Walking, listening, touching (14/01/2021)

Andrea Jaeger

Available media

About this workshop

Walking, listening, touching WHAT IS THE ACTIVITY? This self-guided activity explores the therapeutic benefits of working with paper and our relationship with trees. After completing this activity in your own time, you’ll be invited to share your experience and creations with other participants in a workshop setting. WHY PARTICIPATE? The activity is an invitation to explore and engage hands-on with paper. Paper in its many forms—as cardboard, copying paper, newsprint, tissue paper, toilet paper, writing paper—is part of our everyday life. Looking beyond its many functions, we generally think of paper as a thin material, often white and angular. Thinking a little more about paper as material, what might we see if we could engage with paper beyond its surface, and what might we learn about where it comes from? WHAT WILL I NEED? A piece of paper Time for a rain free walk Trees WHAT SHOULD I DO? Once you have made time to set out on your walk, you might find it useful to begin by listening to your breathing as you go. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, and repeat at least ten times while walking. This will ease you into the audible walk experience. Next, begin to listen as closely as possible to the sounds that surround you as you go—birds, traffic, the wind, footsteps, your own or others’. You might decide to focus further on particular sounds and stay with them for a while. At intervals, focus again on your breathing. Look out for trees along the way. Without their leaves, trees in wintertime make fewer sounds, but their shape and presence are all the more apparent. Along your way, choose a tree to get close to. Look at it first from afar, and then move in for a closer look. Walk around the tree, looking down and listening to its sounds. Then look up while continuing to walking around the tree and listening. Gently, place your sheet of paper onto the body of the tree and stroke the paper in a repetitive motion, tracing the bark or other tree structures onto your paper. There is no right or wrong way to do it—the possibilities are endless. Keep the paper with you as you continue your walk. At the end of your walk, try to re-experience it by touching the paper’s surface, which has retained the traces that you and the tree made together. If you’d like to share your experiences—the tracings, the sounds you heard, your walking patterns—you are warmly invited to attend a workshop where we can learn together by listening with one another. ************************************************** This self-guided activity and follow-up workshop is part of Backlit's 'The Nottingham Asylum Project programme'. The self-guided activity will be introduced as part of the workshop on Sunday 7th March 2021 (11am – 1pm) and the follow-up workshop on Sunday 14th March 2021 (11am – 1pm) will be an opportunity to share the wonders of sensory walking in a group discussion that fosters sharing and listening with another.
keywordsdeep listening, visual thinking, sensory awarness, walking, touch, bodily learning
copyrightAndrea Jaeger