ElikaFM

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Long road between Heaven and Earth

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I have a poster from an exhibition I saw last year: Richard Long’s Heaven and Earth at Tate Britain. I saw it with a friend who, by virtue of a sign on a council estate building and our happy view of the world, we affectionately know as ‘Dog’.

Richard Long is a kind of experiential artist, I think: he walks carefully mapped routes and creates art from the things he finds at his destination or along the way: sand, rocks, branches. Anything. The walk itself is part of the final artistic creation and he records it. I was taken with this and copied down a section of one of his narratives, which I wrote on the poster:

To walk across a country from coast to coast, for example, is a measure of the land itself – its size, shape and terrain – and also of myself, how long it takes me and not somebody else.

The exhibition was a hit with Dog and I, as you see. Mostly it gave us the need to be kinetic; the desire to walk a long way, to use our bodies and to feel our muscles. Do you ever have that feeling when you haven’t moved enough? It’s like a dampness just underneath your skin making you feel a bit heavier and what you most need is activity.

We left and, shunning the Tate boat, walked along the river as far as the Festival Hall. We hadn’t seen each other for a while and caught up on the normal things: work, religion, ex boyfriends, ex girlfriends, whether I should maybe buy a baby. I’m scared, you see, that I’ll never have one; even the thought makes me feel lonely, and sometimes I think buying one might be the solution. Dog’s feeling was perhaps no. He’s lovely, grabs my ankle when I sink down and pulls me back up again;  reminds that things will happen when they should. And, more particularly, that though I may be 32 and I may be single, buying babies might, just might, be leaning slightly towards the dramatic.

By the time we got to the Southbank the sun had vanished but there were still kids playing in that fountain they have in the summer time. We sat talking, getting slowly drunk and watching the sun bleed back across the sky as the evening drew in. I picked and ate the fruit out of my Pimms glass.

I was reminded of that afternoon because I found the poster this weekend under my sofa. And because, on seeing it, I decided that rather than write more self-involved, tortured, melodramatic hack shit about how nothing is as it should be – like Richard, I’m going to make a journey of my own. I’m off to Egypt. Yes. In April for 18 days. I’m going for an adventure. And I will not be buying a baby there. Or anywhere. Not until I’m 34, at which point I am definitely entitled to freak out all over town. Until then, I’m neutralising the freak within through the medium of exploration.

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Written by elikafm

January 24, 2010 at 10:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Manisha Ferdinand and Elika, Sally McCorry. Sally McCorry said: RT @Elika: I have a blogged a couple: The dilemma: http://bit.ly/4HChMX and The long road between heaven and earth: http://bit.ly/4uGd3J […]


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