On the day the Government ordered total lockdown I went for a stroll in the leafy parks of South Birmingham looking for signs of the Apocalypse.
An astounding 22 people came to last Sunday's Full Moon Walking night walk around the Stirchley / Lifford waterways. It was a walk that featured joint creative input from all Walkspace members and included instructions to 'think like a parrot', a talk under 'the tree of shoes' and a 28-day spell-casting using the lunar-charged moon water. Photos of the event by Pete are here.
Fiona has posted some reflections on the walk, which is part of a series of Stirchley walks she is running this year, on her blog. She speculates on how to 'capture the moon' by creating a post-walk artifact:
These walk artifacts are what I aspire to but I've yet to figure out what I can create from a walk that will be of lasting value. Last year, when I expressed an interest in art, my mentor Kate Spence said to use this time for exploration and play. Be interested and interesting. So I guess you can expect more random walk experiments in the months to come.
If you have seen some interesting examples of art walking outputs, please share them in the comments on her post.
Last chance to moon walk
The final night walk of the season is running on Sunday 22 March, just ahead of the new moon. Dark Moon Walking 2 sees us blending into the night in the parks and dark spaces around Bournville, Cotteridge and Stirchley borders. Wear black and let us reclaim the night together. You can find out more and also sign up for the event here.
We had 22 people on the walk, which was way more than we anticipated so there's certainly an appetite for this sort of thing. Yay!
This walk riffed off Fiona's original ideas and brought in Andy and our first associate member Robson who brought some local history and mythology to the proceedings.
We started on Fordhouse Lane at the River Rea bridge then made our way through the Worthings tunnel to the Lifford Woodland which leads to the Reservoir. Passing the various trees, strewn with offerings of bikes and shoes, and the mineral factory we joined the canal and wended our way back to Stirchley.
A full report will follow soon, with details of the third and final (for now!) night-time walk on March 22nd, but for now here are Pete's grainy photos to prove it actually did happen.
Fiona has written up her thoughts about Sunday's Dark Moon Walking night walk through the parks and along the canal in Bournville. She's structured it as a series of questions.
4. Why a night walk?
Because walking at night is otherworldly and comes with a sense of the forbidden. Green spaces, such as parks, canals and cut-throughs, feel off-limits and taboo at night. The absence of people in them makes you feel safer at night but it is simultaneously strange to see these popular spaces deserted.
7. Were you scared at any point?
Briefly – by a solitary figure standing at the edge of the woods in Cotteridge Park. It turned out to be a small conifer. This is where night vision can be deceiving and amplify your fears. The reflections in the pond also warped my depth perception of where the water line was.
Thanks to everyone who came, and who expressed an interest even if they couldn't make it. The next Walkspace walk will be announced very soon!
The inaugural Walkspace walk took place on Sunday night and we were very pleased with how it went. Eight of us were led by Fiona Cullinan through a recreation ground, a park and along the canal under the clear black skies of a new moon.
We were walking through areas that held no fear during the day but at night were forbidden territory. What would we find and how would we feel to leave the street lights and enter the dark?
We met at Bournville Station and quickly made our way to the Cadbury Women's Recreation Ground, a beautiful hidden gem in the day but a bit spooky by night. After spreading out to contemplate the darkness in silence for five minutes we moved on to Cotteridge Park, pausing for a chat at the glacial boulders.
After the relative quiet and dark of the parks it was back to the shock of the lit main streets before joining the canal for the walk back to Bournville station. The walk completed we adjourned to the British Oak for refreshments and the planning of future adventures.
Fiona will be processing the walk soon – the third in her Stirchley walk series – but for now here are some photos Pete took at a deliberately high ISO and barely in focus.
I went on one of Pete's quarterly walks under the M6 Gravelly Hill Interchange and wrote a report of it on my blog.
I organised a dawn group walk on the Winter Solstice starting at the mysterious Bordesley Henge and finishing at Witton Cemetery. I was joined by Jonny, Kerry, Kevin, Phil and Shane.