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News story

Walking talking and drawing

It was at a Walking and Art residency at the Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies in 2007 that Andrew Stuck had the idea for Talking Walking and where the idea was incubated. The idea was to interview artists who incorporate walking in their artistic practice.  How to share their enthusiasms was the challenge and goal, and Talking Walking became the solution.

Talking Walking celebrates its fifth anniversary in February 2013. It is celebrating by broadcasting its 40th recorded interview with South London artist, Foster Spragge.

Foster Spragge trained as painter. Her walking drawings happened whilst she was looking for a venue around the City of London’s Square Mile. Taking notes as she walked these transgressed into a drawing. She criss-crossed the Square Mile in a deliberate way recording her route by making pencil marks on a large piece of paper. This process of ‘drawing whilst walking’ began a body of “Walking Drawings” that has led her to other cities and on pilgrimage walks.

Every step is marked and the rhythm of five steps or beats seemed the perfect pace. The initial Drawings are filled with an explorative range of marks to represent footsteps. For every step during the walk a pencil mark is made. Each time the path turns the paper is turned the same way. The decision whether to turn left or right is dictated by the flow of people, traffic lights or some random event.
 Using a different pencil lead each day to differentiate her walks and walking four hours a day Foster uses the lines of her path turning and rotating the paper to mirror her footsteps, where what she describes as a ‘labyrinth’ was created.

Foster has also undertaken two Pilgrimage walks. Her first was the 500 mile walk to Santiago de Compostelo where using a compass she marked the route West every twenty minutes. This took thirty three days to complete. A serious pilgrimage indeed!

Her second pilgrimage was from Arles to Pamplona and she hopes to do another pilgrimage walk soon.

The interview by Andrew Stuck was recorded in July 2012 at Foster’s South London studio. Follow the link below to listen.


Click through to listen -

Date added: 12 January 2013

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