The Walking Artists Network (WAN) is an international network dedicated to walking as a critical and artistic practice; it reflects the growth and increased interest in walking art.[1][2][3][4][5] It is based at the University of East London's Centre for Performing Arts Development and contains a network of over 600 members from across the globe, though predominantly based in the United Kingdom.[6] The network maintains an active email discussion community through JISCmail.[7]

Founding

WAN originated in late 2007 when a small group of artists in central London invited ‘all those who are interested in walking as a critical spatial practice’ to its first meeting.[8] It was further developed when Clare Qualmann and Mark Hunter successfully bid for Arts and Humanities Research Council funding in 2011.[5][9] This facilitated the international development of the network and allowed it to expand membership, develop a website and fund the Footwork research group.[2]:80

Activities

The Walking Artists Network is works 'on the basis of events that having walking at their core (rather than arranging things at which people sit and listen to talking about walking)'.[2]:80 This has resulted in 'a variety of walking based initiatives' that bring 'people together to walk'.[2]:80

Step by Step (2014-2017)

An interdisciplinary seminar series at the University of East London, organized by Clare Qualmann and Blake Morris, that brought together artists and academics whose work engaged with the practice of walking.[2]:80 Notable speakers included Kubra Khademi, Anna Minton and Sara Wookey.[10]

Walking Encyclopaedia (2014)

In 2014 the Walking Artists Network collaborated with Airspace Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, to produce The Walking Encyclopaedia (2014) a gallery exhibition and online archive of walking practices that includes more than 150 walking practitioners and artworks.[11]

Ways to Wander (2015)

In 2015, a collection of walk suggestions, experiences, techniques and case studies by members of the Walking Artists' Network was published by Triarchy Press with the title Ways to Wander.[12] The book was an 'output of the AHRC funded 'Footwork' project, and edited by Qualmann and Claire Hind.[13]

Walking Women (2016)

In 2016 Qualmann and Amy Sharrocks curated Walking Women, "a series of walks talks and workshops that featured over forty women artists working with walking in a variety of media".[2]:80 The event featured two programmes of work at Somerset House, London and Forest Fringe, Edinburgh.[14]

Artists presenting their work included Jennie Savage, Sharrocks, Deirdre Heddon, Kubra Khademi, Louise Ann Wilson, Rosana Cade, The Walking Reading Group on Participation, Monique Besten and Alison Lloyd. The Live Art Development Agency published a guide to Walking Women, following the events. A radio programme featuring artists involved in the programme was broadcast on Resonance FM in July 2016.[15]

Further reading

Hind, Claire and Clare Qualmann. Ways to Wander: 54 intriguing ideas for different ways to take a walk. Axminster: Triarchy Press, 2015.

Morris, Blake. Walking Networks: The Development of an Artistic Medium. London: Rowman and Littlefield International, 2020.

Smith, Phil. Walking's New Movement. Axminster: Triarchy Press, 2015.

References

  1. ^ Heddon, Deirdre; Turner, Cathy (1 May 2012). "Walking Women: Shifting the Tales and Scales of Mobility" (PDF). Contemporary Theatre Review. 22 (2): 224–236. doi:10.1080/10486801.2012.666741. ISSN 1048-6801. S2CID 143812276.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Morris, Blake (15 November 2019). Walking Networks: The Development of an Artistic Medium. Rowman & Littlefield International. ISBN 978-1-78661-022-5.
  3. ^ Owen, Louise (1 November 2013). "Robert Wilson, Walking (Holkham Estate, 2012)". Contemporary Theatre Review. 23 (4): 568–573. doi:10.1080/10486801.2013.839177. ISSN 1048-6801. S2CID 143698890.
  4. ^ Doonan, Natalie (25 March 2015). "Techniques of Making Public: The Sensorium Through Eating and Walking". Theatre Research in Canada / Recherches théâtrales au Canada. 36 (1): 52–72. doi:10.3138/tric.36.1.52. ISSN 1913-9101.
  5. ^ a b O'Neill, Maggie; Roberts, Brian (9 July 2019). Walking Methods: Research on the Move. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-29502-0.
  6. ^ "Walking Artists' Network". www.walkingartistsnetwork.org. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  7. ^ "JISCMail - WAN List at WWW.JISCMAIL.AC.UK". www.jiscmail.ac.uk. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  8. ^ "History". 23 March 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
  9. ^ Research Council UK. "Footwork - The Walking Artists Network as Mobile Community". gtr.rcuk.ac.uk. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  10. ^ "Step by Step Seminar series". Walking Artists Network. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  11. ^ "AIRSPACE". www.airspacegallery.org. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  12. ^ Bonnett, Alastair (1 September 2017). "The enchanted path: magic and modernism in psychogeographical walking". Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 42 (3): 472–484. doi:10.1111/tran.12177. ISSN 0020-2754.
  13. ^ Qualman, Claire Hind Clare (24 July 2015). Ways to Wander. Triarchy Press. ISBN 978-1-909470-73-6.
  14. ^ "WALKING WOMEN - Events". Live Art Development Agency. Retrieved 2 February 2019.
  15. ^ FM, Resonance. "Clear Spot - 14th July 2016 ('Er Outdoors #3)". Mixcloud. Retrieved 2 February 2019.