An Artful Way: A Walk in Eden

Wooden public footpath sign in grass.

For his Artful Way, Simon Whalley chose to walk around a public footpath in Eden. He took a series of images along the way as well as considering the 3 Artful Ways questions and themes of Land ownership and usage.

Simon Whalley:

“I took a series of images on the 7th of the seventh, 2021. They were taken from a public footpath somewhere in Eden. They highlight the beauty in nature, the joy we can get from a slow walk and a connection with what we see along the way. They also seek to highlight the inequality in access to the land. How England is divided, how the rich have taken the land for themselves and often seek to exclude others. How the view is free, locking into the privately owned land.”

Question 1: Creativity – What does creativity/culture mean to you?

A chance to express emotions, thoughts and make connections. A chance to see how others express themselves. A chance to share in uplifting experiences as a collective, with friends. It means seeing the vast inequalities in funding, that mirror other aspects of life, the have’s and the have nots, the chosen few and the excluded and how little is done by those in power to make this fairer, despite lots of talking!

Question 2: Connectivity – Covid-19 has forced us all to reimagine ways to connect. What have you missed – and what new possibilities have opened up? 

I have missed very little, I kept in contact with my friends, I adapted my job, I had a lover, I had green spaces to be in. I am truly fortunate. I miss my only Uncle who died of Covid. I miss my Mum who died during the 3rd lockdown but not from Covid. I miss our family home, that I helped build 40 years ago. I sold as we emerged from Covid.

New Possibilities; It allowed a space to consider life, what is of real value and how to spend my time more wisely and simply. How to influence the world in whatever way I can to be a better place for all. How most of the bad in the world is created by human greed and egos.

Question 3: Place – How can we, collectively, and artfully, better care for our environment?

By becoming part of the Local Nature Recovery Strategy for Cumbria.  By asking more questions about land ownership and usage, By joining in with positive solutions. By planting trees.

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