Walking in Circles. A Walkative drawing on Archaeology at Hampstead Heath led by Fay Stevens.

Sunday 10th March 2019

The Walkative Society gathering around the Hampstead tumulus

‘… the subject of walking is, in some sense, about how we invest universal acts with particular meanings. Like eating or breathing, it can be invested with wildly different cultural meanings, from the erotic to the spiritual, from the revolutionary to the artistic.’ (Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking).  

‘Perhaps everything lies in knowing what words to speak, what actions to perform, and in what order and rhythm; or else someone’s gaze, answer, gesture is enough; it is enough for someone to do something for the sheer pleasure of doing it, and for his pleasure to become the pleasure of others: at that moment, all spaces change, all heights, distances; the city is transfigured, becomes crystalline, transparent as a dragonfly.’   (Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities)                                                                

The Walkative Society met with the archaeologist, curator, artist and writer Fay Stevens to participate in ‘Walking in Circles: Drawing on Archaeology at Hampstead Heath, London NW3. These were Fay’s pre-walk instructions:

“Hampstead Heath, often referred to as an island of countryside, is a palimpsest of London’s history and landscape. We will focus on the circularity of a feature known as a ‘tumulus’ experimenting with a range of recording / drawing techniques. We will also make a live ‘walking in circles’ performance work. Please bring with you drawing materials (paper, pencil etc.), any other walking/drawing /performance devices you might be working in and a piece of text (either yours or by another author) that you will be happy to read aloud as part of the live performance work.”