Slow Weekend

Going to “AV Festival” tomorrow and taking part in On Kawara’s “One Million Years” and then Hamish Fulton’s “Slowalk” on Saturday.

Law running

It was a beautiful evening when we went out for our run earlier. We ran with the coconut scent of gorse filling the air, as Karen D showed us a new path round the back of the Law. It was amazingly flat and easy – apart from the undergrowth! – and great to see the hill from a new angle. Our elongated shadows looked wonderful against the red soil. Inspiring –  as the view is every day from my garden.

The Law, seen from the garden.

Slow Choreography



Still from Jeremy Deller's Battle of Orgreave




In “Something Understood” on Radio 4, Deborah Bull discusses the urge to dance as one of the most natural human instincts. It was broadcast on 23rd October.

Making a Mark

Ages since I last wrote here and such a lot has happened inbetween. Writing in my own notebook for myself does away with the need to tell everybody. And I guess I haven’t felt like being out there. But some things are noteworthy.

I was with my little class and helping B. It is a struggle for her, with only limited use of her left hand and no use at all of her right. But she was determined to make a mark and not just a dot or a point, but a brushstroke. With feint guidelines, she did it. She painted the shape of the head and the body and two legs firmly planted on the earth. She made a dancer, like the one she saw on the postcard. A vibrant, colourful woman dancing, raising her arms in the air and stamping on the ground. B beamed in satisfaction. I felt tears well up in my eyes. Her body can no longer move freely but the dance is still inside her and the will to make a mark.

I noticed H using the ragged sponge to print, making repeated patterns. Splashing paint, loving the mess, experiment after experiment. The sheer joy of mark-making lighting up her face.

I had forgotten how much I love to make a mark, a drawn mark. I make marks all the time when I’m writing and enjoy it, but the physicality of the drawn mark is something else. So, I have started drawing again…….. and splashing and dancing.

Ethnographic film

Really enjoyed the workshop by this collective of artists and visual anthropologists in Glasgow.

Side by side

No access to my journals and notebooks and I’m really missing them. A friend has given me a lovely new notebook and I’m enjoying using it, it’s flowing, but I want to look over some things and I can’t.

About walking. Remembering what Tim Ingold said about the most companionable way to be with another human being is to walk alongside them. You’d think it would be face to face, looking at each other. But there is the potential for confrontation there. If you are side by side, you share the same field of vision, you are on equal terms.

You can also let someone know that you are there with them, beside them, even though you can’t have their experience, or take it away from them.

Slowalk for Ai Wei Wei

One hundred people walked with Hamish Fulton across the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern in support of Ai Wei Wei. It took two hours. What a wonderful ritual!

Cairn Gallery