Walking Stories

Walking Stories is a group audio-walk for parks and green spaces. In this unique outdoor experience, green spaces become part of an exploratory, interactive and fully immersive audio journey. Find out more →

…we were going to be in Larkey Woods and then we opted for the field…

On 23rd August we planned to take Walking Stories to the delightful woods in Larkey Valley, close to Canterbury. However, on the day we changed our minds and went to this amazing field with stunning views. Walking Stories had it’s first outing in a corn field – it went pretty well…

Walking Stories in Greenwich Park

A selection of photos from the premiere shows of Walking Stories in Greenwich Park 16th and 17th August. It went down a storm…

Here are a few comments from our visitors book,

  • ‘You will at one moment be running, feeling the wind in your hair and your heart in your chest, and in the next moment you will be standing in total stillness feeling like the world is motionless beneath you. It will give you the gift of time to yourself, and space to breathe and enjoy simple pleasures with a new and refreshing perspective. At once epic and intimate, this is a truly unique and beautifully crafted experience.’ (Abi)
  • ‘Just what I needed – a mental reframe’ (Hannah)
  • ‘Thank you for the journey. Feels like I have travelled somewhere and come back!’ (Para)
  • Stripped back superfluous thoughts and felt my thoughts/outlooks become essential for a few moments…Enjoyed the wordless co-operation of the group; a group of strangers agreeing on a creative play. (Vanessa)
  • What a walk! After 45 minutes I found myself staring at the bark of an oak tree like it was a computer screen that held the secrets of my future. And now I’m munching lovely pizza and still thinking! (Alan)

…and a snippet from the Bellyflop review by Flora Wellesley Welsey

“…Camaraderie and solitude come upon me at once. I, for one, feel exceptionally present throughout. I am interested in the others, unabashed about staring at them. There is a contagious, heightened self-awareness coursing through the group – each of us a player, a participant, and an enactor. And you really do have to make Walking Stories happen; the performers don’t do it for you…And it’s a piece that envelops its audience. Walking Stories asks us to do and to repeat. We pace, we observe, we absorb changes. We stop and start, to and fro, circle. How deft we are at doing! How easily we agree to part and reunite!…

…There are times when I find myself momentarily stumped, somehow having lost my footing. I have a sense of watching myself, my attention, throughout the journey – detecting the limitations of my imagination, noticing when I feel like I have missed or misunderstood something or a planted instruction has gone awry…

…I am prompted and sometimes I fall behind, like I do with reading when text on a screen scrolls up and out of sight at a speed I can’t keep up with. At these moments, I want more time for things to sink in and start meaning more to me. But it’s not a “slow class”. It is a repetitive one, though. Indeed, repetition of instructions is what allows patterns and echoes to emerge – and with these, my opportunity for meaning making. My teeth sink into the associative leaps and deviations I experience as well as the more focused episodes. It feels like something of a meditation on going with the flow. I love not having to make rational decisions about my journey – the bliss of being led.

There is joy in Walking Stories. I laugh at the muted barks of yappy dogs perturbed by a circular path we are treading, running, powering. I delight in my private laughter – the feeling of it, rather than the sound of it (it doesn’t disturb me or anyone else as it ordinarily might). These spontaneous occurrences thrive, yet there is nothing informal about this walk. This is no idle stroll. It’s a trip, a choreographic experiment, complete with external observers (the non-performing artistic team, who stand by trees and sit in the grass watching their plans unfurl, and passersby)…The desire to rebel dwindles as my suggestibility increases and I enjoy more and more how these simple instructions belie the intricate dance that they cue.”

Walking Stories captured by Pari Naderi

One morning during our time at Stour Valley Arts in the Kings Wood, Kent, we had the pleasure of being joined by Pari Naderi to take some photographs of Walking Stories in motion. Here is a little sample of the extremely beautiful pictures that she took. The sun was shining and Pari captured the forests and the energy of Walking Stories in its full glory: it’s speed and its stillness, the attention that it draws to space, to small details, to ourselves. June 2013

All photographs by Pari Naderi

Artists in the images: Jennifer-Lynn Crawford, Tristan Shorr, Tom Spencer, Charlotte Spencer, David McCormick.