The #WalkCreate Gathering, was a 2-day event in London and Online on the 18 & 19 May 2022 which shared and celebrated the use of creative walking to enhance wellbeing.
The #WalkCreate Gathering was the final event of the research project, “Walking Publics/Walking Arts: walking, wellbeing and community during Covid-19”. The project has explored how creative walking activities have been and could be used to mitigate social isolation and anxiety, maintain health and wellbeing, enhance social connectivity, and facilitate cultural empowerment.
Since January 2021, the research team has been investigating
- the walking experiences and creative interventions of people during COVID-19 restrictions.
- the ‘lockdown’ work of artists using walking activity within conditions of restriction.
- the potential of the arts to sustain, encourage and more equitably support walking during and recovering from a pandemic.
“Walking Publics/Walking Arts” is grateful for the support of our Project Advisor Carole Wright, Partners and Associate Partners: Arts Canteen, Glasgow Life, Living Streets, Museum of London Archaeology, Open Clasp Theatre, Paths for All, Ramblers Scotland, and Sheffield Environmental Movement.
At the #WalkCreate Gathering we:
- shared our research findings on walking and creativity during COVID-19
- hosted a series of ‘walkshops’ and presentations led by artists and Associate Partners
- launched our Project Report on people’s experiences of walking during the pandemic
- launched and demonstrated The Walkbook, a free resource to support creative walking and wellbeing
The #WalkCreate Gathering was aimed at individuals and organisations interested in exploring and understanding
- the benefits of bridging walking and the arts
- creativity as a tool to engage more people in walking
- walking as a safe and creative participatory resource
We recognise that walking does not only take place on foot but is also supported by wheels and other mobility aids. Resources created by the project and shared at this event included ‘walks’ for indoor spaces, the imagination and very short distances.
The #WalkCreate Gathering took place in person in central London on 18 May, and in a hybrid format on 19 May (East London/online). Participants could join us for half days on Day 1, either full day or the whole of both days. A free vegan lunch and refreshments was on offer as well as free print copies of our project report ‘#WalkCreate: understanding walking and creativity during COVID-19′ and The Walkbook: Recipes for walking and wellbeing. Attendance is free.
There is an outline of each day’s activities below. See the full programme, access information and speaker bios at https://walkcreate.gla.ac.uk/walkcreate-gathering-full-programme/
Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA), Mortimer Wheeler House, London
Day 1 was in-person and focussed on creative walking experiences and was aimed at professionals and volunteers who deliver walks as well as arts, culture and heritage workers who are interested in engaging wider and more diverse publics in their activity through walking work. Accessibility is a priority for us, so attendees were also able to experience indoor artworks designed for those who may not be able to walk.
Wednesday 18 May: Walkshops @ MOLA 9.30am-5.30pm
|9.30-10.00||COFFEE/Registration @ MOLA|
|10.00-10.30||Project overview & key findings: #WalkCreate Team|
|10.45-12.00||The Walkbook Taster Walkshops (outdoors)|
|1.00pm-2.30pm||Walkshop 1: Sheffield Environmental Movement and Jenson Grant|
|Walkshop 2: Areej Kaoud with Arts Canteen|
|Walkshop 3: Louise Ann Wilson, Walks to Remember: ‘With Memory I was There’ (indoors)|
|Walkshop 4: Laura Fisher, Going Out | Going In & Going In | Going Out (outdoor/indoor audio walks)|
|3.00pm-4.30pm||Walkshop 5: Elspeth Penfold and CITiZAN/MOLA|
|Walkshop 6: Guen Murroni and Open Clasp/West End Women and Girls|
|Walkshop 7: Louise Ann Wilson, Walks to Remember: ‘With Memory I was There’ (indoors)|
|Walkshop 8: Laura Fisher, Going Out | Going In & Going In | Going Out (outdoor/indoor audio walks)|
|4.45-5.30||COFFEE & Discussion: dialogue, exchange, connections, feedback|
University of East London (UEL) and online
Day 2 was a hybrid event and focussed on sharing the project research findings and the outcomes from four artist commissions. This day was aimed at walking, health and community organisations, and artists and researchers interested in, or working across, walking, culture, and participatory arts.
Thursday 19 May: UEL & Online 10.00am-5pm
|10.30-11.15||Project Presentation 1: Public experiences of walking and creativity during COVID19|
|11.15-12||Project Presentation 2: Artists’ use of walking during COVID19|
|12-12.15||Artists’ Gallery Slideshow|
|12.45-2pm||LUNCH & The Walkbook Excursions|
|2-2.15||Introduction to Artist Commissions|
|2.15-3.15||#WalkCreate Commissions Artist Talks 1&2: Kate Green & Laura Bradshaw and Steven Anderson|
|3.15-4.15||#WalkCreate Commissions Artist Talks 3&4: Henna Asikainen and Shonagh Short|