Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
I'd Walk a Thousand Miles
By Hamish Fulton
How far would you go for the perfect picture? Hamish Fulton went at least a thousand miles. Fortunately, you don't have to travel that far. An exhibition of Fulton's work is on at the Maureen Paley Gallery in Bethnal Green, but be quick, as it is only running until the 24th August (after that you'll need your hiking boots).
Back in 1973, the artist and photographer, Hamish Fulton, took a thousand mile hike from Duncansby Head in Scotland, all the way to Land's End in Cornwall. After the forty-seven day excursion, he made the decision that from now on, he'd 'only make art resulting from the experience of individual walks.'
You might therefore expect his exhibition to be full of landscape photography and paintings of beautiful countryside. Not so. While Fulton is inspired by the beauty of natural habitats, the main feature of his work consists of what he calls 'text art'. The images are a passive political protest against urbanisation and society's disconnection with nature. Fulton tackles environmental issues, philosophy, and is actively involved with projects that set up group walks such as a silent 'Slowalk' in 2011.
The text art at the exhibition may look more like flyers you might find posted on billboards or leaflets stuffed through your letter box. They provide facts, figures, and if displayed on the streets, people would probably walk by without a second glance. Inside the gallery, however, their bold colours demand your attention in an otherwise minimalist surrounding, and make you consider the message he is trying to convey.