Sunday, 24 February 2019

“Sumak Kawsay” *

 A photo diary with a few words about our walk for Terminalia.  


This walk is now recorded through knotted ropes attached to a Vara. 

It's title: ‘Sumak Kawsay’.

A Walk for Terminalia on Saturday February 23rd with Thread and Word.

For this walk I invited friends, artists, writers and poets to join me on the day of the Terminalia Festival of Psychogeography http://terminaliafestival.org

“Neighbours gather sincerely, and hold a feast, and sing your praises, sacred Terminus: you set bounds to peoples, cities, great kingdoms: without you every field would be disputed."
                                                                     From Ovid’s Festivals Book II

Seasalter, Kent.

The setting for our walk, a photo/collage of Seasalter where our walk took place. I've looked at the signage which can be seen at the top of this photo/collage so many times on the sign in Seasalter  and had missed the 'Knot' bird. Thanks to Jonathan Skinner for pointing it out. I will always keep a lookout for it now.

We discussed  some Gods:
Inti - The Inca god of the sun.

Terminus - The Roman god of boundaries - 

Pachamama - the goddess of the earth worshipped by indigenous people throughout the Andean region.

We then discussed the weaving  technique and the meaning of the weave attached to our Vara made for the walk. 

Each walker chose a rope  ( some took two) to walk with and knot as a way to record their memories as we walked. There was some discussion about the history and provenance of knots and their association with memories, reminders and meditation.


Choosing some ropes which are hand made in my studio.

We had a little ceremony to honour Mother Earth, Pachamama.

Then,  eleven of us walked the  route by the Graveney Marshes where it is proposed to build thousands of solar panels which will be the height of double decker buses.  

We walked along the path next to the sea wall .

We stopped at various intervals to read the poetry that we had brought with us.  

We reflected and discussed the site around us and the complexity of making decisions about the site and processes which might  achieve the balance between wants and responsibilities.  We also talked about wider issues of personal responsibility with regard to our environment. 

It was wonderful to walk and share ideas with the wider group and also have conversations with individual walkers in such a beautiful surrounding.

Here a list of the poems fellow walkers brought with them and shared with the group:

Susan Emm : ‘White Hare’ from The Lost Words , Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris
‘Circles and Curves’ by Heather Ovenden
‘Climbing the Sky in Colours’ - poems from Wise Words for Wellbeing.

Virginia Fitch:  The Burial of the Dead from TS Eliot’s The Waste Land.

Sue McClymont  : ‘Field Women’ by Thomas Hardy

Elspeth (Billie) Penfold: ‘A breath’ from Owen Lowery’s Transition Poems https://weareunlimited.org.uk/commission/transitions/  (read by Laura Shawyer ),
 ‘inverted’ and ‘promenade’ from ‘The Art of Wa;lking’ by Sonia Overall http://www.soniaoverall.net/publications/the-art-of-walking-2/

Susan Sciama :  ‘Volcanic Paradox’ written by Susan Sciama

Jonathan Skinner : ‘ Common Yellow Throat’  written by Jonathan Skinner  https://poetsgulfcoast.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/skinnerz3.png


We then headed to the pub for lunch and reflection. 

We wrote some poetry and assembled our vara - ‘ Sumak Kawsay’, attaching our ropes and knots. 

We also wrote some individual responses to the walk included in the photograph below.

Save the date:

  You can see The Vara ‘Sumak Kawsay’  as a part of an exhibition with several of the varas representing 13 collaborative walks from the last four years.
These  have been selected as part of an
 exhibition  titled  ‘Contemporary Art and Ritual’ at the Crypt Gallery at St Pancras. 
May 16th - May 21st.

This exhibition has been curated by Deborah Burnstone and Caro Williams. 

With thanks to Anna Bowman for the fab photography  https://vimeo.com/annabowman
A huge thank you to all who came and walked and contributed to this event; Anna Bowman, Susan Emm, Virginia Fitch, Diana Lane, Sue McClymont, Julie Pickard, Susan Sciama, Laura Shawyer  Katherine Skinner, Jonathan Skinner.

 * Sumak Kawsay ( a quechua word)  “sumak kawsay promotes  ‘good living’ and interculturality…..(it) is centred in the indigenous world view, and it aims at overcoming the Western model of individuals thought and the dominant concepts of development centered in the market” , MARÍA FERNANDA CARTAGENA  ( Collective Situations , Readings in Contemporary Latin American Art , 1995 -2010, edited by BILL KELLEY JR. AND GRANT H. KESTER)



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