Monday, 4 November 2019

Walking's New Movements

Plymouth University November 2nd - 4th

This is a snapshot of an inspiring conference organised by Claire Hind, Phil Smith and Helen Billinghurst.

prep a small vara and some ropes

With some trepidation I took my ropes and a soundscape to the Conference. It was hard to know what to expect. However, as soon as I attended the first session I knew I was amongst friends.

Ropes and knots , on the train home.

My small contribution to the conference
was a ten minute provocation .

We sat in room 206. I  introduced the context of the making of the soundscape and invited attendees to take a rope, sit or walk and knot the rope as they listened to the soundscape.

At the end of the provocation I invited attendees to attach their rope to the vara and as they did this  I recorded their responses to the process in one word. Their words are recorded at the end of this blog posting.

Here is a small trail describingthe journey  of this provocation.

The Context from writing to sound

The Context for this provocation.

As we all know one thing leads to another and the making of the soundscape developed from the walk we did through Thread and word in Seasalter ,' Sumak Kawsay' as part of the Terminalia Festival. 

You can find out more about this walk and the small limited edition publication of poems on this blog posting: Sumak Kawsay

As we walked for Terminalia through Sumak Kawsay, I was also developing a walk for the Chelsea Fringe : Are you Listening? This  naturally made me think about a soundscape. I am fortunate to know the artist and composer Lucy Claire having worked with her on a previous project and so the collaboration for the soundscape Are You Listening? began with Lucy and fab artists and friends who support Thread and Word .

The Provocation

A soundscape,  Are you Listening?

It was a pleasure to take this soundscape to Walking's New Movements and I am very grateful to the attendees who listened , walked and knotted.


Here a textile record through ropes and knots of responses to the provocation : Are You Listening?

A Vara , Walking's New Movements

Knots as memories of the provocation


Some words from attendees in response to this experience:

"agitated with the rope,
grounded by the birdsong,
 I was somewhere else,
a bit stressed by the sound,
 assemblage with rope and wool,
it takes you somewhere else and reminds you too of a familiar place,
remembering sailing,
 transported but with an abrupt end,
 the rope was good to be able to stretch into the soundscape, using the rope to stretch my body  and arms even though I wasn't walking
I felt rather in between places
I felt curious
recognition: I felt I knew the voices
I felt like I was sitting on a corner at a four road asymmetrical roundabout with headphones listening to the Kinks
Wonderfully disturbed
Quipu "

I was sorry that I couldn't attend more of the talks, discussions , papers and events.

 I have here included snapshots of my notes from the papers that I was able to attend. These have provided me with food for thought and inspiration. I am not sure this blog does  them justice, but then like a walk you have to be there to appreciate it!

Sonia Overall and James Frost: Being Horse

Sarah Scarfe ; Magical Aesthetics

Rosie Sherwood, Walking towards rewilding
Handrailing a Route through Mountain studies,  Jonathan Pritcher.

I would like to thank the authors, walkers, and organisers for their generosity in sharing their wonderful work . A really inspiring conference.


  1. Wonderful! I love the way one thing leads to another creatively

  2. Thank you !It's great to get a comment back, much appreciated.