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Walking Entanglements

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Aitken, A 2018 , Walking Entanglements. Australian National Capital Artists Inc. (ANCA) Gallery.

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Abstract

Walking enables the body to move in a rhythmic synchronicity of thought, breath and step, activating a mode of being in and moving through place with a slowed-down and heightened sensory awareness. Perceptions of linear time dissolve to reveal a complex merging and entangling of observations, memories and imaginings. Walking Entanglements is an arrangement of works that explore walking, drawing and printmaking as embodied practices for nurturing dialogue with place. lutruwita (Tasmania) is a place with vibrant and resistant Aboriginal culture and a strong and diverse community made up of interconnected narratives; people who are finding and testing new ways to voice its stories. I relocated from Canberra to Hobart in 2014 to undertake my PhD in creative research, beginning my relationship by enacting a daily ritual of stepping out my front door and into relation with my immediate environment. Over four years I walked a web of connection between my house and a number of key locations in and around the Hobart region. Informed by a material knowledge of printmaking and drawing, and expanded through 3D fabrication technologies, sound and video, this body of work has engaged iterative making processes; mirroring the repetitive looping motions and the entangling of thought embedded in the walking body. Two key forms emerged during the early stages of this work - the holdfast from the giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) found on Bruny Island, and a series of stick shelters or nests encountered in Knocklofty Reserve on the flanks of kunanyi / Mount Wellington. Arriving in Hobart to begin making in 2014 I was met by an unfamiliar sense of place panic, a feeling philosopher Edward. S Casey describes as a common feeling of estrangement or displacement when separated from one place and experiencing a new and unfamiliar place. This experience alone directed my creative research towards a deeper investigation of the philosophical concepts of place and in particular notions of attachment and desires for lost intimacy with land. Together in an image cluster the holdfast and the shelter forms have begun to communicate my shifting feelings of entanglement, attachment and dislodgement as I build this new place relationship. Walking entanglements is an iteration of a larger research project which is exploring how walking, drawing and printmaking can together nurture intimate relations with the land I walk; places that bear witness to the complex histories and ongoing imprint of settler colonisation. Through my exploration of ideas, materials and pathways through place, I wish to acknowledge the entangled relationships between the past, present and self.

Item Type: Creative Works
Authors/Creators:Aitken, A
Keywords: walking, embodiment, place-based, critical place theory, decolonisation
Publisher: Australian National Capital Artists Inc. (ANCA) Gallery
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2018 the creator

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