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Wave of walkers represents the next step in artist Hamish's work

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: October 27, 2013

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MORE than 300 walkers gathered at the weekend to be part of a unique piece of art by an internationally acclaimed "walking artist".

Hamish Fulton was in Penzance to mark 40 years of creating his highly individual artistic events.

The first walk took place on Penzance's promenade and involved Hamish and more than 100 local collaborators repeatedly walking the width of the promenade, towards and then away from the sea, for 60 minutes.

As his canvas for the second artwork Hamish chose the beach between Penzance and Marazion at low tide.

This piece took the form of a 'slow walk', with the 200 participants divided into two columns that very slowly crossed, again over an hour.

In October 1973 Fulton walked 1,022 miles in 47 days from Duncansby Head (near John o'Groats) to Land's End.

When he arrived he made a decision, in his words, 'to only make art resulting from the experience of individual walks'.

He has since made the act of walking, both as an individual and as part of a group, the main focus of his work. He has made walks and exhibited his work all over the world and had a major one-person exhibition – Hamish Fulton: Walking Journey – at Tate Britain in 2002.

James Green, director of Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange said: "We were delighted with the numbers of people who came along and took part in the two walks. Both created astonishing spectacles in the landscape.

"The walks took a lot of coordination on the day but both ran very smoothly, in spite of concerns about the weather and even the threat of lightning strikes on the Sunday morning. Happily, just as each walk began the sun shone."

The walks marked the start of the Cornwall Workshop, a week-long residential workshop for artists and curators, led by Turner Prize-winning artist Simon Starling and held at Kestle Barton near Manaccan on the Lizard peninsula.

The walks are organised in partnership with Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange in Penzance, and documentation of Hamish Fulton's work and the Penzance walks will be presented on the Ramp Wall at The Exchange.

The Cornwall Workshop is supported by Tate St Ives, Plymouth College of Art, Falmouth University, FEAST, Visual Arts South West and the Borlase Smart John Wells Trust, with in-kind sponsorship from First Great Western, Two and Creative Skills.

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