 

Susan’s curiosity of the juxtaposition of trees and buildings, makes for an intricate slow therapeutic walk. Recorded on a walk from Goodge Street tube station, London early on a  Sunday morning in January 2013. 24′ 42″ 11.6MB

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What Susan has been doing since our interview

Susan has produced a short text animation film ‘Lunar Tides’ reflecting upon the impact of the changing relationship between the moon and the earth’s trajectories over time which affects the ocean tides (2014): ‘Wandering Shards’, a combined moving image and essay work addressing the foreshore of the River Thames at Greenwich in order to develop a series of reflections upon the transformative potential of ‘waste’ material (bone) associated with the site, and UNFOUND a film marking the centenary of the Battle of the Somme during WW1.

She is currently researching processes of cognition in creativity and co-founder of Sensing Site a practice based research group engaging with questions around the political, material, and sensory natures of site, place, and space. https://sensingsite.blogspot.co.uk/

Photo credits: ‘A Forest of Signs’ detail (c) Susan Trangmar 2013

 

Christine Mackey talking walking

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Christine Mackey undertook an intriguing assignment for the Sideways Walking and Art Festival in Belgium in August 2012.  She carried a portable laboratory come studio to undertake a study of invasive plants along the Sideways route through semi-rural semi-suburban Flanders.  Working with two botanists she selected and catalogued a number of plants, concurrently recording her journey through video, still and sound recording instruments, to produce a multi-media installation in a barn in Turnhout.

The interview was recorded on site at Turnhout in September 2012. 16′ 06″ 7.5 MB

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview: Christine_Mackey

Photo credit: Kristaps Gulbis

Ali Pretty talking walking

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Ali Pretty describes herself as the analog partner in a collaboration that will result in a 100 mile walk that links the 8 white horses on the Wiltshire Downs to take place in August 2013.  Working with Richard White, a digital artist, together they will create an interactive exhibition including soundscapes, still and video imagery, conversations, and responses to the landscape at the Wiltshire Heritage Museum in Devizes.  Ali has an internationally recognised reputation as a painter of large scale silks, creating carnival costumes and flags for exhibitions and festivals.  Through a love of long distance walking she is moving away from the large scale to create a range of silk products inspired by long distance walks.

Recorded in the garden behind Ali Pretty’s studio offices in East London in June 2013 and published in August 2013 20’47” 9.7MB

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Photo credit: Mike Jonston

Amy Sharrocks talking walking

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Winner of the inaugural Sculpture Shock prize of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, London-born and raised Amy Sharrocks, talks about her love of her home town, and how much she enjoys sharing discoveries with fellow walkers and swimmers. One could argue, that she is infatuated with water, not just consuming the stuff, SwimmersatPelicanbut swimming her way across London; but in truth, her interests are in journeying by whatever means as long as the mode provides the traveller with time to contemplate and daydream.

In this interview with Andrew Stuck, recorded on the eve of the selection of the Sculpture Shock winner in November, 2012, Amy talks about the range of her work and how she sees live art as a clear way in which we humans sculpt our everyday urban lives.

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More details of the Sculpture Shock prize and the Royal British Society of Sculptors and from here you can read their blog about Amy Sharrocks piece “Falling”
Photo credits in podcast: Ruth Corney.  Podcast duration 18′ 50″ and size 8.8MB

STOP PRESS In October 2014, The Museum of London commissioned Amy’s Invitation to Fall for their Late London: Sherlock’s City, part of their exciting Sherlock Holmes Exhibition.

Eleanor Davis and Bram Arnold talking walking

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Bram Thomas Arnold and Eleanor Wynne Davis talk to Andrew Stuck about their collaboration at the Sideways Walking and Art Festival in Belgium in 2012. Both artists grew up in rural corners of Wales and this proximity to the countryside is drawn upon in their collaborative practice that incorporates writing, performance, live music, and for Sideways an innovative technology called Field Broadcast. 20’30” 9.6MB

Download podcast notes from the interview with Bram Thomas Arnold and Eleanor Wynn Davies.

 

Deirdre Heddon talking walking

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In this episode, we hear from Deirdre Heddon who teaches theatre studies at the University of Glasgow, and who has a particular research interest in making the work of women walking artists more visible. The interview was recorded en route during a break in ‘The Walking Library’, a performance piece conceived by Dee and Misha Myers for the Sideways 2012 Walking and Art Festival. With the help of a troupe of volunteer walking librarians the Library of more than 90 books, was walked 375km across Belgium. In the interview we also discuss how Dee celebrated her 40th birthday by undertaking 40 walks with family, friends and colleagues. 18’54” 8.9MB

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Listen to Dee Heddon’s 2013 5 year walking forecast

Dee Heddon shares her 20×20 Vision of walking in 2040

Reg Carremans talking walking

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An interview with Reg Carremans a landscape painter who makes his work through walking or rubbing against the environment in which he is in. He was the only Belgian artist to complete the 375km Sideways 2012 Walking and Art Festival route across Flanders. P1030037 copy copyHe wore canvas on the soles of specially adapted walking boots to gather multiple impressions for a series of ‘landscape paintings’ displayed en route. Interviewed on the Festival route by Andrew Stuck in August 2012 16’10” 7.6MB

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