AboutThis exhibition, a major collaboration between
Ikon and Turner Contemporary, Margate is the first
museum show for British artist Hamish Fulton since
his retrospective at Tate Britain in 2002. Fulton
describes himself as a âwalking artist', with his work
joining the two separate disciplines of walking and art.
In 1973, having walked over 1000 miles in 47 days
from Duncansby Head to Land's End, Fulton decided
to âonly make art resulting from the experience of
individual walks.' Since then the act of walking has
remained central to his artistic practice. He has said
âIf I do not walk, I cannot make a work of art'. Calls
for political justice, for Tibet and previously on behalf
of Australian Aborigines and North American Indians,
also recur in Fulton's work, corresponding to the
individual and artistic freedom embodied within it.
For Ikon, Fulton makes an installation that consists
entirely of wall pieces, each with a strong sense
of place. They have ritualistic connotations,
corresponding to walking activity and the
meditative thought it can inspire, and touching
on a wide range of non-art issues that preoccupy
the artist. Specifically, they make reference to the
ongoing struggle for Tibetan independence, China
as an ascendant superpower, globalised travel and
communications and mountainous landscape.
The latter comes into focus in light of the artist's
summiting of Mount Everest (or Chomolungma)
on 19 May 2009. This exhibition will be the first
opportunity in the UK for audiences to see Fulton's
work relating to his âshort walk' on Everest.
Publications are a vital part of Fulton's practice. An
illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition,
priced £9.95. It includes extensive artist's notes and
an interview between Fulton and Erling Kagge,
acclaimed Norwegian adventurer and the first person
to have completed the âThree Poles Challenge',
having reached both the North and South Poles
(1990, 1992/3), as well as summiting Mount Everest
(1994). This inclusion reflects Fulton's interest in
emphasising people's ability to survive environments,
not the ability to produce landscape paintings.
To coincide with his exhibition at Ikon Fulton has
also made a limited edition print. Visit Ikon's online
shop at www.ikon-gallery.co.uk/shop for the full
range of Ikon's catalogues and limited editions.