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Monday, 12 June 2017

A  June walk - thinking about projective verse ,

with The Garden Gate community project in Margate. 

The Walking with the Waste Land group in collaboration with members of the Garden Gate community in Margate have decided to embark on one walk a month in the garden and the surrounding area of Northdown Park. We started our walks in April, so this was our third walk.



                                                     



 For this walk we decided to try to experiment with projective verse.















An example of projective verse:
s h a d o w s ,  b i r d s,                            



     wake up

  birch trees
 in the wind's web

       before what minutes, exposition
               of mankind

              stony light turned

                    how much
                          the number

               the vague soon again

                  what change in the parts 
  

about projective verse:


Olson argues against a lazy reliance on simile and description, which can drain a poem of energy, and proposes that syntax be shaped by sound rather than sense, with nuances of breath and motion to be conveyed to the reader through typographical means.


.

We began by walking and pausing to compile words associated with place. Charlotte acted as our scribe.



some  words:

                                                                                                                     Vibrant
 pigeon 
                                                                    cooing, concrete slabs,

 birds
                chirping tall trees,
                                                                                                                     formal paper petals, 
                                                   sundial, pom noms,
                                                                                                                                       organised, wild berries, snappy
                           
       Green seagulls,
                                                                                        Grass sticks, funghi cones, 
                           
                                                                                     
playing, baby sycamore puppies
                                                                        rest                                lavender, blue,Lavsih  bees. ,
                                                           
 talking ladders, umbrella tree, standing 
                                                                       drilling, fox poo, stones, car tracks, bench 
clock 
                             view, high horizon,

dog
swaying                             2 crows
scarf
                                                                                        wind
                                                                                        clock.       flea darts







Time

using the sundial with many thanks to Margaret for her wonderful contribution (we walked past this in our last two walks and didn't even notice it!) and also thanks to  Charlotte for brilliant participation.





                         Timelessness:

                         blowing a dandelion










With many thanks to all who contributed to this walk. I hope you will join us on our next one,  July 12th. meet at the Garden Gate at 10am finish 12 pm.

If you have any ideas you would like to develop please feel free to suggest!


Walking with ‘The Waste Land’ is a community group founded by artist Elspeth Penfold in 2014. The group use walking as a research tool for locating TS Eliot’s The Waste Land and selected other poems in Margate. The group works closely with Turner Contemporary’s Waste Land Research Group who are developing Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’, Turner Contemporary’s first major exhibition of 2018, which will be on show from 3rd February – 20th May 2018, focused on connections between Eliot’s poem and the visual arts.


For more about the Garden Gate Community project please visit their Facebook page :https://www.facebook.com/TheGardenGateProject/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED













































































         

Wednesday, 31 May 2017


ThreadandWord

'Listening with our eyes'

'it is difficult to be responsible to an environment, if we have not first listened in to find out who is present'  J.E. Skinner.

Our research for thewalk with #ThreadandWord, with its links to Cecilia Vucña's poem Thread and Word and the associated installation Precario at Inverleithh House in 1970; as well as an unexpected introductory walk through the Bluebell woods in Coventry with Professor Jonathan Skinner, are already ensuring that we listen with our eyes.


Yesterday I received this from one of the artists collaborating on  the#ThreadandWord walk in Edinburgh on July 7th.


This is from Nicola Weir :
‘Inspired by nature and foraging, and loving the bluebells linking in ..have done some research, and discovered in ancient times they were used as a book binding glue, and starch for linen.. seems so appropriate to use this in what I am doing..so hope to try out, and hopefully use in some way with the stitching. 
Luckily have lots of bluebells in our garden! I believe not meant to uproot in the wild.

So will update you on experiment..fingers crossed..’



For more about Nicola and her work : http://www.edinburghprintmakers.co.uk/artist/nicola-weir

I was so elated and delighted as I really felt that the process we are using, engaging with walking as research with sited readings, does lead us on a personal journey allowing us to respond and develop new work as a part of our artistic practice.

It brought to mind the following quote from The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane:

The literature of wayfaring is long, existing as poems, songs, stories, treatises and route guides, maps, novels and essays. The compact between writing and walking is almost as old as literature - a walk is only a step away from a story, and every path tells’



This text also finds its own echo in the poetry of Cecilia Vicuña:
'La palabra es un hilo y el hilo es lenguaje.          (  Word is thread and thread is language.
Cuerpo no lineal.
Una linea asociándose a otras lineas.'                     Non linear body

(Cecilia Vicun1a, Palbra e Hilo )                               A line associated to other lines.)

This has found expression in Nicola's work, which she has described as follows:
      
'Stitching small samples for the artist walk linking 'Threads' to Inverleith House - on pure linen and cotton muslin. light and tactile threads..natural forms linking to the connection with Royal Botanic Gardens.
 The Artists Pool, https://www.theartistspool.co.uk linking artists & coming together at Dundas Street Gallery in July. Edinburgh Threads - art, poetry, place connecting.'


Weaving , pen words and paper by Elspeth Penfold


For more about this walk please visit our Facebook page :https://www.facebook.com/ThreadandWord/?ref=bookmarks

and Eventbrite:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/threadandword-tickets-34162936262?aff=eac2

(although the walk is fully subscribed you can go on the waiting list and will be notified if a place becomes available)

 












Saturday, 20 May 2017

 Walking with The Waste Land developing a walking collaboration with The Garden Gate in Margate.



A walk in May
Walking with The Waste Land and the Garden Gate  Margate.

“ a poem can be like walking down a street  and noticing things, extending itself without obscurity or too much effort” Larry Eigner  (for Charlotte)

We met at 12pm and walked from the Garden Gate to The Ridings through Northcot House Gardens.









 It wasn’t our intended destination when we started but it was a beautiful sunny day and when we got to Cliftonville Library we saw the sea in the distance and the group decided it was where we should go. 


Some of what we saw we saw:

Building bird houses (at the Garden Gate)

Flowers: Tulips, Pansies, Aquilegia, Wallflowers, Hyacinths, Sweet Williams Geraniums, Poppies
A cobweb hanging from a tree.                                       
The Pump station at The Ridings 
Hog’s Fennel (closely related to cow parsley) 

We also saw:

A cloud shaped like an Oyster Shell and another one like a dinosaur.

We talked about The Pump house ( with thanks to Laura)  walking, breathing, connecting to the ground, meditation, and how maybe on our next walk we could write some poetry and make some ropes.

Our next walk is on, June 8th, 10 am - 12 pm , meet at the Garden Gate. It would be lovely if you could join us!


Photography, courtesy of Jennifer Deakin.

Walking with ‘The Waste Land’ is a community group founded by artist Elspeth Penfold in 2014. The group use walking as a research tool for locating TS Eliot’s The Waste Land and selected other poems in Margate. The group works closely with Turner Contemporary’s Waste Land Research Group who are developing Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’, Turner Contemporary’s first major exhibition of 2018, which will be on show from 3rd February – 20th May 2018, focused on connections between Eliot’s poem and the visual arts.






Monday, 15 May 2017

As I think about the Edinburgh walk I am reflecting on this line from Larry Eigner:
“a poem can be like walking down a street and noticing things, extending itself without obscurity or too much effort”
This quote has made me think about how much of my time is spent engaging in the things that surround Cecilia Viucuña's poem and my walking practice which goes beyond the words of the poem itself.


This is a drawing I made this week in an effort to try to make connections with the walking process, making knots and drawing.
As those of you who read my blog might be aware on my walks I make ropes by hand in my studio and ask participants who walk with me to make knots in ropes to document the experience.
The drawing is something I want to do more of and it has been re-affirmed by my reading of Confabulations by John Berger. This reading came about as I prepare for a related walk in August with The Walking with The Waste Land group and of course there are cross-overs or maybe confabulations.
There is so much that is pertinent to what I am engaged in. Berger writes:
“During the last week I’ve been drawing, mostly flowers, motivated by a curiosity which has little to do with either botany or aesthetics…..Is it possible to ‘read’ natural appearances as texts?…It is a gestural exercise, whose aim is to respond to different rhythms and forms of energy, which I like to imagine as texts from a language that has not been given to us to read” 
and so, I keep looking carefully at ropes and knots.


Sunday, 30 April 2017

Taking Thread and Word to Edinburgh 

I am preparing a walk as a part of the Threads exhibition at Dundas St Gallery, the walk will take place on  the 7th of July from 2 - 4 pm.

Looking Forward
I visited Edinburgh on Monday  April 24th with Renee Rilexie, curator of the Artists Pool, https://www.theartistspool.co.uk.
We met with artists from The Suntrap Studio https://www.suntrapstudio.com and, visited the Dundas st Gallery. We were in good company as Hamish Foulton has an exhibition which had just opened in the gallery upstairs.
We had such a lovely reception and walked to Inverleith House in preparation for another walk with Thread and Word on July 7th.It was fantastic that so many ideas have already developed from one visit .
Cecilia Vicuña wrote Word and Thread at Inverleith House in 1970. I was hoping that they would include images of her work Precario from their archive in their exhibition in July, however the sign for the exhibition says it includes work from 1889, so not likely.This is the first exhibition at Inverleith House since they closed the gallery last October as a cost cutting exercise.

Maybe we can invoke the spirit of her work through our walk.
Jil Rock http://cargocollective.com/JillRock , one of our artist/walkers and a great contributor to #Thread and Word, sent me this about Cecilia Vicuña and Art for Democracy:

"I think I mentioned on the city walk that I had been in touch with a friend of mine John Dugger whilst he was showing work at Raven Row.
John was Cecilia's partner and co worker in Artists for Democracy.

Artists for democracy worked over many years with a simply defined ethos:

J A V

Joy
Autonomy 
Voluntary

They also had 4 watchwords - art as participation - as labour - as information - as energy

when I was on a walker's walk a few weeks ago on Dungeness I suggested to the group that they made a work whilst walking along using a barbecue rack I had found on the beach the day before on the condition that they worked as JAV"



and so the works continues .

I hope some of you can join us on this walk. It is ticketed on evenbrite, #ThreadandWord. The walk is free but numbers will be limited.

Sunday, 23 April 2017


Developing Thread and Word


So the work progresses in many different ways.


Quipucamayocs
I have been busy in the studio making 'Quipucamayocs', a series of artefacts using the ropes knotted by walkers during the development of the walks culminating in Thread and Word at Espacio Gallery last March.



Thread and Room
@AllanStruthers who participated in the Thread and Word walk at Espacio has collaborated with Robbie and Hannah (also on the walk)  to make  Thread and Room. 

"Having been inspired by the use of movement and thread as a method of communication, we, over the course of 2 hours, silently engaged in a dance that began to explore the inside our house. It was an event that gave a kind of language to the physical space between us. For this we used thread, coloured paper, rubber bands, and the music of Julia-Holter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM-WnjqB8EY. "

It's amazing how ideas develop and grow through artistic collaboration. For more about Thread and word and Allan's intervention, Seen not Heard:  the Choice of Listening to Objects, http://www.elspeth-billie-penfold.com/thread-and-word-texts-used-in-walk


I am looking forward to a trip to Edinburgh tomorrow, April 24th with Renee Rilexie, curator of the Artists Pool, https://www.theartistspool.co.uk.

We will be meeting with artists, visiting Dundas st Gallery and Inverleith House and preparing for another walk with Thread and Word in July.  Let me know if you'd like to  collaborate.


Saturday, 22 April 2017


Walking with the Waste Land 

Creating new encounters through walking.


  April : The Garden Gate to Northdown Park.                 





We have just started a series of exploratory walks following a route from the Garden Gate in Margate through Northdown House gardens and into Northdown Park.

 The intention is to do one walk a month and to engage with the site and use the opportunity to notice the seasonal changes as we walk the area regularly.

The plan is to produce a short leaflet recording what we saw on the walk which can then be used by visitors to the garden and the park.

 We are hoping that community members from the Garden Gate project will join us and that they will contribute to producing further leaflets recording the walks for each month.

For more about the Garden Gate:http://www.thegardengateproject.co.uk/location.html

We all had a great time on our first walk and are looking forward to the next one on May 17th.

Let me know if you'd like to join us!