Sauntering with the Museum in September

The first of September marks the first day of Spring in the southern Hemisphere and is celebrated in Australia as Wattle Day.  Although the Museum of Walking resides in the northern hemisphere, we are keen to celebrate the 1st of September as well.

Sound Walk Sunday, on the first of September 2019 will be the launchpad for a whole month of events across the globe celebrating listening, and new walking works by artists, performers and writers working with sound.  It has been an honour and humbling to be involved since the start of the year, when we launched our Open Call for new works, with the number and quality of the walking pieces submitted.

In the UK we have events in Frome in Somerset, where Sound Walk Sunday will be celebrated as part of LISTEN: A Summer of Sound Art with a saxophonist playing beneath each of the bridges, as he walks from Bradford on Avon, a silent walk through Frome led by dancers and Geert Vermeire, one of Sound Walk Sunday‘s three co-producers, and with an event to follow to which member of the public and walking sound artists will ‘talk shop’.  Our latest Talking Walking episode is an interview with LISTEN curator, Helen Ottaway.

In the next few days we will be announcing a month long programme of events, from every continent, with a range of listening events that you can undertake out and about on foot, as well as many, from the growing directory of walking pieces that you can also enjoy by simply listening lying or sitting still!  The directory holds almost 200 walking pieces all freely available, contributed voluntarily by individuals.

Before Sound Walk Sunday morphed  into a month-long event, the Museum had already planned to launch a new series of Art Explorations, working with co-creator Tim Ingram-Smith, who earlier this year completed his 260+ mile London Spiral Walk.  So we invited Tim to write about his enthusiasms for art installations outdoors:

In Celebration of Public Art by Tim Ingram-Smith

Public art takes many forms, including (temporarily) permanent objects in the cityscape: sculptures, murals, carvings, mosaics, as well as the more ephemeral: festival events, shop displays, happenings and art interventions. Somewhere in between are the urban arts of graffiti, architecture and digital marketing. London has a fair smattering of public art – not a huge amount, not like what can be enjoyed in cities like Nantes and Barcelona where every corner brings something remarkable and inspiring – but still it has enough that is varied, thought-through, and not merely official, to interest the art collector.

We are putting together a series of evening walks called Art Explorations (working title) exploring some of the public art clustered in various parts of the metropolis.

The first in the series will launch in September from the Kings Cross Plaza, meeting at the ‘Large Spindle’  sculpted by Henry Moore which is sited outside King’s Cross Station. The walk heads westward exploring the places and byways around Kings Cross and Euston Road which are hosts to a range of artworks, some of which were commissioned as site responsive works and others that were just placed in their current positions. Some are grandiose, endeavoring to capture a grand idea; others more gentle and domestic, representing nature, but without fame.

What interests us as viewers, occasionally participators, in the public art space? What is it we like? What is it we hate? How come good art works can take us by surprise? These are topics we shall discuss on the walk as we encounter works by well-known figures including Antony Gormley, Eduardo Paolozzi, Gary Hume, and Thomas Heatherwick, as well as works by artists less known and unknown.  Join Tim on an Art Exploration

All about walking blog posting is unpredictable – if it’s raining biblical downpours then a blog post is more likely to appear, in most other weather conditions we are out walking and not blogging on a keyboard…..