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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
What has walking got to do with art? What has walking got to do with art?
Hamish Fulton 1
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Hamish Fulton - Through the forest
Hamish Fulton - Poster

Hamish Fulton

21 Days in the Cairngorms

2010

Going to the mountains is going home.
John Muir
Linking Huntly with the Cairngorms National Park through a 21 day walk

Hamish Fulton came from Canterbury and walked across the Cairngorms in Spring 2010, starting from Huntly town square.

The Cairngorms are one of the last wilderness areas in Europe and few other places offer the possibility of several days of walking without human interaction or interference. This area, as Hamish puts it, has ‘a special place in my heart’.

Huntly is situated in the foothills of the Cairngorms but, regrettably to some, not within the geographic and political boundaries of the National Park. Taking you from the town square of Huntly up the Clashmach and into the Cairngorms, Hamish’s footpath is oblivious to geographic and political boundaries. His work asks the question: can the act of walking be a political and artistic action?

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Walking is one of the most basic of human activities and has long been both the inspiration and subject of exploration for artists. It is a way of measuring and of encompassing a territory; its pace and rhythm creates a frame in time and space which is delegated by the person walking. In his walks Hamish Fulton actively tests himself and his body: he has undertaken a full week of walking without sleep; walked from one side of the country to the other; refrained from talking for a full week while walking. The physical involvement of walking creates receptiveness to the landscape and this accessibility opens up the potential for any individual to take part, to make one aware of the environment, and of oneself.

While exploring the physical and psychological connotations of Huntly's motto, Room to Roam, Hamish tried to make a geographic link between Huntly and the Cairngorm National Park. Hamish’s walk in the Cairngorms started on 18 April in Huntly with a group of local people and ended 21 days later at Glenmore Lodge, after roaming around the Cairngorms with only one rucksack, no shops and no B&Bs - just Hamish, his rucksack and his tent. The project has now established a new walk that links Huntly with the Cairngorm National Park. It was organised in conjunction with Huntly’s walking festival, which also featured an arts breakfast entitled Can Walking Be Art? chaired by Chicago based curator Mary Jane Jacob.

In addition Hamish organised two 'choreographed walks', one in Huntly–a 2 hour walk around the block–and one at the Cairngorm Mountain Railway Car Park, where people were asked to walk 3 metres in one hour. Both emphasised the flexible and subjective nature of walking through community participation.

Shadow CuratorMary Jane Jacob

     

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