Nothing brings home the beauty and power of the world that we live in like walking. Moving into our bodies, we embody the truth that as artists we are to make a ‘body of work’.
Walking in this World | Julia Cameron
Breathing with every step they take, wayfarers walk at once in the air and on the ground. This walking is itself a process of thinking and knowing.
Footprints through the weather-world: walking, breathing, knowing | Tim Ingold
I have followed Cameron’s advice for many years now—walking as far and as often as I can—mostly around my home in southern Scotland. My photographic practice is therefore an embodied one comprised of three essential elements—myself, my camera and the walk I am making.
The images I collect along the way are representational, a visual attempt to capture the essence of my experience. I am drawn to the elemental through shape, texture, colour, light and shadow, and the potential this offers for seeing beyond the literal into the deeper, quieter patterns and rhythms that form the wider ecology.
The work of anthropologist, Tim Ingold is a more recent discovery and has set me on a path of exploring my environment from the viewpoint of wayfarer, in contrast to the more linear approach that might be taken for example by a navigator in pursuit of a defined goal.
Also important is Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain and the potential this offers for looking in more depth at the concept of the feminine sublime in relation to walking and an artistic practice.