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‘Off Path, Counter Path’

Contemporary Walking Collaborations in Landscape, Art and Poetry

Harriet Tarlo and Judith Tucker

Abstract

This is a jointly authored practice-led article by a poet and artist who have produced place-based work based on slow-walking practices for exhibition and publication since 2011. It is developed out of close reading of our own work, our key consideration being whether and how collaborative walking and art together might be conceived of as counter-cultural. We consider our walking inheritance, from the Romantics, via Thoreau to mid-century painters and poets and contemporary ecocritical theorists including Doreen Massey, Yi-fu Tuan, Deirdre Heddon and Richard Kerridge. We trace changes in theoretical and artistic approaches to walking, perception and making art together. We reference other contemporary poet and artist pairings including Frances Presley and Irma Irsara and Thomas A. Clark and Laurie Clark. Finally, we consider how walking and working collaboratively in different artistic media might produce work that challenges and affects viewers in gallery and book spaces.