Exhibition Tour – Mike Collier on ‘Walk On: 40 Years of Art Walking’

Francis Alys Guards, 2004, The Artangel Collection at Tate

12 June 2013


North Member Programme, Talk

Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art Sunderland

Free to Contemporary Art Society Members

Whether serendipitous or by design, the walks undertaken have formed the starting point for many important artworks of the past 40 years.

Join us for a curator-led tour of Walk On: from Richard Long to Janet Cardiff 40 Years of Art Walking, a major group exhibition that brings together work by a diverse range of contemporary artists united by the way in which their travels on foot inspire and form their work. The exhibition is An Art Circuit Touring Exhibition, curated by Cynthia Morrison-Bell, Mike Collier and Alistair Robinson in collaboration with Janet Ross.

From land art and conceptual art to street photography and the essay film, across the last four decades many artists have acted as explorers whether making their mark on the rural wilderness, documenting small journeys, or undertaking close examination of the urban environment around them.

While some artists, such as Richard Long, have crossed countries and continents to create their works and left traces of their movement on the land itself others exhibit photography, texts or artefacts as documentation of their journeys, whereas for Hamish Fulton, the walk itself is the work and anything else only evidence. For Marina Abramovic, it is a form of performance over time, as seen in her epic journey across the length of the Great Wall of China, a symbolic act of separating and then reuniting with her then collaborator Ulay.

Tracing and mapping is a recurring theme throughout the exhibition: from Chris Drury’s weaving of maps of his walks in the mountainous region of Ladak, India to Plan B and Rachael Clewlow who inventively mark their steps with GPS devices, creating systems to record daily walks and so immortalising everyday routines. In his Windwalks, Tim Knowles strolls about London, his route determined by the ways in which the wind whips through the streets.

The exhibition at NGCA takes place from 1 June to 5 August 2013 and is part of a UK tour, which started at PMGallery, London (link to ) (26 March – 6 May 2013) and continues to Atkinson Art Gallery (January – April 2014) and Plymouth City Art Gallery (19 September – 12 December 2014 ).

Image: Francis Alys, Guards, 2004, The Artangel Collection at Tate


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