Maybe because of the pandemic, we have become more aware of other people’s health concerns, or is it just Andrew Stuck, getting a little older, and hearing friends speak of family members living with dementia? He is on a walk in Regent’s Park in London with Marion Child, a Head of Service in the Alzheimer’s Society operations team. Alzheimer’s Society have set up walking challenges, the most recent are a series of almost marathon length, set up in part to raise money, but also to provide support for families and friends of those living with dementia. 20’11” 9.7MB
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to run a conventional art centre offering exhibitions, workshops and talks, a political change meant the funding was withdrawn, and Clara struggled to keep the art centre alive.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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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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Although quite a few inches shorter than Andrew Stuck, Richard Smith was one of the few people Andrew has interviewed who has walked faster than he does. Andrew had to stop a couple of times while recording the interview just to catch his breath! Not only a fast walker, Richard is someone who packs a lot into one life: a gynaecology cancer consultant and surgeon, internationally acclaimed womb-transplant specialist, academic author and father of four. However, it is his enthusiasm for walking long distances, chanting while walking, and discovering pilgrimage sites that has drawn Andrew to him.
Andrew was introduced to him by one of his neighbours, fellow Scot, Tim Ingram-Smith whom Andrew has also interviewed previously for Talking Walking, and who invited Andrew to the book launch of one of Richard’s books: The Journey: Spirituality, Pilgrimage, Chant.
Garroch Head, Bute: a ‘thin place’ & place of pilgrimage
Richard accompanies Andrew on a short walk along the Regent’s Canal and within the breadth of their conversation, they discuss the value to him of walking, chant and walking in silence, as well as the benefits that walking can bring to women as they grow older, whether cancer sufferers or not. 22’48” 10.7MB
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