RIVER OF RAIN – The Blast Hole Pond River in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland, is featured in this video poem by Marlene Creates and Elizabeth Zetlin. The river flows through the property where Creates lives and has been the subject of much of her work since 2002.
The video poem follows the Earth’s water cycle — from the rain to the land to the pond to the river to the sea to the clouds to the rain again — after a record-breaking 100-millimetre rainstorm. Along the way, we see, hear, and almost smell the torrent. But we also learn some of the artist’s thoughts as she looks at the river, some of which are memories of things other people have said.
The video conveys the ability of human consciousness to be in two places at once: both perceiving the exterior world that’s right in front of us and generating a medley of interior thoughts. Creates’s voice is heard reading the poem, which evokes details of the water’s course. Alternating with the ongoing flow, her reflections and memories appear as text over still images. In this way the video poem reflects the interplay between pure perception and linguistic modes of consciousness.
A concluding montage of images and spoken words excerpted from the video poem makes a gesture towards the relationship between language and landscape. Visually, the point of view changes: the camera swirls, slows, and speeds up. The human voice — starting with meaning and ending with murmur — replaces the sound of the river.
A programme of events that places women at the centre of discussions and debates about walking and art. Part of UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility – Four Seasons of events, exhibitions and new commissions celebrating the idea of utopia to mark the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s influential text.
The invisibility of women in what appears as a canon of walking is conspicuous; where they are included, it is often as an ‘exception’ to an unstated norm, represented by a single chapter in a book or even a footnote. Heddon and Turner (2012)
How do we re-write a canon? How do we re-balance the perception of art, artists, and the use of walking as a creative practice? Can we not only imagine a future in which gender bias and skewed vision is destroyed, but actively build the pathway there?
These events are a step on that path. Bringing together artists from across disciplines – theatre makers, writers, sculptors, film makers, poets, live artists and visual artists with academics, curators and cultural critics to discuss, present, create, record, broadcast and make public the work of WALKING WOMEN.
Artist’s walks and talks will run alongside a Wikipedia edit-a-thon of women walking artists, an open mic Pecha-Kucha, and special editions of LADA’s Study Room and The Walking Library, featuring books by, about and related to walking women.
Monday 11 – Sunday 17 July
Go for a walk with extracts from Clare Qualmann and Claire Hind’s book Ways to Wander, spend an hour, or a day, travelling on Amy Sharrocks’ Bus Pass, give yourself up to Jennie Savage’s audio walk The Guide to Getting Lost.
Wednesday 13th July
Join writer, artist and breast cancer survivor, Claire Collison for An intimate tour of breasts,exploring their mythologies and commodification throughout history to the present day.
Saturday 16 – Sunday 17 July
The Walking Reading Group on Participation (Lydia Ashman, Ania Bas and Simone Mair) lead a walk discussing ideas of Utopia, artistic director Anna Birch introduces her women’s suffrage inspired film March , made with Glasgow Women’s Library and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Lois Keidan director of the Live Art Development Agency discusses the Afghani Artist Kubra Khademi’s radical walking protest performance art, writer and journalist Anna Minton and geographer Jo Norcup respond to artists talks by Clare Qualmann, Amy Sharrocks, and Jennie Savage, artist-researcher Dee Heddon takes her Walking Library for Women Walking on a suffragette inspired route, artist-researcher Alison Lloyd presents her work recovering histories of women land artists of the 1960s and 70s, performance maker Louise Ann Wilson discusses her site-specific walks Warnscale and Fissure, academics Dee Heddon and Cathy Turner discuss their research on Women Walking and how we might further open up questions on what it means to walk, who walks and where. Plus: film screenings, pecha-kucha format artists’ talks, a Wikipedia edit-a-thon, and LADA’s library of WALKING WOMEN books.
Booking information will be announced shortly.
There are also opportunities for artists to get involved and show their work – see here
Look out for a LADA Study Room Guide on WALKING WOMEN being created by Amy Sharrocks and Clare Qualmann.
WALKING WOMEN is curated by Amy Sharrocks and Clare Qualmann in collaboration with Dee Heddon.
It is presented in partnership with Somerset House, The Live Art Development Agency, The Walking Artists Network, The University of East London, Deveron Arts, Forest Fringe and Geography Workshop. A series of radio programmes tying in to the events will be broadcast on Resonance FM.
Full schedule with timings here: http://www.walkingartistsnetwork.org/walking-women-at-somerset-house/