For one of several pieces of activity that I would like to carry out for the project I am proposing to:
organise a curated walk (or small series of walks) along the East Kent Railway and former colliery routes. I will invite different practitioners and members of the community – including ex-miners and the EKR associates – to contribute to the walk through recounting/reciting stories and memories from the former mining and railway activity.
Selected extracts from the various archives could also be read out / performed along the way, with each piece of narrative material positioned at a particular point of the walk to coincide with specific sites, thresholds or areas of significance.
Each participant on the walk will participate in recording it – through voice, text & image.
In this way, everyone involved will together help to build up a walking narrative and memorial archive, producing new interpretations and actual archive material that could become part of a further, more permanent artwork.
I am envisioning this walk both as a walk and as an artwork; a performance, a document, an event within a series.
What’s inspired it is a combination of what I’ve been observing within the mining community, connections that are naturally forming within the project and ways of working & thinking that are fundamental to my own practice: a strong sense of togetherness, remembrance, storytelling, collection, and connection to place, time and landscape…
Gabor’s proposal to organise walks along the EKR routes in conjunction with the production of his sited sculptures was also a factor, and has made me think about (as he also mentioned) ideas to do with thresholds, markers and connections. http://artistsww1.uk/dmag/ekr-pioneers/
As part of the research and development of this proposal, I will be going on a series of walks myself – visiting and moving between the different coalfield sites, taking in the landscape and looking at what would be feasible in terms of the routes, key locations and distances.
Gabor will be at East Kent Railway next Sunday (22nd March) to discuss his proposals for the project, so I plan to go and catch up with him there and talk about the idea for a walk along the EKR line.
I’ll continue to add to this proposal as my research and planning progresses.
For now, I need to get my schedule and my legs in gear for lots of walking – The Miners Way Trail is approx. 27 miles long in total…