Women’s Walks to Remember

Women’s Walks to Remember

Current 2018 (onwards), Cumbria.

Women’s Walks to Remember:  "With Memory I was there" is a new participatory walking-art project that celebrates the walking-lives of Lake District women and collects maps, drawings, objects, photos, films and sounds relating to a significant walk that can no longer be walked.

The project is inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth’s Rydal Journals in which she describes “rural sights and sounds” in vivid detail and recollects the landscape and walks she was no longer able to do. It recreates some of Dorothy Wordsworth’s walks and walks that present-day women in the Lake District can no longer do.

Due to the effects of ageing Dorothy gradually became house, bedroom and terrace bound, relying on memory to transport herself into the landscape she had once walked: 

No need of motion, or of strength, Or even the breathing air: – 

I thought of Nature's loveliest scenes; And with Memory I was there...

Extract from the poem “Thoughts on my Sick-Bed” by Dorothy Wordsworth.

Dorothy also brought “treasures” into her “quiet” room. The walls were hung with paintings, pots of flowers lined her window ledge, plants grew around her window, which framed the fells she once walked, sunshine and the “sweet sound” of a robin singing entered from the garden.

CALL-OUT FOR PARTICIPANTS

Do you have a significant walk that you are no longer able to manage but remember vividly or long to do? Do you know someone who has talked about a walk in this way?

If so, I would love to hear from you because I am creating a walking-art project that celebrates the walking-lives of Lake District women and collects their walks.

Your walk might have been for work, leisure, adventure, health, remembrance, creativity, science, companionship or solitude.

The reason that the walk can no longer be might be due to the effects of ageing, illness, accident or circumstance. 

If you share your walk with me, I will re-walk it bringing  “treasures” – sights, sounds, words and objects – back to you.

Collected walks and materials gathered will contribute to a site-specific art installation in Dorothy Wordsworth's bedroom at Rydal Mount in Cumbria in August 2018 and an exhibition at the Wordsworth Trust in September 2018.

To get involved please email: [email protected]

The project is supported by: The Wordsworth Trust, Rydal Mount, Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) Arts Strategy Fund and FASS Impact Grant, Women’s Studies and Sociology, Lancaster University and EASST.