Boundary Walk Cctv
The Boundary Walk with Ian Nesbitt

During February and March 2013 Ruth and filmmaker Ian Nesbitt went on a walk following the Metropoliton District Boundary Line of Sheffield City. 65 miles, 75 hours over 9 days of walking down streams, over farmland, through industry and up the M1. Following a clearly defined ‘non-route’ regularly meant scrambling up bracken, sinking into bogs, negotiating industrial complexes and generally being places with a complete lack of walking infrastructure. They both wrote a diary entry after each day and posted it online without knowing what the other had written.

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Once you can suppress the history of landscapes, it is also easier to make the case for their exploitation Bob Johnston

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The Exhibition and Film

In 2016 they were invited by BLOC Gallery, Sheffield to make an exhibition about the walk. In addition to presenting the map of the walk, they made a short video work shot at the most westerly point in Sheffield and a longer film entitled Field Notes with an audio recording of them reading the diary entries accompanied by video and images they took during the walk (see extract below). Outside of the gallery a large scale work was installed on a billboard showing a photograph of the boggy peat and heather landscape of Howden Moors, where they walked through on day 8. 

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Field Notes: 38 minutes, Sound, HD Video (Installed, Looped)
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Conversations with a landscape archaeologist

Throughout The Boundary Walks they had conversations with Bob Johnston a landscape archaeologist based at The University of Sheffield. Pondering on beating the bounds, reading the land, pilgrimage, deep mapping, infrastructure, and reading and listening to the land.

These conversations culminated in a public conversation at Bloc projects in Sheffield and Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle in 2016 (link to video below). Transcripts from these conversations formed the basis of a text which was published in 2017 as part of In Certain Places 'Practising Place' publication.


Sheffield Boundary Walk was self funded.
Preston Boundary Walk and talks funded by In Certain Places.
Bloc Gallery exhibition funded by Arts Council England, Bloc Projects and Sheffield Towns Trust, Yorkshire Visual Arts Network, a-n and In Certain Places (based at the University of Central Lancashire).

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