This autumn, ‘Walk On’: From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff – 40 Years of Art Walking’ ends its major tour in Plymouth. This will be the last chance for people to see this acclaimed exhibition, which gives an insight into the recent art practice of nearly 40 different artists – all of whom have used the universal act of walking to inspire and influence their work. The nationally touring show, which has visited London, Birmingham and venues in Sunderland and Southport, will be on display in Plymouth from Saturday 20 September to Saturday 13 December.
It will be presented as a multi-site exhibition across Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University; Plymouth Arts Centre; Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery and The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art. The exhibition builds on the relationship established by these four key cultural venues, who previously worked together in 2011 to host the final highly successful leg of ‘British Art Show 7: In The Days of The Comet’.
‘Walk On’ will give South West culture fans a great opportunity to see a range of works by bright new talents as well as established artists. American contemporary artist, Bruce Nauman; Canadian-born, Berl in-based sound artist, Janet Cardiff; and Belgian-born, Francis Alÿs, whose work was shown at Tate in 2010 and New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2011 add a decidedly international flavour.
Influential British artists, Richard Wentworth, who was awarded a CBE for services to the arts in the 2011 New Year Honours list; 2002 Turner Prize nominee, Catherine Yass; and Julian Opie, who produced the artwork for Blur’s ‘Best Of’ album in 2000 as well as LED projections for U2’s 2005-6 ‘Vertigo’ world tour, are also included.
Some of the artists like 1989 Turner Prize winner, Richard Long have crossed countries and continents to create the works that are on display.
Others exhibit photography, texts or artefacts as documentation of their journeys. ‘The Lovers: The Great Wall Walk’ by internationally-acclaimed performance artist, Marina Abramovi? is a key example of this. Her images are taken from a journey made with her former partner along the Great Wall of China in 1988.
For some the walk itself is the work – as in the case of artist, Hamish Fulton. For others it’s a case of tracing and mapping – from Chris Drury’s weaving of maps of his walks in India, to plan b and Rachael Clewlow who mark their steps with GPS devices, to Tim Knowles who strolls about London, his route determined by the way the wind whips through the streets.
Exhibition Co-Curator, Cynthia Morrison-Bell says: ‘The South West has a great tradition when it comes to both art and walking so it’s wonderful to be able to bring an exhibition like ‘Walk On’ to Plymouth. From performance to photography, from land art to conceptual art, the exhibition shows how much of the important art of our time has been created through the act of walking. Regardless of the landscape or location, the ‘explorers’ who are featured in this exhibition have definitely mad e their mark during the last four decades.”
An exciting event programme will run while ‘Walk On‘ is on display. The programme includes a special Launch Weekend (3-4 October), guided walks, family activities and talks by featured artists, Tim Knowles, plan b, Tracy Hanna, Simon Pope, Richard Wentworth and Melanie Manchot. Later in the exhibition run, Hamish Fulton will also give a talk (5 December) and lead a unique group walk event (6 December).
Full details of the events, venues and exhibition are available from www.walkonplymouth.org ‘Walk On: From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff – 40 Years of Art Walking’ will be on display across Plymouth from Saturday 20 September until Saturday 13 December. Admission to all exhibition venues is free.