“I am an offcomer. I love living here but I also really value my outward connections.”

Anne Waggot Knott is an emerging visual artist and printmaker, and is one of the four artists who have been selected for the ‘My Artful Way’ commission.

Anne’s work ‘Bibliotreks’ involved journeying out across Cumbria’s borders to connect with neighbours outside the region – her walks crossed land borders with our five neighbouring counties, and for some of these she walked with, or met, other creative practitioners and artists.

You can read about Anne’s walks through the blogs here:

Bibliotreks 1: Carlisle – Annan – Seafield, to meet artist Katie Anderson who lives near Annan.

Bibliotreks 2: Alston – Kirkhaugh to walk with graphic designer Sarah Elliot.

Bibliotreks 3: Silverdale – Arnside – Grange-over-Sands – let chance dictate companions … walking with a large group on an organised Sands crossing.

Bibiliotreks 4: Forest-in-Teesdale – Cow Green Reservoir – High Cup Nick, a solitary walk

Bibliotreks 5: Around Great Knoutberry Hill ‘Did I find what I was looking for?’

View Anne’s Film here:

A black and white image of people walking across wet sand, with two people holding hands in the foreground, and many others in the distance.

Creative work: making books

We cannot map our own region in isolation; we must reach across our borders and connect with neighbouring places and ideas. Climb on board as Bibliotreks celebrates journeys to the periphery.

Anne calls on the inspirational power of open books, whisking us off on expansive voyages beyond our own bubble. She lays bare her studio practice for us to explore: abstract bookbinding, printmaking, writing, filmmaking and playful sculpture.

The books are handbound using artist’s proofs, misprints, and recycled materials, gently encouraging us to consider our relationship with the environment. Themes of water, shelter, energy, and navigation come and go. Investigate the work slowly and thoughtfully. Connecting can be a gradual process and we may not understand everything. Negotiating difference and division is not always easy.

Bibliotreks is a work in progress. The topmost book represents future journeys, creative connections not yet made. It is the opening of our next chapter.


Connections and collaboration are intrinsic threads running through this project. Thank you to the following people for being willing to connect across borders and contribute their time, technology, conversation, inspiration and ideas.

  • Katie Anderson / artist
  • Sarah Elliot / artist
  • Harriet and Rob Fraser / Somewhere-nowhere / artists
  • Michael Wilson and Joanne Hale / The Guide over Sands Trust
  • Andrew Waggot / engineer
  • Walltosh / designer


On completing my five walks into neighbouring counties across each of our land boundaries, I realise this process has given me a unique prism through which to address the three questions posed by Artful Ways.

The time, space and rhythm afforded by taking walks provides room for the mind to make progress, as well as the body. Longer to consider the inspiration presented. Revisiting this process repeatedly, five times, enabled me to develop ideas incrementally, discard them, let them brew, and reconnect with them again. As an artist and an interdisciplinarian I’m revelling in the luxury of choice and freedom about where to take this commission next as I move into the creative phase.

Every place, space and community has its own unique approaches to guardianship of the environment, whether that’s for conservation, exploitation or a both. It’s so important that we strike out beyond our region, outside our box, outside our comfortable space, for ideas – sometimes really far and sometimes really close to home – and make those outward connections, build those relationships. And so we enrich our creativity, our ability to innovate and problem-solve, for the here and now, and for the future.

You can find out more about Anne Wagott Knott’s practice on her website here.