Walking the Land | Events 2020


We’d like to invite you to join us for our August First Friday Walk
It’ll take place on Friday 7th August

‘Convergence. Walking Together While Apart’

We had hoped that by now restrictions would have eased sufficiently to enable us to offer a return to our usual practice of walking together, but we feel it may still be a little soon for even a socially distanced walk.

So for our walk next week from where ever you happen to be, we invite you to walk towards Rodborough Common, Selsley Common, Swifts Hill, Minchinhampton Common, or other high point of your choice around Stroud, (if you don’t live locally, you can check it out on Google or Bing maps) sticking where possible to walking off road and taking footpaths and tracks, even if these take you on a meandering route….exactly how much of a walk you do, is your choice.

On the way we invite you to spend time to reflect and respond and to make work from a particular tree, viewpoint, other landscape feature before turning back. Use any medium that you find acceptable…the written or spoken word, video, photography, drawing or painting. Please supplement your work with some ‘field notes’ that may record time and place and also what you saw, experienced, the weather, wildlife, other walkers etc.  Try also to briefly identify your personal experiences to explain how you ‘feel’ on the walk

We would really like you to contribute by emailing us your work within 2 weeks (Friday 22nd August)

We propose synchronising the walk so that at least we’re sharing that common activity, even if we aren’t able to congregate.

As is our usual way, we’ll collectively start from wherever we happen to be, at 13:15 and finishing at whatever time is suitable for you. We’ll circulate an email list and ask you to let us know in the morning of the walk where you are planning to walk and which landscape feature you are aiming for. 

If you intend to join us, please contact us via our contact page with the following in the subject line: ‘YES, Walking the Land First Friday Walk | August’ in the subject line above 

We’re looking forward to walking with you again

Richard and Kel

thanks for joining us virtually when we’ll share the experience and each other’s company separately

Previous events

Ghost Mills
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Walking the Land projects integrate art, landscape and community through direct involvement with ‘place’.

In ‘Ghost Mills‘ the Collective’s artists engage with ‘the search for lost time’, examining the links between the mills, textiles, agriculture, geography, power and wealth in Stroud’s valleys.
The exhibition features the work of 19 artists who have been inspired by some of the many mills that have over the years disappeared, are derelict or have changed use. They have examined traces, remnants and ghosts of the past, while imagining those ghosts that may occupy the future.
Aside from the mill’s physical aspects, the buildings or the space they once occupied, artists have viewed the influence that mills had on communities; their products ranging from textiles, to walking sticks and umbrellas, corn and pins; their effect on landscape, the environment and the economy; their place in history. All the while there is recognition that behind the surface of the present picturesque Cotswold landscape there is another haunted by the ghosts of poverty, wealth, trade, slavery, war and Empire. 
Walking the Land artists include radical historians, walking artists, printmakers, painters, map and book makers, textile artists and photographers. 
Several have worked collaboratively on projects, while others work as individuals.
Exhibitors include:
Christina Bingle 
Stuart Butler & Deb Roberts 
Debbie Cox
Nettie Edwards
Annelies Egli 
Andy Freedman, Dr Richard Keating & Allan Mossman 
Zoe Heath & Susan Kester
Lucy and Sylvain Guenot
Ruth Illingworth
Sabine Kussmaul
Rachel McDonnell
Caroline Morris
Alice Sheppard Fidler
Kel Portman


Ghost Mills events

‘Ghost Mills Walks’

Sunday afternoon, 8th September.

A three and a half hour art walk and exploration led by artists Rachel McDonnell and Dr Richard Keating.

An immersive walk asking how the mills of the Stroud Valleys affect our identity and culture today and how this cultural identity might help provide consensus on making choices about the area’s carbon neutral future. We will walk with a number of questions and respond by stopping to take take photographs, draw and write haikus which we would hope to share on the Walking the Land website.

Please bring art materials of your choice.
The 5K walk is relatively flat and takes in the canal, footpaths, pavements and open spaces. There are stiles and steps.
Dress appropriately for the weather and bring drinks. 

Meet outside Stroud’s Museum in the Park, Stratford Park, Stratford Rd, Stroud GL5 4AF
at 14.00 hours. 
We will return to the museum by 17.30.

There will be a small charge on the day of £5.00 to cover costs.
Numbers will be limited to ten, so booking is essential. To book your place please text Richard on 0796 953 3813
part of Walking the Land’s #GhostMills exhibition, taking place at SVA’s John Street gallery from 6th-14th September as a part of Stroud’s #woolandwater Festival

Stuart Butler‘s The Stroudwater footsteps of John Thelwall, the ‘Jacobin Fox’
Friday 13th September. 09.45 – approx 13:00

A leisurely walk along the towpath follows past old mills to Bowbridge and thence Stroud.
Allow THREE hours.

In the summer of 1797, that ‘Jacobin fox’, ‘the most dangerous man in Britain’, John Thelwall, left London, fed up with William Pitt’s prying spies, and walked to Nether Stowey. He stayed with Coleridge and Wordsworth for ten days, in that hectic summer that would lead to the Lyrical Ballads, before walking to Stroudwater.

Here he stayed with sympathetic clothiers and dyers, visiting Chalford, Uley, Nailsworth and Bowbridge, writing poems on the hoof.
We recreate his stay in that annus mirabilis of 1797, with a performative walk from Chalford to Bowbridge.
There is an early bus to Chalford FROM STROUD at 9.30
Meet at the bus shelter in Chalford at 9.45

As there are limited numbers, booking is essential:

part of Walking the Land’s #GhostMills exhibition, taking place at SVA’s John Street gallery from 6th-14th September as a part of Stroud’s #woolandwater Festival

Incendiary Walk – Viewing the new ‘Temple of Fire’
Part of the exhibition ‘Incendiary’ curated by Patricia Brien

Date: Sunday 10th February
Meeting place: TBA
Meeting time: 11:00
Return: 15:00
Distance: 6 – 7 km
Terrain: Off road with some hills
Packed lunch and drinks
Art materials, notebooks, cameras/camera phones/video cameras etc
Wear: strong walking boots, clothing appropriate for the weather

Walking the Land artists and invited guest Sabine Kussmaul invite you to walk, view and creatively respond to the new £600+ million incinerator currently being built by your County Council and it’s partner Ubraser at Haresfield.

The impact on the local environment from an aesthetic point of view is considerable – it monopolises the environment in which it sits.
The impact of the facility from an environmental point of view is even more considerable – with the distinct possibility that hazardous particulate matter will be borne through the air across the local area.

This new ’Temple of Fire’ has a chimney taller than the spire of Gloucester Cathedral; it’s slab sided and garishly coloured main building emerging against the woodland and fields of the Cotswold escarpment and dominating the Severn Vale.
Our walk will skirt the countryside around the building, looking at how architecture’s form and function is at odds with the environment. During the walk, you’ll be invited to stop and draw, write, film, photograph or just to engage and observe.
The 6 – 7 km walk will be led by artists Lucy Guenot, Rachel McDonnell and Kel Portman
Numbers are limited and so booking is essential.
The walk is free, but we invite participants to donate to a wildlife charity of their choice.

For details of booking please please contact via our contacts page or alternatively leave a message on our Walking the Land facebook page: @artistswalking
Once you’ve booked, we’ll send you details of our meeting place and directions