Sounding out Peder Balke

Saturday 28th March 2015 National Gallery, London

Have you heard of Peder Balke? If the answer is no, we hadn’t either, so it came as a great surprise when we were approached by the National Gallery to do a participatory walk “Sounding out Peder Balke”.


The Tempest: Peder Balke – National Gallery

As it turns out his work was extraordinary, as was his life. This Norwegian artist, who in the 1830’s began to walk across the Telemark region and the mountains of Western Norway.

It is hard for us to imagine how challenging such an act would have been, the cold and the carrying of his heavy provisions. The navigation across the often bleak landscape must challenge the most hardy of souls. Natural landmarks would have played an enormous importance on his bearings which we can observe through his interpretation of the landscape and his work.

A deep connection to nature and a resonance to surroundings can only really be achieved by living, sleeping, eating and communing with the natural world. It is this deep connection that we are exploring within our walk “Sounding out Peder Balke”

A participatory walk, interspersed with ‘snippets’ of pre-recorded audio. Throughout the walk we will be stopping to listen, to observe, to sketch, to collect and to chat along our path. With the intimacy of sound and sensual discovery we will imbibe the experiences Balke encountered on his walks, convening how nature in all her vices continues to be creative inspiration to Balke and many contemporary artists since.

On Saturday 28th March 2015 with the clocks just Springing into Summertime we walked in the steps of Peder Balke. The walk lasted 100 minutes and was guided and facilitated by Andrew Stuck from the Museum of Walking. Part audio walk and part sketch and bricolage event, we share fascinating pre-recorded ‘snippets’ of conversations and ambient sounds.

Throughout the journey you will be considering your surroundings by listening, observing and connecting with your environment and along the way we will be collecting; perhaps bits of detritus or landmarks of interest to help interpret our path. The items you collect on route will be bought back to share in a ‘collaborative’ piece as a response to the work of Peder Balke.

This event took place from the National Gallery.

Although the walk has now taken place, you can still visit the Peder Balke exhibition at the National Gallery (until 12 April 2015).

Photo credit: The National Gallery

Walking in step with:





Contributors include:

  • Ambiences recorded by Geoff Sample
  • Electronic music by Simon Sanders of EZ Tronic
  • Jess Allen – artist and aerial performer
  • Aliki Braine – artist and art historian
  • Audun Engh – board member INTBAU Norway and the Council for European Urbanism
  • Reg Carremans – artist
  • Linda Cracknell – author of ‘Doubling Back: Ten paths trodden in memory’.
  • Nick Hunt – author of ‘Between the woods and the Water.’
  • Prof. Edvard Moser – Nobel Laureate – Kvali Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Trondheim
  • Chris Riopelle – art historian and Curator of Post 1800 Paintings at the National Gallery
  • Iain Sinclair – author, film maker, poet and psycho-geographer.
  • Elinor Whidden – artist

Listen to the soundtrack to “Sounding out Peder Balke”  – password protected  – available only to participants on the walk. Download SoundtrackDetails.