For my Artful Way I chose to walk around Carlisle City Centre with my other half, Mill Milligan (some of you may know him as a bit of a punk poet about town). I’ve lived in Carlisle all of my life – 39 years and counting, so am very familiar with it’s landscape. This familiarity can be both a blessing and a curse. You begin to switch off, go on auto-pilot and not really see things any more. That’s why the chance to plan and walk around a route, taking pictures along the way, really helped to interrupt that sense of familiarity and look at things from a new perspective.
We saw some familiar sights; Carlisle Castle & Cathedral, Tullie House underpass and gardens, and some less familiar sights; the street art murals on West Walls and Abbey Street. It was a great excuse to re-familiarise ourselves with our own home, a reason to go for a walk as well as dusting off my Polaroid camera and taking a few snaps along the way with that too.
Question 1: Creativity – What does creativity/culture mean to you?
Creativity is the force that drives me forward each day. Not necessarily in producing objects, but in ideas and possibilities, which sometimes end up as a project or an artwork.
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?
It’s been such a strange time, I’m not sure what I’ve missed until I get the chance to experience it again. This walk was helpful in that – just walking around my own home town, without a purpose in the sense that was defined through Covid – daily exercise or a trip to the supermarket. A walk, just because.
Question 3: Place – How can we, collectively, and artfully, better care for our environment?
I came across a few discarded masks on my walk, and on pretty much every walk I’ve been on since the pandemic started. What can we do about all of this extra plastic waste? I really don’t know to be honest, more community litter picks maybe? How can art and culture play a role in this? An arts project directly asking people to respond to the ecological and climate crisis, and collecting and using discarded waste as part of the project.