For the finale of AV Festival 12, this leading British artist devised one of his legendary slow walks for Newcastle.
Since the 1960s, Hamish Fulton has produced images and text pieces responding to his physical engagement with rural and urban landscapes. In 1973, he resolved to only make art resulting from individual walks. Devising group walks from the early 1990s onwards, he has completed over 30 across the world, including Japan, Norway and the USA. Most recently, he created slow walks for Margate’s Turner Contemporary and Tate Modern.
Fulton’s slow walks are mass participation events, bringing hundreds of people together to walk very slowly in silence as a meditative experience. For AV Festival 12, the artist led a group walk at Spillers Wharf, a disused car park on a landmark post-industrial site near the River Tyne. Participants were both the art and the audience.
Hamish Fulton was born in 1946 in London, England. From 1966 to 1968, he studied at St. Martin's School of Art, London and the following year at the Royal College of Art, London. Fulton describes himself as a ‘walking artist’, with his work joining the two separate disciplines of walking and art. In 1973, having walked over 1000 miles in 47 days from Duncansby Head to Land’s End, Fulton decided to ‘only make art resulting from the experience of individual walks.’ Since then the act of walking has remained central to his artistic practice. He has said ‘If I do not walk, I cannot make a work of art’. Calls for political justice, for Tibet and previously on behalf of Australian Aborigines and North American Indians, also recur in Fulton’s work, corresponding to the individual and artistic freedom embodied within it. Major museum shows of his work in the UK include: Tate Britain, London (2002); Turner Contemporary, Margate (2012); and Ikon, Birmingham (2012).
Curated by AV Festival 12.