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KYST (‘Coast’) is the name for a project I am undertaking during 2018. Starting on Friday the 5th of January, and continuing on every Friday throughout the year thereafter, I will be walking around the island – my home island – of Bornholm.
The project takes the form of a series of 52 consecutive walking tours following Bornholm’s coastline, one for each week of the year, with each walk no more than two or three kilometres. Each week I will start the walk from the same spot where I finished the week before. The concluding walk in the last week of the year (Friday, December the 28th) will take me right back to where I started – the pier arms of Rønne harbour, Bornholm’s point of entry and exit.
Each walk begins at dawn and ends at dusk. During each journey I will move slowly – clockwise – along the coastline and observe and record my experiences as I go. I will be sketching, painting and drawing, gathering and building, with the aim of making some sort of physical record of my journey on that particular day, on that particular stretch of the coastline.
During the course of the journey, I will be passing through rocky, deserted shores, sandy tourist-filled beaches, small fishing villages, and built-up areas of modern housing. On some of the journeys I will be alone, on others surrounded by people. In midsummer I will be out for over 18 hours, in midwinter, considerably less. I am sure to get very cold and wet on many, if not most, of the journeys. I may even get warm on a few of them.
KYST is a journey through time and space, a voyage of discovery and exploration, with Bornholm as a gigantic clock face, sundial or calendar. Each walk is a story of a day, of the changing weather patterns and tidal flows and the rising and setting of the sun. By physically moving through the landscape I will also be moving through periods of geological time, in some places passing through millions of years with just a few steps.
At other places I will be passing through historical time, through Bornholm’s social history, weaving between the present and the past. The flora and fauna that I will encounter will reveal the progression of the seasons through the year. The arrival and departure of migratory birds, the flowering and wilting of vegetation, even the coming of the tourist hordes, will all tell a story of my journey through the year and around the island.
Most of all, however, the weather will decide how each walk will unfold. Each journey will be a unique event, and the work I produce will be a reflection and accumulation of my experiences through the day. I have no hard and fast objectives regarding how and what I will be recording other than the fact that everything will be completed within the arena of the walk on the day in question. The body of work that I produce then, will not only record and reflect my physical journey through time and space, but also the development of my creative response to the project itself.
I am fascinated by the process of observation and the way in which the physical act of looking – really looking – creates a deep physiological connection between ourselves and our environment. I am equally fascinated in the how we respond creatively to this process of observation, and the relationship between the objective physical act of observation and the subjective act of interpretation. And I am deeply fascinated in how this process unfolds within the natural environment and the passing of time and space. More than anything I am looking forward to really getting to know Bornholm.
For many years now I have been creating projects or creative structures within which I can examine these themes that interest me. I have been thinking about this project in one form or other for most of the time I have lived on Bornholm and now, with the passing of my ten year anniversary in the summer of 2018, seems to be a perfect time.
It is important to me that the project has a collaborative dimension and the work produced during the 52 days of KYST will be collated and presented as the project unfolds. On the day itself, I will be uploading images on my Instagram account. On this website I will be posting a blog/report after each stage of the journey. I will be uploading images from the day on to my public Facebook account. The Google map I have created below will be updated after each journey.
My ambition is to present a book and an exhibition about the project in 2019. Whilst my undertaking of the project itself is self-funded and independent of any sponsorship, funding body or organisation, an exhibition or a book will require a significant additional investment of time and finance. I mean to progress this phase of the project during the latter part of 2018.