Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October 2013
Acclaimed British artist Hamish Fulton marked 40 years as a ‘Walking artist’ with a spectacular return to his own country. On 19th and 20th October over 300 people walk in Penzance, West Cornwall, to create two new art works and to celebrate the artist. Fulton elaborates a very particular visual research that originates from this particular experiential relationship between man and environmental space.
I am what I call a ‘walking artist’… Walking is an art form in its own right. I place emphasis on the experience of walking.
The first walk took place on Penzance’s promenade and involved Hamish and over 100 local collaborators repeatedly walking for 60 minutes. For the second walk, ‘The slow Walk’ Hamish chose the beach between Penzance and Marazion at low tide as the location with the 200 participants being divided into two columns that very slowly crossed, over the course of an hour.
The ‘Repetitive Walk’ was organised in partnership with Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange. Fulton was invited to Penzance to mark the 40th anniversary of his commitment as an artist to the act of walking. Fulton decided to ‘only make art resulting from the experience of individual walks’. He has since made walking, both as an individual and as part of a group, the primary focus of his work.
The setting, with the backdrop of St Michael’s Mount, could not have been more spectacular: the light on the beach at that moment created a strong contrast in which the dark vertical lines must have appeared like human bare code. Maybe the Sunday’s stormy weather and the slow walk of that ‘pilgrims’ created their own play or maybe Hamish Fulton’s imaginary created it. But in the end is impossibile not to see it: the art.
Video documentation of the walks by Graham Gaunt was presented at The Exchange in Penzance in the weeks following the walks. Paragon Press produced a commemorative print which was given to all who participated in the walks.