Katy Bailey

30 walks, 300 miles, 300 reflections and responses

Breathing life - The positive impact that trees and nature have on our well-being. 

 

Walking is slowness. Its meditation and reflection. I plan to walk 30 local woodlands, 10 miles each following the footsteps of my Mother who diarised her cycle around Britain in 1956. The idea of someone I loved to have been here before responding to the same residual energy in each woodland is the driving energy behind my work. 

 

I plan to produce 30 panoramic dry-points in editions of 10. Panorama is not a natural way to see, it slightly distorts and lengthens the image in unfamiliar ways. This will allow the viewer to see the walk all-in-one helping them feel part of the journey.  

 

As I walk I will leave behind 30 living objects, saplings grown from found acorns in Wistman’s wood (the oldest oak wood in Britain) and other saplings I have grown from seeds as well as some bulbs and biodegradable notes on tissue.

 

In return, I will take away 30 found non-biodegradable objects that have been forgotten, broken or discarded that resonate with me and set these in resin. I’ll display these on the bark of a 300-year-old oak tree or in a special case allowing discarded objects to find meaning again. 

 

My aim is to explore new methodologies of communicating the positive impact of nature, specifically woodland. Woodlands have been an underlying theme in my 40-year career as an artist. One of the reasons for this is the feeling of regeneration and recharging - Biophilia. Within 15 minutes of escaping the overwhelm of the day, I feel energised again. 

 

This connection to nature can also have a profound impact on loneliness – an increasing feeling in the world today. Nature connects us with a higher life so we ultimately feel part of something bigger and more meaningful. In my personal experience, I’ve felt connecting to nature can eliminate feelings and need to connect to others. 

 

I’ve dedicated this project to the trees I’ve passed and planted along the way not only to say thank you but to promote the importance of their presence to others to help us not just live but thrive.  

Katy Bailey, Fine Art MA