....Research Topics and Speculation about Art and Public Space by Scottish Citizen and artist Matt Baker

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A Big Research Adventure

Yesterday I attended an excellent event at Burton Agnes in the East Riding of Yorkshire - it was organised by 'LEADER - Coast, Wolds, Wetlands & Waterway' and also attended by the 'Yorkshire Dales LEADER' group (see Rima Berry's blog on the event here)

Here I was able to present my programme of research for the Way of the Roses commission. As a 'site-specific' artist this project presents a unique challenge....the site is 180 miles long running from one coast to coast across England.

Over the next month I will be attempting to combine travel (by bike and car) with encountering the areas along the route in as much detail as I am able - the whole process is subject to the laws of chance, weather, and health. As such it feels like the best approximation I can make to a Pilgrimage of discovery

If you know of anyone or anywhere along this route that you think I should encounter please do get in touch

Here is the map of the journey:

And here are the 'emerging themes' that are framing my approach to the project 

(just to prompt thoughts about people or places I should visit to get a sense of your part of the route of the Way of the Roses)

- Old or ‘special’ routes ….pilgrimage (St John of Bridlington, Pilgrimage of Grace), migration (Gypsey Race), Carlisle-Settle railway, York Mystery Plays

- Different material qualities of landscape – shifting silt and mud, dry chalk valleys, hard rock …quarried and transported

- activities that celebrate uniqueness – local markets, customs. Festivals….souvenirs and relics

- the processes that have shaped the land eg farming and how these activities are changing in our modern era

- Changing nature of tourism – ever increasing specialisation, a paradoxical desire to participate in place but without leaving too heavy a ‘footprint’

If you can contribute to this project in any way please contact me by email through the website (above) or via Twitter (below) 

many thanks

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