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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
What is the 50/50 Principle? What is the 50/50 Principle?

Tim Knowles

Urbanscape + Ruralsprawl


What is it, what is it,
But a direction out there,
And the bare possibility
Of going somewhere?
Henry David Thoreau
A two part event exploring walking as an artistic practice in the city and beyond

As part of the Edinburgh Arts Festival 2014, Deveron Projects relocated to Edinburgh for a day, taking our ongoing investigation into walking with us. 

What are the differences and similarites between walking in the urban and rural? As a rurally based organisation, when we walk it is most often in the countryside, out on the hills, in the fields and forests. We percieve this environment to be offering us a great deal of freedom, both in terms of where we can walk, without restraint, and our choice of route–in fact it is because of this that walking in the rural, open countryside has such an appeal, and not just for us. But each environment brings with it a different set of freedoms and non-freedoms, a different set of experiences and potential outcomes; what are those of the rural, and what are those of the urban? What does each have to offer the walker who walks as part of an artistic practice, and those who walk with them?


Part 1: Artists Tim Knowles and Ania Bas led perfomative walks around Summerhall; through its many corridors, cupboards and lecture halls. Walking at speed, walking in pairs, walking in silence, walking blind, walking chinese whispers, walking on the roof, walking with bees, walking free, walking into trouble...

Part 2: The walking action was followed by a panel discussion, held at Creative Scotland HQ, exploring the differences and similarities between urban and rural walking; the various freedoms and non-freedoms each environment brings. Speakers included Ania Bas, Tim Knowles, Gill RussellAlec Finlay, and was chaired by Dave Beech.

This event was co-curated by Nick Wong.

The Panel

Dave Beech is an artist in the collective Freee (with Andy Hewitt and Mel Jordan), as well as a writer and curator. He has written widely on the politics of art, including The Philistine Controversy, and edited a special edition of Third Text, as well as the legacy of the Avant-Garde and Conceptualism, most recently in Art and Text (Blackdog Books, 2011).

He has also contributed to debates on participation and art's publics, in books such as In Search of Art's New Publics and The Pedagogical Turn, as well as being a founding editor of the journal Art and the Public Sphere (Intellect Publishing, from 2011). As an artist he has exhibited at the Liverpool Biennial in 2010, and in the exhibition at BAK, Utrecht as part of the major research project 'The Former West'. He also curated the exhibition We Are Grammar at the Pratt Institute, New York 2011 (co-curator Paul O'Neill).

Alec Finlay is a Scottish born artist and poet whose work crosses a range of media from text, sound, sculpture, collage and new technologies. Finlay's work, which often involves or begins with walking, reflects upon how we as a culture relate and interact with the landscape and nature around us. Recent projects include Specimen Colony (2008) a permanent artwork for the Bluecoat Gallery in Liverpool, The Road North (2010/2011) a contemporary word map of Scotland across a year long journey through its landscape, and a new civic grove for Leeds City, a set of interrelated works carved in stone, engraved in steel and sited in the trees of Victoria Gardens. Alec has written a book for Deveron Projects on place names in the Hielan' Ways area. 

Gill Russell is an artist living in Glenkindie. She is interested in 'places of significance' and how they resonate in the landscape: cosmic, archaeological, mythological, historical, sonic, poetic, technological, 'sporting', ancient, and contemporary. Walking has been key to all aspects of her exploration. She has had several residencies in Scotland, and made a number of outdoor light and sound installations set in remote places.  She worked with Deveron Projects on Lorg-Coise, as part of the Hielan' Ways project, 'mapping' existing tracks and creating some new routes, often in collaboration with Alec Finlay and historian Ron Brander. Her approach focused on paths and the watercourses which define the land and 'significant places' in the landscape. As part of the project Gill produced a book.

Ania Bas creates situations that support dialogue and exchange. She is interested in ways narratives shape understanding, mythology and knowledge of places and people. Bas' works take forms of walks, text, events and publications. She is co-founder of The Walking Reading Group on Participation. Bas has previously worked with The Showroom Gallery in London, and was a resident artist at Whitechapel Gallery London, Yorkshire Artspace in Sheffield, The New Art Gallery Walsall, Ridley Road Market in London, Disonancias, Bilbao in Basque Country and Vestas Blades on the Isle of Wight.

Tim Knowles is best known for making visible what is, by nature or by design, unseen. Working in a range of media from photography and video to drawing and light installation, Knowles creates process-oriented works that rely on chance and environmental elements. Known for incorporating nature into his projects, Knowles has been artist in residence at IBERS [Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences] in Aberystwyth, 2014. In 2013 he was commissioned by City of Sydney to produce Mass Windwalk, he also participated in Mildura Palimpsest Biennale, Australia.  

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