A walk through sprawling Bristol. My aim was to try and walk
as far North as The Mall shopping Centre (the group of white buildings above
and slightly to the right of the furthest north point of my walk). I got
tantalisingly close, but in the end was defeated by a combination of a locked
gate, a grumpy caravan owner, and the extreme heat of the day. I did get to
Filton airstrip, now defunct but still a huge mark on the map of Bristol.
My first timer went off as I walked down a cut through between houses – high brick wall on one side, a fence on the other. The only spot of colour, a ‘danger of death’ sign on an electricity transformer box, gave me my theme for the rest of the walk – every three minutes I took a photograh that included some element of text:
Old favourites, company names in the frogs of bricks piled high on a demolition site.
Sign in a window ‘These premises are alarmed!’ – by what?
Grafitti – ‘we have to start somewhere’ and ‘no going back’. Signs of the times, but sounding to me like the start of a Margaret Atwood distopia.
‘Look right’ sprayed on the grass at a golf course. A safety
warning, or sartorial instruction?
Walking East, not an easy thing to when there is a river in the way. There are surprisingly few places to cross the River Avon to the East of the city, hence the large detour North before I could head east again.
The rule for this walk, a photograph of the ground every minute, suggested itself as soon as I left the house – wearing walking boots rather than my normal sandals, I was very aware of the sound of my footsteps on the pavement. I took the photos without judgement, looking directly downwards every minute as the relentless buzzer went off, but turns out even a quick photograph and a speedy reset of the timer takes time – I was out for four hours, but according to the number of photos, I was only walking for two of those.
I am drawn to the images of the grey tarmac, especially those that have captured a mend, or join, an unconformity in the continual surface of endless paths.
Four colour isolation walks around my neighbourhood, blue, pink, yellow and black, or, at a push, cyan, magenta, yellow and key. I feel very aware of my urban environment at the moment and these colour collections reflet that. Several surprises. The first being just how much more in the moment I felt walking whilst searching for colours. Most of the time when I walk I am focussed on getting somewhere – it is a very different experience being more present, taking notice and enjoying my surroundings. Second surprise was how hard it was to find some colours. I had to really hunt for pinks, but when they were found they were well worth the effort – the pink princess pony is a real favourite. Other colours were plentiful but lacking in variety – so much of the yellow I found was gorse/road marking bright, I think 90% of the cars in my area are black, and a good 70% of the front doors some variety of blue.