Morgan, Bethany (2020) A Walk in the Countryside: Exploring Memory Through Painting. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Walking as a method for understanding the natural world, and our place within it, has been explored by
many artists, writers and poets over the years; the walking companion guides of Alfred Wainwright, the
travel writing of Robert Macfarlane and the ‘walking as thinking’ ideology of Rebecca Solnit. The idea of
walking in relation to art has seen the work of Richard Long and Hamish Fulton at the forefront of knowledge
for many years, with them creating work in direct response to walks they have undertaken. These works are
photographic, direct representations of the landscape that prompt memory and experience, and are
exhibited after the walk. This thesis will follow in the footsteps of Fulton and Long, but detour from their
path to explore walking’s relationship to painting and how it can uncover emotional memory through
abstraction. It will consider the argument of Isabelle Graw, of how painting is indexicality, documenting
through process how painting can harness emotions and feelings within its brushstrokes and argue that this
is perhaps more successful than photography. Much like Fulton and Long, the places chosen to walk within
this thesis, Scarborough, Malham and Marsden Moor, are that of nature, most specifically traditional English
countryside. The walks are to gain an initial understanding of one’s relationship to these landscapes, which
are then subsequently responded to in the studio through painting. Through this process, it is the aim to
understand how walking abstracts the landscape, how memory is an internal, emotional response to
experience and how walking, memory and painting are cyclically linked together.

FINAL THESIS - Morgan.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

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