“Our work is informed and enriched by a shared obsession and engagement with the peripheral and marginal spaces of landscape. Accordingly, our walks within these spaces are amongst the most important, if not key, strategies we employ in terms of the experiential research and learning that informs our shared practice. The walks themselves are performative in that they are both movements through landscape and an attempt to engage with how and why we choose to do so.“
These spaces are often what can be described as ‘heterotopia’ – places that are variously marginalised through where they are, or how they have been used in the past and in the present. They might be old industrial sites, railway land, scrubland, moorland, defunct business parks or bogland. These landscapes could be described as uncertain either/or sorts of places, undefined, shifting, uncontainable, even dangerous. Often they might be described as dull or boring and for that reason can remain opaque to the eyes of passersby.
These places do not offer the usual menu of attractiveness such as charming country scenes, bucolic vistas, meandering paths or the epic sweep of mountain and valley. They are the obverse of a designated ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’ (AONB) and the cultural and political assumptions that underscore such places they are, if you will, the anti-sublime, the bastardised picturesque.