The premise is straightforward, a group of artists come together and go for a walk with no specific outcome in mind. Overtime the location and make-up of the artists may change but the basic premise is the same.
This particular walk in the Wild Dog Mountains was undertaken by Rachel Peachey & Paul Mosig, their son Sascha Mosig, Emma Rooney and Freedom Wilson.
Taking place as it did in a time of social isolation the documentation of this experience is presented online. There are individual works along with the artist statements and a shared artwork developed by Peachey & Mosig to be be experienced as a browser based internet work.
Walking is not a new habit to discover it is after all a practice that has remained similar for thousands of years.
It has long been documented as a cherished method used by scientists, philosophers and artists for thinking, for imagining, for connecting to others and the places one walks through, as a poetic act, a political act and a search for the self and for the sublime.
We went for a walk, approaches the experience of walking specifically as, ‘an artist’. Whatever that means is a personal reflection yet the framing of the walk in this way does seem to change the nature of our conversations, the decisions we make and the overall dynamics of the group.
As this walk is imagined to be the first in a series of such experiences, it is marked by the unformed nature of it’s purpose, the fact that the participants do not know each other very well and as such do not have a clear idea of how to work together or in the context of the project. The works resulting from the experience themselves have a loose and inquiring nature as if searching for a shared methodology that will reveal itself in the future.
The location for this project is on the country of the Gundungurra people. The area is commonly known as the Wild Dog Mountains, which lie at the southern end of the Megalong Valley, NSW, Australia.
The walk usually starts and finishes at the Dunphy Camping Area, formerly Carlons Farm, in the Megalong, although at the time of our walk the bridge was being rebuilt, which added a few kilometres. This seemed a minor addition on the first day and a hateful downward force on our knees and toes on the way home.
Due to the January 2020 bushfires, our review of previous track notes became next to useless. The historical pathways and junctions had all but disappeared in several places making the map our constant companion. The few times we came across people on the tracks, there was a repetitive back and forth as we worked out where we were all coming from and going to. There was a comforting predictability in the questions. Who are you? Where do you come from? What is your story? Are you ok? Will you be ok? What is ahead? Do you think we will find our way? Are you as capable as me? Am I as capable as you? Good luck...
Although there were encouraging signs of life, the imprint of the fires still cast an unsteady feeling over the landscape. Roots and branches that might once have assisted up a steep climb, now broke apart and pulled out of the crumbling ground. The night-time camp on Mt Dingo was eerily silent and contributed to a feeling of being out of time and place.
The weather was un-seasonally warm for winter and so any water that crossed our paths provided a deep-seated sense of elation, as we took particular joy in the ritual of collecting and filtering probably more water than we would actually need in the end.
This walk is classed as difficult and suitable for seasoned bushwalkers with experience in navigation. It is advised take plenty of water and a PLB.
This project is supported by the Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust Quick Response Grants Program 2020