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Liznojan

Liznojan: Liznojan means to learn whilst following a track. This series follows a path of self-discovery walking North West to North East England. Finding oneself and reconsidering the meaning of home on a journey. This series allows for a new experience with nature to take place through the activity of walking. The work is both poetic and ambiguous in nature. This is a union between a mythical fiction and the English everyday, in order to create a sense of ambiguity and unease. Suddenly I came out of my thoughts to notice everything around me again-the catkins on the willows, the lapping of the water, the leafy patterns of the shadows cross the path. And then myself, walking with the alignment that only comes after miles, the loose diagonal rhythm of arms swinging in synchronization with legs in a body that felt long and stretched out, almost as sinuous as a snake…when you give yourself to places, they give you yourself back; the more one comes to know them, the more one seeds them with the invisible crop of memories and associations that will be waiting for when you come back, while new places offer up new thoughts, new possibilities. Exploring the world is one the best ways of exploring the mind, and walking travels both terrains.”

 

 

Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

 

 

I have always had a connection to the land and to the practice of walking. As I researched the subject I found that numerous philosophers also had this connection to walking and returning to the land Nietzsche in order to write, while Kant walked to distract himself from contemplation. Nerval needed to walk to cure his symptoms of deep melancholy, Rousseau walks are famous for allowing him to think. Walking allows us to contemplate ideas about society, it is a secluded form of mediation and allows for us to study nature. The English landscape has deep roots; it is embedded with revolts, with tragedy, class struggles and political acts all immersed within myth, within the realm of the unknown. There remain huge taboos about mental health in our society. Through escapism, a wandering to find oneself but remain lost, I am able to begin to understand my own mental health issues. The more time I spent with the project, the more I realized it has this multiplicity: it speaks of fact and fiction, this realm and a spiritual other, of a journey, of the land, of Englishness, and of a sense of place.

Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health problems, and I feel as though these problems come from our inability to escape. We have the ability through the Internet to connect, but instead this is used to draw us apart. As Rebecca Solnit states, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, “To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away”. In Walter Benjamin’s terms, “to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery. And one does not get lost but loses oneself, with the implication that it is a conscious choice, a chosen surrender, a psychic state achievable through geography”. Personally I feel a huge abyss between when I am out doing work, at one with nature, and when I’m in my technology-fuelled working world. I try to get lost within it. To wander. Again I refer to Rebecca Solnit’s works. “The Indians refer to it in English as ‘wandering’. They say of a certain man, ‘He is wandering,’ or ‘He has started to wander.’ It would seem that under certain conditions of mental stress an individual finds life in his accustomed surroundings too hard to bear. Such a man starts to wander […] and knows the desire for what Buddhists call un-being.” 

 

To get lost is to lose control, to lose control is to separate from this stream of society, only then can one begin to question it, only when one is truly marginalized and on the outside can one begin to look. Liznojan is a personal experience with nature; it is not about the traditional sense of a purely physical journey, but more of an experience in the sense of a philosophical discovery. By exploring the boundaries of the unknown one can begin to find one’s true self. The work is an amalgamation of documentary and fantasy. The place could be of this world or bordering on the realm of the unknown. “We lack – we need – a term for those places where one experiences a ‘transition’ from a known landscape… into ‘another world’: somewhere we feel and think significantly differently. They exist even in familiar landscapes: there when you cross a certain watershed, recline or snowline, or enter rain, storm or mist. Such moments are rites of passage that reconfigure local Geographic’s, leaving known places outlandish or quickened, revealing continents within counties.”

― Robert Macfarlane

 

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Album created by Joanne Coates 14 days ago
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