Hamish Fulton's exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate

PUBLISHED: 09:28 26 March 2012 | UPDATED: 21:13 20 February 2013

Hamish Fulton's exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate

Hamish Fulton's exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate

Kent-based conceptual artist Hamish Fulton talks about elements of his walking as art

Walk this way


Kent-based conceptual artist Hamish Fulton talks about elements of his walking as art


With Hamish Fultons exhibition at Turner Contemporary open until 6 May, it is very exciting to be able to talk to the artist about his intriguing art.


He is of course forearmed about whether or not it is art, as he immediately tells me that he studied at St. Martins in 1967-68, when art was at a changing point and it was the beginning of youth culture, with the ethos of liberating the mind. There was the idea that art could be anything, whereas previously art could not be anything, he says. Of course, he adds, the debate about what is art goes on forever.


After his experiences at art college, Hamish got a job teaching at Maidstone College of Art. I was grateful for that, however, I didnt believe I could live with myself not being an artist, so I quit.


This was a brave move, and those who think that Hamish is lucky to be doing what he loves perhaps underestimate the leap - giving up a full-time job to pursue an art which may seem esoteric. The decision at age 24 not to be employed was a big decision, he admits.


So is the art in some sense a critique of painting? It exists in comparison with painting, he says But the important thing about being an artist is to retain the freedom of the mind: thats what it is about.


Hamish admits that the gallery is necessary to his work now. The current exhibition at Turner is a fascinating materialisation of the experience of walking which includes photography, large paintings and a film of a previous group walk Hamish undertook in Margate.


The important thing about being an artist is to retain freedom of the mind


Here you can see various items familiar to the walker, such as the signpost, which reminds you of the walk along the South Coast. There are also large posters charting Hamishs walks through Europe.


An installation on one wall shows points that refer to the mountains Hamish traversed, tracing the contours. He has also climbed Everest, but describes going to Tibet as like a switch, for a political dimension was added - although Hamish notes he always thought this might be there, from the times he visited the Native American sites in the late 1960s.


People have different reasons for walking: escape, going to weddings, going to an operation or to hospital, leisure. So many ways of thinking about it that dont have to do with health or the landscape.


The idea of the group walk had struck Hamish when at St. Martins. Yet later, in the 1990s, he was invited to an art school in Japan, and had the opportunity to do group walks with Japanese art students.


Several group walks have included an event at the recent Folkestone Triennial, with some 60 participants walking one metre in an hour. The idea was to alert people to what had almost become a lost art, the walk. Movement, a political walk to heighten awareness of the plight of Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, also took place at Tate Modern.


There is also a spiritual element to the walk. It is ever-increasingly important. It is something which people want and need but dont know how to access, as it is not accessible through orthodox religion. Sometimes religion is not spiritual. But I have no time for the New Age. The spiritual is one of those increasing needs: its pushed about by technology, but there is a need for it.


Hamishs Margate exhibition certainly gives the possibility for quiet reflection and it is an excellent opportunity, if you have not see the Turner, to visit this surprising and inspiring gallery space.


EXHIBITION


Hamish Fulton: Walk, at Turner Contemporary , Margate, until 6 May, 10 am-6pm, including Band Holidays. Turner is open Tue-Sun, 01843 233000.


Hamish will be leading a group walk on 20 April, part of Late Night Live Landmark events at Turner, from 7 pm in the front of the building. Contact Sepake Angiama 01843 233014 for more details.


See also http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCc8Rs4sOVY


More from Out & About

Yesterday, 11:34

Take our quiz to see if you can decipher the town or place in Kent from the emojis

Read more
Tue, 11:40

You’ve got 10 minutes to identify where in Kent the likes of Raven gap, Hollow-dweller’s stream and Yew crossing place refer to - let us know how you do!

Read more
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Gardens across the county and beyond are offering virtual garden visits. So take a step into some of Kent’s most enchanting gardens from cottages to country estates with these virtual tours

Read more
Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Our county can boast some of the most celebrated and downright unusual protected monuments in the country | Words: Jack Watkins - Lead photo: Historic England

Read more
Thursday, November 12, 2020

Can you distinguish your Colchesters from your Canterburys and your Margates from your Merseas? Take our quiz to test your knowledge of Essex and Kent!

Read more
Monday, November 9, 2020

From rambles through the Kent Downs to pretty village walks and urban strolls, this guide to some of Kent’s prettiest walking routes is essential for the intrepid adventurer

Read more
Thursday, November 5, 2020

Enjoy three of Kent’s best and most loved cycle rides which take in lots of the county’s beautiful coastlines

Read more
Thursday, November 5, 2020

Flint, ragstone and timber – these are the materials that built Kent and gave it its distinctive face. Here we explore some fine local examples

Read more
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Here are 10 tales to make you shiver as we celebrate All Hallows’ Eve | Words: Stephen Roberts - Photos: Manu Palomeque

Read more
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Being so rich in history, it is hardly surprising that Kent is also a hub for hauntings and ghostly activity. We have gathered 9 of the spookiest locations in Kent to visit if you dare!

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Latest from the Kent Life