is the world’s largest drawing and visual literacy festival and this year its theme ‘Drawn to Life’ celebrates and explores the benefits of being actively creative to make positive change and improve wellbeing.
The festival brings people together to champion the ever increasing evidence, both anecdotal and academic, that a more creative life really can improve your health.
Join me for a companionable and creative group walk through Avenham and Miller Parks as part of both Preston Arts Festival and The Big Draw 2019.
During the walk I will introduce simple ways to tune in to and be inspired by the landscape: its atmosphere and sensory qualities. We will draw, write and make, as we trace our movement through the park, working together to experience and experiment, using materials provided.
The walk lasts about 2 hours. Places are limited.
The Big Draw event info is here for Saturday October 5th 2019, 14:00 – 16:00 and book at Eventbrite here: here
The Big Draw event info is here for Sunday October 13th, 10:00 – 12:00 and book at Eventbrite here:
Image: shadows in Avenham Park
A series of guided walks on a range of topics, organised by the Friends of Winckley Square, will wander and weave through the centre of Preston, during the first three weeks of October 2019 as part of Preston Arts Festival.
Quotation by Paul Klee, from his Pedagogical Sketchbook, first published in 1925.
Recently I’ve been drawing in response to experiences of walking through Preston’s city centre parks. On these walks I made my way intuitively without any plan and sketched out routes and perceptual aspects as I moved along, using pencil line at first. I added to these very rough drawings later and made others from memory. I then combined elements and developed the drawings digitally.
As well as the work of artists such as Paul Klee, music and dance notation were strong influences.
Above: Sections of walking ‘notation’, from my physical and digital sketchbooks
The results are not conceived as ‘maps’ in any conventional sense: no relationship to compass points was considered for instance, or the relative scale of pathways or other features encountered in the park. Rather, the drawings are expressions of embodied memories, of sensing and moving through ephemeral qualities of landscape.
The video above is a raw edit of serendipitous moments captured via my iPhone when I attended an Instameet at ‘PEOPLE’, a temporary, ground level art installation by artists Low Profile. The PEOPLE artwork is part of celebrations to mark 50 years of Preston’s Bus Station, which was built in 1969 in the Brutalist architectural style.
The Instameet was organised by local curatorial partnership, In Certain Places. An exhibition called ‘Beautiful and Brutal: 50 Years in the life of the Bus Station’ will take place in the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, in Preston, Lancashire, later in the year.
“A journey implies a destination, so many miles to be consumed, while a walk is its own measure, complete at every point along the way.” Francis Alÿs.
One of a sequence of video stories I’ve made about walking along life’s path…
Often my work has related to clothing in action – being worn – and its relationship to the human body moving in space, through time and place. In this sequence I am looking at feet and shoes, the signs and metaphysical messages on the surface of the ‘ground’ and the rhythm of embodied time as it is paced, lived and experienced.
This sequence was filmed in Preston, Lancashire, UK and in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Mandvi in Gujarat in India, during February and March 2013.
‘”Dolna” sung by Shreya Ghoshal, from the Bollywood movie ‘Morning Walk’ (2009)
Walking from campus in to Lancaster, we (Malé and Fiona) worked with an iPad and a handheld audio recorder with binaural microphones, as well as our mobile phones. From the outset we resolved to allow the research to unfold as we made our walk, and to take influence and context from Barthes and Derrida, for whom photography was a medium of suspended mortality—every photograph or record made, a memento mori.
As we walked along the way, looked, listened and opened up to the experience, we learnt that the traces of movement that came to our attention were perceptions of something altered or dishevelled: where we saw or felt a shift in what would otherwise be constant and unchanging. We captured these traces as static images, video and audio data. Together we explored repetition and the pace of rhythm with our bodies, words and voices: “ribbon…rhythm…band…bond”.
By moving in step along the trace we made, we ceased to be dots of data moving in the landscape. We became the trace, the landscape and the path. We began making and editing the video even while we were ‘on the move’ and the iMovie app and its touch sensitive iPad interface allowed us to edit the material of time with our fingertips. Malé described her sensation of the editing process as being “like working with plasticine”. The interaction with the iPad reminded Fiona of the haptic gestures of stitch or collage. The process of making the video heightened our combined awareness and facilitated reflection on the apparent tensions between tracing live movement and the production of recordings.
This video was made by Malé Luján and Fiona Candy as an outcome of the Mobslab Experiment: ‘Captured in Motion’, a one day collaborative workshop at the Centre for Mobilities Research, Lancaster University. The main aim of this Mobslab project “was to understand how the world is constituted in and through movement with ‘mobile methods’.
Mapping multi-sensory modalities: a research event exploring the theme of body cartographies curated by Dr Rachel Sweeney at The Capstone Theatre, Liverpool Hope University. March 2016
The Earthtomes event revolved around a live Butoh performance led by international Butoh artist Joan Laage. Image of performance below.
Eight artists were selected to present time-based and site-responsive works engaging in themes of cartography and intracorporeality and that integrated body-centred approaches within digital media.
Featured Artists: Annalaura Alifuoco, Silvia Battista, Dominique Baron-Bonarjee, Fiona Candy, Kris Darby, Jonathan Gilbert, Simon Piasecki, Rachel Sweeney
For Earthtomes I provided radio headphones so that participants could experience a sequence of audio stories that I created using original recordings combined through digital collage.
The immersive sounds of footsteps brought attention to the presence of the body in motion and the acoustic qualities of places, spaces and moments – as they are stepped into life.
Participants could explore the theatre building and its surroundings as they listened. Access to drawing materials encouraged the production of tactile cartographic responses to their individual multi- sensory experiences of moving in acoustic space.