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.

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