Stop Watch Test at Hamish Fultons Exhibition, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham 23/3/12

I went to view Hamish Fultons work at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. These pieces of work were installation pieces. It was nice to look at this installation piece as it was a lot different to Sarah Browne’s exhibition as this was a still installation. There was no movement in the installation.

Hamish Fulton

15 February – 29 April 2012

This 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 ‘walking 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 ‘only 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 ‘If 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. Specifcally, 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 ‘short walk’ on Everest.

When visiting this exhibition there were not many people going and viewing the work. It was nice to see how long the people that did attend were standing and viewing the work. Again, just like Sarah Browne’s work you had to really stand and look in to the work to understand it. From doing the stop watch test people were standing and viewing the installation pieces for about 4 minutes.


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