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
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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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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.
Andrew Stuck was attending the Made of Walking gathering of artists at La Romieu in remote south west France, when Andrew was surprised to meet American walking activist Wendy Landman, an executive director of WalkBoston, one of America’s longest running pedestrian advocacy groups. She is here, on an invitation from her college friend and artist Carol Mencke.
WalkBoston walk audit in action in the snow
Wendy discovers that the walking artists at Made of Walking are grappling with many of the issues that Walk Boston has encountered too. In the blazing sun, they walk along gravel paths, seeking shade, and discuss how walking and pleasurable walkable places are now seen as key elements of quality of life for increasing numbers of Americans. And how through subtle change in vocabulary, from talking about art to talking about delight – the delight of walking and of delightful places – hearts and minds of politicians can be won over to the cause of better conditions for those of us who travel on foot. 25’21” 11.9MB
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Linda Cracknell is an author who at the time of the interview was about to have published “Doubling Back–Ten paths trodden in memory” a moving memoir where she retraces ten walks undertaken by others, from the Highlands of Scotland to the Swiss Alps and Kenya. It had been chosen as a Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4 that was broadcast in the last week of May 2014.
To order a copy of Doubling Back – click on the image
Our interview explores how she sets out to write a narrative of a journey on foot, what she leaves out and how she draws in the reader to the journey or story she tells. Now living in Scotland, her surroundings offer her plenty of variety for walks, short or long, in the surrounding countryside, much of which is devoid of people since the Highland Clearances. Nature and isolation are both important elements in her writing, as are memories conjured or animated by other walks, some personal, some collective some political. Linda has been influenced by the land artist movement, and especially by Richard Long and Hamish Fulton, but is also stirred by the romance of ‘setting off’, as captured in the writing of Robert Louis Stevenson and Laurie Lee. This interview was recorded over the Internet. 29’31” 13.8MB