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Louise Ann Wilson seeks participants for new walking-art project in Cumbria

Date uploaded: January 22, 2014

Louise Ann Wilson seeks participants for the creation of an interactive mountain walk, created through a mapping exercise which explores the under represented life-event of involuntary childlessness.

Louise Ann Wilson is creating an interactive walk in an upland area of the Lake District, Cumbria. The proposed walk will follow a route through a dramatic and varied landscape selected specifically for the project that will provide participants the opportunity to reflect on a significant, but under represented, life-event, namely, the event of wanting to be, but not becoming, a biological mother. 

Louise is looking to engage a small group of individual women who are childless not by choice but circumstance in a mapping exercise that evolves the walk she has already plotted in outline. Participants, either one-to-one or in a group, will search for and explore features of the landscapes that symbolically reflect experiences that relate to being without a biological child. Landscape features might, for instance, include: a rocky steep climb; a mirror-like tarn that reflects the sky in it still surface; an empty hut; and fleeting phenomena such as a delicate flower rooting in the crack of a rock, rain clouds that gather on the horizon, and the moon as it waxes full. From these mapping exercises one single multi-layer map plotting a rite-of-passage transition-walk will be created that can be used by solo walkers as well as groups.

Louise would be interested in hearing from you if the following applies:

  • You are looking at a future that might not involve having your biological child. This might be due to your life or social circumstances, or to biologically-determined or age-related infertility, and you might have attempted, or decided against, fertility treatment.
  • You are an experienced walker happy to cross uneven and steep, rocky terrain, regardless of inclement weather, in a mountainous area for a day.
  • You are interested in the process of mapping the journey (one day of walking), and later undertaking the finished walk and reflecting on it.

Louise is planning two initial meetings they are: 6pm on Monday 17 Feb in The Hall, Lancaster & 11.30am on Saturday 22 Feb at Contact, Manchester followed by the ‘mapping’ exercise(s) in Cumbria in early spring (March-April).

If you would like to attend one of these meetings, or a meeting in private, or if you would just like to find out more, please email [email protected]

To develop this project Louise is working with scientist Joyce Harper and sociologist Celia Roberts. It is supported by Arts Council England (ACE), CARE Fertility Group, the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA), Lancaster University and Gateway Women.

Walking-Art Project, Cumbria

Walking-Art Project, Cumbria