Four Artist Walks have been devised to explore alternatives to artist talks. They aim to test the proposition that a walking journey with an artist could be as valuable as hearing her or him address a lecture theatre, and that shared first-hand experience of sights and sounds could reveal something that slides and video clips do not.
Information about the artist and the politics, history and imaginative potential of the landscape being walked through will be disseminated before/after in an online document in order to keep the walk itself as ‘present’ as possible. All participants are invited to add to this document as they see fit.
Click here to submit research or documentation.
Walkers are invited to mingle once en-route, with an emphasis on informal conversation. Midway through the walks, Fine Art students from at the University of Kent will present a series of questions to the artists which later will be collated, with the artists’ responses, in the Whitstable Biennale’s online journal.
Each route will culminate at a point along the Medway estuary or river Swale, forming a string of reference points between which the connections between the walk can be contemplated.
For the fourth walk, Janice Kerbel will join us to navigate the ruins of the Explosives Loading Company factory at Uplees, near Faversham.
The factory was destroyed almost exactly one hundred years ago, after fifteen tons of TNT and 150 tons of ammonium nitrate blew-up when empty sacks caught fire. The location – and its tragic history – was lyrically explored in Brian Dillon’s recent book, The Great Explosion, which has provided inspiration for our route, alongside Kerbel’s Turner Prize nominated work Doug, a musical score in which the eponymous protagonist is victim to a choreographed sequence of catastrophes, including – in one segment, Blast – an explosion.
We will begin at Harty Ferry, site of an ancient artesian well, wending north-west along the coast on the Saxon Way, before trekking through the marshland and decaying orchards to the site devastated by the explosion, now part of the Oare Marshes nature reserve.
A small token, chosen by the artist, will be given to every walker.
Tickets (priced at £5 per person and £3.50 for Whitstable Biennale Satellite members) are available here via Eventbrite:
Notes for walkers
The walks will be largely off-road. Participants are recommended to wear waterproof walking boots and warm outdoor clothing. Please also note that access to drinking water and toilet facilities will be limited.
(b.1969 Toronto, Canada) is a Canadian-born artist who lives and works in London. Kerbel graduated from Goldsmiths College in 1996. In 2011 she won the Paul Hamlyn Award for artists. She works at Goldsmiths College as a reader in Fine Art. She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2015.
Artist Walks is a collaborative project with the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Kent. It is supported by Kent County Council.