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CHALK WALK

Chalk Walk consisted of a journey along the chalk path that runs between Brighton Marina and the village of Rottingdean. During the walk, small piles of coal were left at intervals a few metres apart upon the sea wall, and subsequently photographed. Each pile was arranged in a unique formation, taking into account existing cavities in the rock, the shape and colour of the wall, and proximity to any erosion or human interventions (screws, posts, etc.). By situating the work at intervals along the linear path of a popular walking route, its audience were able to approach the materials involved from a multitude of positions – first as a pile of stones, then later as a deliberate incursion, experiencing the work as a process, a temporality that extended into the past (the memory of the piles they had passed) and the future (the expectation of those yet to come). This sense of temporality was underscored by the nature of the objects involved – coal and chalk are not only themselves products of processes, but those processes, rendered in the sedimentary layers, are made available to perception upon their surface. 

Chalk is present in both the water and the ground, and is as such integral to the habitation of the area: it provides sustenance for the flesh, but also serves as building material for much of the area's housing, literally shaping the landscape upon which the city is built. Furthermore, though life-giving, chalk derives from death, as the sedimentary remains of micro-organisms. It is an embodiment of the cyclical nature of humanity’s relationship to their environment.

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