GPS trace from a 6.8km walk at the confluence of the Fox and Cook Rivers, South Westland, New Zealand.
This piece explores the propositional nature of mapping; the assertion that “this is there”. As a walked text piece the statement connects the direct experience of walking with a playfully banal statement of truth-testing.
These paired images offer complementary ways of thinking about stillness in the context of Fox Glacier and any attempt to represent it through mapping. One is an image of my GPS location taken over a 15 minute interval while sitting still, with the GPS device subject to “drift” due to the geometry and material nature of the glacier. The other image is a still from a 15 minute video, recorded at the same times as the GPS drawing. The video records the subtle changes to the glacier in real time; melting, cracking and changing light conditions.
This is an early sketch of some of the material gathered during my recent residency period in Fox Glacier, New Zealand. During the residency I undertook a dozen or so walks on the glacier, recording each route with a GPS device. With this work, my interests are in the experience of moving and navigating on the ice.
Resolving this piece of work will require an examination of the relationship between the line, movement and material experience, which I hope to achieve through a process of making physical and spatialising the collected GPS data.
As Wild Creations artist in residence I offered to run a drawing workshop for pupils of Fox Glacier Primary School. Over three sessions I introduced the idea of drawing on the land, beginning with historical precedents such as the white horse chalk drawings in England and the Nazca drawings in Peru and moving on to work by Richard Long and Hamish Fulton. After a session on using Global Positioning System devices to record their movements, the students then created their own digital drawings by walking carefully designed routes; walking as a creative act, rather than a means of travelling.
Student participants were : Ollie Clarke, Jacob Sullivan, Liam Sullivan, Lucas Bron, Rhys Hopkins, Charlie Jewell, Matthew Morgan, Bayley Sullivan, Peter Williams, Taryn Hopkins, Rhiannon Barber and Naomi Halford.
Thanks to school staff Lesley Gillgren, Rebecca Griffiths and Linda Holmes.