National lockdowns came with the instruction to “stay home” except for essential activities and one period of daily exercise. Each day of lockdown one I walked 60 minutes from my home, tracing my walking with sound, poetry and lines on a map; traces coalesced, an edge emerged – a shoreline – my imagined island came to be; I named it Contención, ‘containment’ in Esperanto, an international language for an international disease. In lockdown two I walked its edge. Twenty-eight stretches of coastline, each a different length. I walked to and along one each day, clockwise, in a sequence determined by chance, re-tracing my island across time. In lockdown three I populated the island with sound. I walked to chance-determined locations and recorded sounds for chance-determined durations. 42 days from March 2020; 28 days from November 2020; 83 days from January 2021; 153 days of lockdown – 153 days of walking.
Martin P Eccles is an artist based in Newcastle upon Tyne. His practice reflects his experience of being in and walking through natural environments using sound and text to present time, distance, place and space of the landscape and to provide an opportunity to consider what it means to move through the landscape at a human pace and scale. From sound recordings made whilst walking, he creates multi-channel installations, sound walks and radio programs, often using replication and duration to present the passage of time. Written or spoken and transcribed notes made whilst walking provide material for poems and other text works. He exhibits these alongside sound works, using them to frame and contextualize a listeners’ experiences. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and created radio works for Framework Radio, Resonance EXTRA and Radiophrenia. He is currently studying for a creative practice PhD in Fine Art at Newcastle University.