Walking on Chalk

Several conversations recently have directed me towards chalk as subject matter and material, from my recent walk with Ecologist Tim Sykes discussing chalkstreams, aquifers and neolithic monuments, back to the very first walk with Geo-Archaeologist Claire Mellett, and current plans for future collaborations exploring the use of natural pigments, silts and chalks.

The ‘Quarry’ at the Top

Today I took a rolled up length of black card, some black paper, white crayons, white pencils and a white pen, out for a walk, from the bottom of the Pewsey Vale to the top of the Downs.

Half Way Up

While I walked I noticed light and shadow, white flowers and objects, and thought about the chalk beneath my feet. I wanted to explore how to record a walk with light on dark.

At the top there was a small quarry which gave me access to the chalk itself, to play, make marks and coat my hands and feet.


Here’s a short video which shows the walking pages in full and gives a sense of the shape of the surrounding chalk downland, with the Pewsey Vale and the River Avon below.

Published by James Aldridge

Visual Artist and Consultant, working and playing with people and places. Based in Wiltshire, UK

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