I once read an interview with a (Scandinavian?) jeweller who said “a walk can be a necklace”. They referred to the boost of getting into nature for body, mind and spirit; like jewellery, but worn on the inside. Later, I drove myself crazy trying to trace the article, sadly to no avail; it would be really useful now.
Anyway, with Reka’s City Walk as a conversation partner I can legitimately call my daily walks or runs ‘research’, though in truth they have long been integral to my practice and well-being:
Black Dog Days – 6 legs, 2 weeks, 14 walks. Sarah and Winnie Read, 2014
In Wanderlust, A History of Walking, Rebecca Solnit writes:
Walking, ideally, is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though they were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord. Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them. It leaves us free to think without being wholly lost in our thoughts.
She talks of walking’s peculiar “utility for thinkers”:
The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage; one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it.
So its about moving that body, either to get from A to B or to generate endorphins. And freeing the mind, thinking creatively, problem-solving. And it’s about connecting with your surroundings…
For the last 18 months I’ve been living in Reading, UK.
It’s like this:
and also like this:
As with most things in life, selective focus is the key.
… and a necklace can be a walk
Reka’s City Walk is physically slight but has a robust presence, with clean lines, flat colour and strong graphic emphasis that evoke Mondrian, de Stijl, Bauhaus.
As a necklace it activates many of the ways we as embodied humans experience the world:
- Kinetically The articulated mix of soft and hard materials is shaped by wearing and will move with the body. It calls your hands: touch, engage, play.
- Visually Repeated forms and bold colours draw the eye between elements and across the piece
- Relationally The scale-fluidity of abstract shapes lets the piece be wearable and intimate whilst also referencing the surrounding environment. Are you in the center of a necklace, a map, a city?
- Cognitively Its playfulness evokes our shared memory/experience of childhood drawings, and chimes with our acquired mental catalogue of artists who employ this device.
As a walk, it’s a lunchtime circuit through a city that’s all airy sophistication. It’s breezy (but not Wellington breezy) and warm enough that you don’t need a coat. The location is probably Western Europe (or: New York), somewhere with cool buildings, parks, bridges, rivers, special places – probably the trains run on time.
The walking pace is brisk, youthful, upbeat. The gait is jaunty, almost a dance.
I look forward to playing with these attributes, as well as the potential for fun and slippage that occurs when 3D objects are encountered as 2D images, either because they are rendered digitally or confined behind glass.
Meanwhile, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a delicious thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqteFq3Ty7w
Let’s go to work…