s p i n e w a l k
‘spine walk’ is the result of twenty-four walks along the Pennine Way, known as the ‘backbone’ of Britain.
Each section of the human spine consists of the spinal cord, the vertebrae bones, and the discs. The spinal cord feeds information to and from the brain, in this way the walker acts as a spinal cord. As we walk we have a sensory exchange between our body and the environment. The solid structure and support of the spine can be related to that which supports our body on a walk – the path we walk on, the rocks we clamber over, the stones we rest against. The discs between each vertebrae in our spines give flexibility and movement, and similarly the landscape offers us an ever changing and adapting environment.
The living elements have been captured using sunlight and water, through the process of cyanotype prints. The rocks have been captured through frottage, using the mineral graphite. The walker is represented by footprints, a series of connected moments experienced one step at a time.
The piece was made for the 'High Line' exhibition celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Pennine Way. Fifty years is within human time, fifty years ago or fifty years ahead is a concept we can grasp. Walking confronts us with the transient span of a human lifetime, by showing us centuries, ages, and millenia in a single glance at the landscape. The Pennine Way gives us access to this vital concept in an increasingly urbanised existence. A place to connect with the natural environment by the simple act of placing one foot in front of another.