Category Archives: Curator

Interviews with curators and festival organisers

Alex Middleton talking walking

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

Charlie Lee Potter talking walking

Charlie Lee Potter has had a lifelong passion for working with sound especially in creatively weaving soundscapes to evoke places. As a former BBC radio journalist and foreign correspondent, she knows how the sound of a place helps to tell complicated stories and has applied this to a fascinating series of podcasts recorded on walks called “Inside a Mountain”. However there is a lot more to Charlie than just working with sound, as Andrew Stuck discovers on the walk they take across Christchurch Meadows in Oxford. 25’50” 12.1MB

Inside a Mountain podcast art
Ridge & Furrow artwork
Ridge & Furrow artwork

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Hana Sutch talking walking

Five years ago when looking for places to get close to nature with her toddler, Hana Sutch found it proved to be absurdly difficult.  Although through recommendations, she found One Tree Hill and Sydenham Hill Woods, Hana became convinced that what was needed was a simple app to help solve this problem facing many parents.  She applied her digital design skills and came up with Go Jauntly.  With an infectious laugh and an intriguing story to tell, Andrew Stuck and Hana quickly fell into a candid conversation, about how Go Jauntly came into being. This is a must listen for anyone, who like Andrew, has thought of creating an app, as Hana reveals just how tough it can be. 26’20” 12.3MB

Download notes of items mentioned in the interview with Hana Sutch.

Fiona Hesse talking walking

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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Featured Image credit: Schirn_Presse_Walk_Chung_A_Thousand_Years.jpg Tiffany Chung, A Thousand Years Before and After, 2012, Video (Farbe, Ton), 09:01 Min., Filmstill, © Tiffany Chung

Ella Parry-Davies talking walking

Ella Parry-Davies, a post-doctoral researcher at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, has been facilitating homemakersounds.org, a collection of soundwalks made with Filipina domestic and care workers employed “behind closed doors” in the Lebanon and the UK. In this interview, the ambiguity, complexity and unfairness of government immigration policy is discussed, as well as how recording and co-editing soundwalks develops an intimacy rarely found in ethnographic research. 21’12” 9.9MB

Recorded in February 2020 on a walk around residential streets in Swiss Cottage, London.  Published to coincide with International Women’s Day 8 March 2020

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STOP PRESS

Saturday 19 June 2021 Join Ella for “Home Makers: go for a walk with sounds made by migrant domestic workers” – read more about this forthcoming event.

Helen Ottaway talking walking

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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Photo credit: Frances Ottaway

George Fort talking walking

Walking along London’s Regent’s canal in Hackney with George Fort who has been developing a digital platform called “Placecloud”. Placecloud is all about animating the places through which we walk with place-specific recordings (‘placecasts’) written by writers, artists, scholars and everyday people. George maintains it is not a collection of audio tours, recorded in a studio by a dislocated actor, but instead numerous placecasts dotted across London, recorded by people like you and me in the very places we are observing and describing.  He spells out an intriguing and persuasive argument for why there’s an appetite for Placecloud and why he is convinced that it is going to be popular among us walkers. 19′ 24” 9.1MB

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STOP PRESS Placecloud has launched in summer 2021!

On Placecloud, leading cultural researchers tell the stories of the world through “viewpoints” – short podcasts about places. Viewpoints reveal the significance of the everyday places that surround us, bringing the world to life.

With an initial focus on London, Placecloud will soon feature viewpoints across the world, from Melbourne to Caracas to Tehran.

Alban Low talking walking

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.

Stefaan van Biesen talking walking

Andrew Stuck (in cap) and Stefaan van Biesen walk a muddy track in La Romieu.

Walking in silence and stepping lightly on the ground are two rules with which Belgian artist, Stefaan van Biesen frequently asks his companions and participants to comply.  Today’s walk is an exception as Talking Walking‘s producer, Andrew Stuck and Stefaan step away from the activities of Made of Walking in La Romieu in south west France, for which Stefaan is one of the organisers.

Eschewing the car since 1994, and travelling lightly and slowly through Europe, Stefaan styles himself as a ‘flaneur’, observing human movement and interaction.  Walking is what he does, whether it is running daily errands, making artwork, or allowing his mind to relax. 22’44” 10.7MB

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Photo credits: Annemie Mestdagh

Listen to Stefaan’s 20×20 Vision for walking in 2040

Rick Pearson talking walking

Often uncelebrated and rarely visited, the summits of each of the London boroughs can be somewhat of a let down, by the time you reach them.  However, in the company of Rick Pearson, even the climb to the highest point in London, becomes an enjoyable adventure.  Andrew Stuck accompanies him to  Westerham Heights, Bromley’s highest peak. Andrew admits he was somewhat underwhelmed when they conquered it, yet the passion and sheer exuberance of Rick as he recounts his previous conquests, and those to come, will carry you to the top.  Rick, in turn, has accompanied many others on these adventures, and you can listen to their stories on his londons-peaks.com podcast. 23’32” 11.0MB

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Listen to Rick’s recording of our adventure to Westerham Heights.

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

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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

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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..