Walking Wiltshire’s White Horses was a 3 month programme of creative and outdoor activity led by Ali Pretty and Richard White in and around 100 miles of stunning Wiltshire landscape, during June – August 2013.
Ali and Richard’s collaboration was inspired in 2012 at the Ageas International Salisbury Festival who commissioned Ali for a 7 day walk around the White Horse Trail. At the same time digital artist, Richard White, was working on a commission for Wiltshire Council, The Ridgeway Project; Richard was co-creating a mobile app and an installation for the new County Hall in Trowbridge based on the work of Fay Godwin. Their paths literally crossed, they shared ideas and approaches, Richard joined the walk.
The programme launched at Wiltshire Museum with 8 creative short walks to each of the white horses, participants were invited to document their journeys gathering sounds and images along the way. Silk ‘escape maps’ created by Ali were used as stimulus points for these walks. Richard invited sonic artists to contribute sounds for the project and received files from near and far. Together they created the immersive installation, ‘Freedom On My Doorstep’, which featured large scale silk hangings, silk escape maps, text, photographs and films inspired by the walks.
The project culminated in the public 100 mile walk generating an online story told live with links back to the installation. At each white horse a flag was presented to the walkers, designed by members of the community and created at a workshop with Ali. Each flag presentation inaugurated a sound park created by Richard using sounds mixed and sourced through social media. All along the way, from the creative walks to the long walk, supporters and walkers were encouraged to contribute images to the flickr pool.
The silk ‘escape maps’ that were created with the local community in the workshops were presented during the walk and at The Devizes Carnival 2013 in August. The ‘White Horses Collection’ of silk scarves, handkerchiefs and greetings cards were developed into products by Kinetika Design Studio and are now available to buy from Ali’s shop on Culture Label.
Find out more about the exhibition on the official project website – White Horse Walk.
Images are courtesy of Mike Johnston, you can see more of Mike’s fantastic images from the White Horses Project on his Flickr stream