Monday, 16 January 2017

I am also so delighted to be organising this walk on March 11th.

                                                    Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot (28 May 1888 – 22 January 1947)

‘Let's talk about Vivienne’ 
An Artist Led Walk by Elspeth Penfold with Turner Contemporary 
‘Walking the Wasteland’ Research Group
Saturday March 11th 2017 11.00 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.
Meet: Turner Contemporary 
Finish: Dreamland Margate

‘Let's talk about Vivienne’ is an artist led walk by Elspeth Penfold with the Turner Contemporary ‘Walking with the Waste Land’ research group. As part of International Women’s Day celebrations in March 2017 we will openly and collaboratively celebrate Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot’s influence in the writing of the Waste Land with sited readings and interventions along the walk and reflect on the contribution of the ‘ghost women’ in TS Eliot's writing. Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot has been seen variously as a femme fatale who enticed Eliot into marriage or his muse without whom some of his most important work would never have been written.



The Walking with The Waste Land group have been preparing for this walk and already have some wonderful ideas in place.

 We are doing a bit of fieldwork and will be undertaking a discordant  walk on Wednesday  January 19th. I will keep posting as things progress.

Tickets for the walk on Saturday March 11th can be booked through POW Thanet, we have limited numbers, so book as soon as you can! We look forward to walking with you.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

2 Walks  For The New Year

Thread and Word - A London Walk on March 5th 2017

The walk is part of a program of events organised at Espacio Gallery as part of the Threads exhibition curated by the Artists Pool which opens in March. I have had work selected for the exhibition, titled 'Quipu'.

'Quipu' documents one of the walks I organised in Margate for the ‘Writing Buidlings’ symposium at the University of Kent in July 2016.  This walk is an ongoing development of the work we have been undertaking at The Turner Contemporary as a part of A Journey with The Waste Land research group for over a year now. Cecilia Vicuña’s poetry, is very much in the style of a stream of consciousness as first used by TS Eliot.and we will be able to explore these connections as we walk.

I am currently gathering interest from those wishing to take part in this walk, please get in touch should you be interested. I will be organising a few meetings and walks during the next few weeks to explore the poem and to open the process to new ideas, readings and interventions. These walks are by invitation only.

For more about my walking practice and the ideas that underpin walking as research please visit previous postings, you can also visit My a-n blog, Walking with The Waste Land.

I will be posting news about a second walk, which will take place in Margate in a separate posting.


Friday, 16 December 2016


A new work, from my walking as research and using ropes to record memory. 

This week i am making connections, from further reading and a visit to the Rauschenberg exhibition at the Tate Modern.

A Pole storing the cords from one of my walks
Khipu cords are paths guiding the hand, eye and mind to the trans-temporal source of things

From further reading, the  concept is not uniquely Andean.

Further evidence cited of recording  and storing information on a cord:

Herodotus mentions one in use during the Persian Wars.
New Mexico Pueblos
The Ryukun Islands

Furthermore, a biblical reference:
Numbers15: 37 - 38
Prescribes knotted fringes as a vector of memory.

Connection with Robert Rauschenberg:

I visited the Rauschenberg exhibition at the Tate Modern this week,. As I made my piece QUIPUCAMAYO  and  my ideas, developed, it felt very connected with  Rauschenberg's central occupation from the 1980's and beyond  using art as a tool for the promotion of intercultural dialogue. 

for more about the Rauschenberg exhibition

Looking forward:

I will be organising two new walks in the new year, in London and Margate. The walks are an opportunity to openly and collaboratively engage in sited poetry readings and interventions. I will be posting more information in January. Please get in touch if you would like to take part in planning and taking part in either of  these walks.

Monday, 12 December 2016

The Art of Putting Information on a String

I am delighted to have had my piece "Quipu" chosen  by The Artists Pool, to be included as a part of the exhibition titled " Threads "at Espacio Gallery in March 2017 .

In connection with this piece, I will also be organising a walk which will include, poetry readings drawing and walking books. If you would like to take part please do get in touch. The walks are informal , easy going and fun. There is more information about my walking practice in previous blog posts,

This walk will take place from Espacio Gallery on the Bethnall Green Rd. to various sites along the route of Sculpture in the City.I will be sending out more information in the New year,

There is more information about my walking practice in previous blog posts, as well as in the link included below:

for more about how the project is developing

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Twisting Paths of Recall 

Memories of A Walk for Armistice Day : a collaborative walk between the Coventry participants from the Mead Gallery Warwick and A Journey with The Waste Land, at the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The stages in the development of a Khipu -memories and cord .

Spirals hand made thinking about the haptic.


   " The weaver is both weaving and writing a text that the community can read.

Cecilia Vicuna - 'Word and Thread'

Experimenting with knits and colour

" An ancient textile is an alphabet of knots, colors and directions that we can no longer read."

Colour and spaces and the meanings imbued in textiles

our walking group prepares to leave

our collection of ropes at the end of the walk

one walker's rope and knots

Testing ideas for a Khipu   a - n .co.uk

Thursday, 10 November 2016

ropes and knots  made by walkers recording the experience

A Walk for Armistice day

An Introduction.

The Coventry participants from the Mead Gallery in the A Journey with The Waste Land Project joined the Walking with The Waste Land group on November 9th, for a walk . We started at the Turner Contemporary in Margate and collaborated on a memorable walk. It was a great experience and fulfilled all my expectations. We have made new friends and look forward to future collaborations in the process.

This walk took as its. form a  'derive' :'http://www.bopsecrets.org/SI/2.derive.htm.

 It gave us the opportunity to continue to use walking as a tool to engage with the poem, the exhibition process and our own responses to spaces and places making personal connections with the poem. It is so exciting to see how the process of walking and talking unfolds as thoughts and ideas emerge from within the group.

 I have tried to capture some of the moments here.

Gathering thoughts:

I decided in this walk to make ropes for the walking group For an explanation about ropes and their use in my walking practice please go to the following link:


I wanted to use this opportunity to play with ideas about space and how the gaps between might affect where we place memory knots

Preparing for the walk making ropes, placing colourful threads which could influence where knots are placed.

I am now playing with the ropes to make a Quipu to record the experience and will post once finished.

Readings and Sites

1. TS Eliot's Epigraph, Judy Dermott, Turner Contemporary

           "With my own eyes I saw the Sybil of Cumae hanging in a bottle; and when 
             the boys said to her: Sybil, what do you want? She replied: 'I want to die' ".
             for Ezra Pound
             the better craftsman.

2. mappa mundi  ( with kind permission, Sonia Overall- The Art of Walking) , Billie, at the Turner Contemporary.
photograph Elspeth (Billie) Penfold

Begin wherever the arrow falls

              you may need chalk to mark perimeters
                                   where land and sea meet

borders are not barriers to progress

   but stepping on cracks is as crossing continents
                (they do things differently there)

crossroads are perfect places to loiter
and bargain for wares, souls or melodies

but beware deep woods, wolves, witches in trees
ditches where bodies may roll, bandits, brothers who
                                                                 prove false,
              lovers likewise, and be sure never to take the

left hand fork

skirt about the hems of lakes
avoid dipping toes in rivers
never board a boat with blackened sails
block your ears when the singing begins
                                                                         but walk:walk until you meet a man
                                                                                who asks questions of your oars
                                                                                                                    your eyes
                                                                                                       or your intentions

and stop there.

3. At Fort Hill - reading Billie - (referencing one of our early walks last year, returning from Jan and Ian's after a cup of tea.)

'Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there are only you and I together
but when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you
Gliding wrapt in a brown mantle, hooded
I do not know whether a man or a woman
- But who is that on the other side of you?'

The Waste Land, TS Eliot

4. Margate Yacht Club, a reminder of one of our early meetings reading The Waste Land and where The Reading group, led by Ian meet once a month.

    5. The Old Kent Market- where Judy Dermott shared 'The Eliot's go to the Cinema.'


Where Karen Parker  shared her father's memory as a Fire Warden during the Coventry bombings.

7. Margate Museum - a reminder of one of our early meetings and reading of the Fire Sermon, a treasure trove, exploring artefacts and files recording Eliot's time in Margate. Thank you for such a great reception/

8. Tudor House 
9. Trinity Square reading by Billie - How TS Eliot found inspiration at Margate " (Bernard Ginns 'The Guardian' 7 May 2008)                                                                                                Margate, said Mr Seabrook, was important enough to merit a mention "which is something in itself" England then was in the middle of the social, economic and psychological aftermath of the First World War ' At the time he was there, there would have been some war veterans selling paper poppies in the weeks leading up to the first national poppy day on November 1st 1921' said Mr Seabrook ' He would have seen disabled veterans and people blinded, limbs amputated and all sorts- I think you can speculate on this, He would have been in proximity to them and the residents of Margate.'
10. The Winter Gardens

An uplifting reading by Kieth Grossmith of his poem:

           Near, bright stars.
We did as the ancients
And played dot to dot
With the stars
Making pictures on
A black canvas
Gazing at night, subdued in Her softness.
And as we kindled in the fresh grass, We whispered, though no one else existed.
Feint words are truer in love than soliloquies devotions.
You smelled of little laughs and escape
And I breathed to the expanse,
Because I owned this World. 
Oooh, that feel of slender fingers, smooth and soft at my nape, drew pictures in soft figures of eight.
And then, erased by teasing fingernails before another masterpiece of lines.
Do you remember the sigh of the sea scrambling silently for the sands?
Do you recall that time?
We heard their conversation just before they kissed and witnessed their gifts betwixt seashells and spray and utter solitude;
Shadows beneath the moon, colours of laughter,
Moulding forms in the warm, summer air,
with no care for others.
Selfish. Alone.
The selfishness of lovers at the near shore.



Julia Riddiough's thought on a previous walk, with thanks:
Julia's Rope

Walking Memories
Camaraderie, Mindfulness, Interaction, Investigation, Listening, Looking & Connecting!

If you would like to join us on future walks please contact me.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Fragments and thoughts : sited poetry readings. Photography courtesy Jennifer Deakin.

 To the Garden: A Walk and Talk Through Time and the Seasons with TS Eliot -

To be conscious is not to be in time
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.

  - T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton

Reading from Sonia Overall"s "The Art of Walking"
in the rain / departure

leaving, door wedged open

water pooling, you step into the rain

filaments of longing curling

like burnt hairs

you turn up your collar                        
  (Sonia Overall,  The Art of Walking , 2015)

Trish Scott, Research Curator, Reading from "Burnt Norton"
"Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,          Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting." (Burnt Norton, TS Eliot)

Patrick Seery, Walking with the Waste Land Group contributor,
Reading from "Burnt Norton"

"Garlic and sapphires in the mud                    
Clot the bedded axle-tree.
The trilling wire in the blood
Sings below inveterate scars
Appeasing long forgotten wars.
The dance along the artery
The circulation of the lymph
Are figured in the drift of stars
Ascend to summer in the tree
We move above the moving tree
In light upon the figured leaf
And hear upon the sodden floor
Below, the boarhound and the boar
Pursue their pattern as before
But reconciled among the stars.
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance." ("Burnt Norton" TS Eliot)

Diana Lane, Walking with the Waste Land group contributor,
Reading from "Burnt Norton"
"To be conscious is not to be in time                  
But only in time can the moment in the rose-garden,
The moment in the arbour where the rain beat,
The moment in the draughty church at smokefall
Be remembered; involved with past and future.
Only through time time is conquered.
Here is a place of disaffection
Time before and time after
In a dim light: neither daylight
Investing form with lucid stillness
Turning shadow into transient beauty
Wtih slow rotation suggesting permanence
Nor darkness to purify the soul
Emptying the sensual with deprivation
Cleansing affection from the temporal.                       
Neither plentitude nor vacancy. Only a flicker
Over the strained time-ridden faces
Distracted from distraction by distraction
Filled with fancies and empty of meaning
Tumid apathy with no concentration
Men and bits of paper, whirled by the cold wind
That blows before and after time,
Wind in and out of unwholesome lungs

('Burnt Norton" TS Eliot)Time before and time after."
Final reading from Burnt Norton

        " The detail of the pattern is movement,            
As in the figure of the ten stairs.
Desire itself is movement
Not in itself desirable;
Love is itself unmoving,
Only the cause and end of movement,
Timeless, and undesiring
Except in the aspect of time
Caught in the form of limitation
Between un-being and being.
Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
Even while the dust moves
There rises the hidden laughter
Of children in the foliage
Quick now, here, now, always-
Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after."
("Burnt Norton" TS Eliot)

Rotating our Walking books at the Walpole Bay Shelter

"All The Leaves Are Brown/Cliftonville Dreamin'," Julia Riddiough
"Margate at 9 Years Old", Keith Grossmith