WALK ON: From Richard Long to Janet Cardiff – 40 years of Art Walking

Curated by Cynthia Morrison-Bell, Alistair Robinson and Mike Collier of WALK, assisted by Janet Ross

Preview at PMG, London and opening (with the full exhibition) in Sunderland June 1st – August 31st 2013, at NGCA

Artists :

Richard Long, Hamish Fulton, Alec Finlay, Marina Abramovic, Chris Drury, Mike Collier, Brian Thompson, Tim Brennan, Tim Robinson, Julian Opie, Bruce Nauman, Melanie Manchot, Richard Wentworth, Francis Alÿs, Janet Cardiff, Atul Bhalla, Simon Pope, Sophie Calle, plan b, Wrights & Sites, Dan Holdsworth, Rachel Reupke. Joe Bateman, Brendan Stuart Burns, Rachael Clewlow, Sarah Cullen, Bradley Davies, Tracy Hannah, James Hugonin, Tim Knowles, Pat Naldi & Wendy Kirkup, Ingrid Pollard, Bryndis Snæbjõrnsdóttir & Mark Wilson, walkwalkwalk, Jeremy Wood, Catherine Yass, Carey Young

This is the first exhibition to examine the astonishingly varied ways in which artists since the late 1960s have used what would seem like a universal act – of taking a walk – as a means to create new types of art. ‘Walk On’ brings together both a major gallery exhibition includes photography, film, and installation works, bringing together a diverse group of artists inspired by their travels on foot.

‘Walk On’ offers an as-yet-unwritten history of a major strand of recent art practice. It argues that from land art and conceptual art, and from street photography to the essay-film, an exceptionally wide range of first-rate artists have created their work from an act of walking, in the city or the land.

From land art and conceptual art to street photography and the essay film, across the last four decades many artists have acted as explorers whether making their mark on the rural wilderness, documenting small journeys, or undertaking close examination of the urban environment around them.

Artists such as Richard Long have crossed countries and continents to create their works, leaving traces of their movement on the land itself. Others exhibit photography, texts or artefacts as documentation of their journeys. For artists such as Hamish Fulton, the walk itself is the work and anything else only evidence. For others such as Marina Abramovic, it is a form of performance over time, as seen in her epic journey across the length of the Great Wall of China, a symbolic act of separating and then reuniting with her then collaborator Ulay.

Tracing and mapping is a recurring theme throughout the exhibition: from Chris Drury’s weaving of maps of his walks in the mountainous region of Ladak, India to Plan B and Rachael Clewlow who inventively mark their steps with GPS devices, creating systems to record daily walks and so immortalising everyday routines. In his Windwalks, Tim Knowles strolls about London, his route determined by the ways in which the wind whips through the streets.

Whether serendipitous or by design, the walks undertaken have formed the starting point for many important artworks of the past 40 years. Previewing at PM Gallery & House, the full exhibition of ‘Walk On’ began the first leg of a major tour with, ‘Walk On: from Richard Long to Janet Cardiff 40 Years of Art Walking’ opening in June 2013 at NGCA Sunderland, as part of the Festival of the North East.

Walk On was supported by ACE and LEADER+.

A catalogue for show is available, price £14.95 – click here to buy, and click here to view the catalogue online

Touring Venues:

PMG, London:                        26 March – 6 May 2013

NGCA Sunderland:                1 June – 5 August 2013

Mac Birmingham                   8 February – 31 March 2014

The Atkinson, Southport      12 April – 9 August 2014

Plymouth City Art Gallery:   19 September – 12 December 2014

In Plymouth, the City Council have organised an extraordinary series of exhibitions and events to close the show’s tour. For a full list of all the shows and events, please click here

Click here to see a full selection of installation shots from the exhibition at NGCA


National/Regional Press
The Guardian Guide 30 March – 5 April 2013
Time Out – 25 March 2013
Time Out – 8 April 2013
The Guardian Guide – Saturday 1 June 2013 – Friday 7 June 2013
The Times – Saturday review – Saturday June 1 2013
The Guardian Guide – Saturday 15 June 2013 – Friday 21 June 2013

Online Interviews
BBC News Entertainment & Arts
Interview at BBC Radio London 94.9 – 11 March 2013 (listen 1hr35 mins in)

Selected Web