Tracing the Pathway

Join us for our free events this Summer as part of Groundwork with Tracing the Pathway.

See below for more details.

Opening event: What do you want it to be?

2 July, 6.30–8.30pm

Groundwork is a cross-arts project for and about Milton Keynes by Tracing the Pathway.

This opening event sets the intention that throughout the summer Milton Keynes Arts Centre, as the residency home of Tracing the Pathway, will be a vibrant, creative and open space for the residents of Milton Keynes.

So how do we have an event to open up, open out, and prepare for a creative summer in the city of dreams? This is an opening event for Milton Keynes. What do you want it to be? If you want it to be well attended, you’d better attend, if you want it to have a soundtrack, you’d better download your playlist. If you have ideas that might need setting up beforehand then get in touch. We’ll be providing party-style drinks and snacks.

On the night we’ll talk a bit about the state of the arts in Milton Keynes right now and what we can all do together to make improvements. We also want to celebrate those things that are working so if you have suggestions of best-MK-practice bring along your thoughts, and even a USB with some images or film on if you can. Be fantastical, be practical, let’s chat.

We can’t make this event without you, so we hope you’ll join us.

Hayley Newman (2017) Cycling the Redway as part of Hayley Newman’s Synchornised Cycle from her Groundwork Residency with Tracing the Pathway (2017) at Milton Keynes Arts Centre. Photograph by Rino Pucci.

A-B in MK Residency

Explorative Journeys with Hayley Newman

Milton Keynes Redways
17–29 July 2018

A to B in MK is a participatory mapping project developed by artist and writer Hayley Newman with MK Community Collaborators that will be taking place on the Redways from 17–29 July, 2018. A to B in MK will take the form of 8 collective walks, runs and cycles of sections of MK’s Redway in order to emotionally map parts of the system. Each journey on the Redway will take place under the umbrella of a different emotion. Joy, surprise, anticipation, sadness, annoyance or perhaps even boredom await travellers on foot and with bikes, dogs, prams, wheelchairs and walking sticks. The journeys will be plotted and the individual discussions and experiences of each excursion will be represented in 8 short fictions that will form part of a map-artwork.

Runners, wheelchair users, walkers, cyclists, mums with prams, birds, dogs and insects all experience the Redways differently. A to B in MK’s intimate exchanges will activate wider discussion about what it means to live on and around the Redways. What does it feel like to be in transit? What do the Redways mean for MK now and what might they mean in the future? How do our Redways get us from A to B? A to B in MK is part of Groundwork which will take place across Milton Keynes in July, August and September.

The project will take the form of 8 walks/cycle rides on the Milton Keynes Redways. The specific location of each journey is to be determined in collaboration with the participant group Hayley will map the Redways with. Hayley has, however, identified that at least one journey will happen in each quarter of the town, and one journey will take the form of a square circular walk around Central Milton Keynes. All other walks will radiate out from this point and be distributed across Milton Keynes.

Dusk Ornithology Listening Workshop
with Laura Cooper
12 July, 7–9pm

Artist Laura Cooper, a ornithologist and a musician, will lead this workshop involving preparing to encounter birds— through acts of listening, watching and mimicry, the first of a two-part workshop which combines understanding and interpreting birdsong and behaviour with deep-listening, sound gathering/ making techniques.

This first workshop will begin by taking a stroll in the subtle sounds of birds in the evening, which offers a very different series of sounds than those that can be sampled in the morning. Participants will be supported by an ornithologist and to try parroting techniques, and will be accompanied by a musician who will interpret the soundscape. There will also be opportunity to study bird behaviour and what motivates them to sing, which can then be used to make wearable items that might encourage the last of the singing birds into a chorus for us on the following dawn workshop on the 14th.

Participants can be of any age, with no previous art, ornithology or sound experience, although those under 16 must come accompanied by someone over 16. You are highly encouraged to sign up to the second part of this workshop which will take place at dawn on Saturday 14th July in order to fully experience the work.

Dawn Ornithology Listening Walkshop
with Laura Cooper
14 July, 4–6am

Artist Laura Cooper will lead this listening event, the second of a two-part workshop which combines understanding and interpreting birdsong with deep-listening and sound gathering techniques.

This second workshop offers the opportunity to engage with an often missed part of the day – dawn! This transient part of the day, and year, its just at the end of the dawn chorus season but birds will be singing to defend their territories, and some lonely bachelors are still singing to attract a mate. This workshop will explore the proven calming effect bird song has on humans, and the performative ritual of rising early to engage with our natural world. Participants will be invited to don bird masks, and try a little bit of bird seed to eat, and will be supported by an ornithologist to identify and mimic the sounds.

Participants can be of any age, with no previous ornithology or sound gathering experience, although those under 16 must come accompanied by someone over 16. You are highly encouraged to sign up to the first part of this workshop which will take place at dusk on Thursday 12 July in order to fully experience the work, although if you have been unable to attend the first part you are still welcome to join this event.

Inside Green Spaces

with Katie Ellen Fields
Walkshop for all
Meeting at Katie’s allotment (see below)
20 August, 7pm–9pm

In this session we’ll visit Katie Ellen Field’s studio/allotment to test the effects of green spaces. For the first half we’ll move individually around assembled ‘stations’ to rest, listen, perform a task or sip a drink. For the second half we’ll share our experiences of other green spaces in Milton Keynes, and there will be a chance to harvest some veg as we leave.

Meeting at Mowbray Green in Woburn Sands, MK17 8QQ (there are some parking spaces next to the green and bus stops near by. Woburn Sands train station is a 15 minute walk away). Then a short walk 5 minute walk to the site.

Due to the nature of this walkshop their is very limited capacity for participation as such we advise you reserve your space early.

DVD cover from Clive Austin (2013) The Great Walk: A Documentary (of sorts). Photograph by Phil Smith.

The Great Walk: A Documentary (of sorts)
by Clive Austin feat. Phil Smith
Film Screening
Selected by Phil Smith, hosted by Tracing the Pathway
22 August, 7–8.45pm

Artist Phil Smith has selected Clive Austin’s The Great Walk: A Documentary (of sorts) (2013) to be shown in Groundwork’s film night at Milton Keynes Arts Centre.

The Great Walk
Anton Vagus is a legend, of this we are not in doubt. A product of the sixties walking revival he has inspired a generation to take to their feet in search of the world and of themselves. This is the story of nine of them. Unconventional walkers who, through circumstance and design, became his walking companions. From their discovery of a hidden city beneath Venice to the tragic incident at Berry Head that finally tore them apart, The Great Walk treads a curious path exploring the world that they crafted out of their remarkable experiences. As the layers peel steadily away the mystery that lies at the heart of the group is bought closer into the light, until it becomes clear that, as the last person to see him alive, it is Anton Vagus to whom we must look for our answers. The only question is, how does one find one of the most elusive people on the planet?


Sculpt and Run
A wearable sculpture fun-run
with Thomas Cuthbertson

16 September, from 1.30pm

The proposed route will begin at the Light Pyramid in Campbell Park at 1.30pm and finish at Fred Roche Gardens, following the trail of public sculptures along Midsummer Boulevard, with a distance of around 3km.

It is free to enter and you can run as an individual runner or as a group.

Phil Smith (2015) Research photograph from his Groundwork Residency with Tracing the Pathway (2015) at Milton Keynes Arts Centre. Photograph by Phil Smith.

When Will It All Be Over?

Endings, Evaluations and Exhaustion with Tracing the Pathway

29 September, 11am–3pm
Free, all welcome

How does the artist know when, and how, to bring their project to a close? How do we purposefully and considerately conclude and evaluate the project in a way that meets the expectations of stakeholders and funders alike?

As Tracing the Pathway conclude their project Groundwork, the endings, evaluations and exhaustions present in their work guide a session on the methodologies and approaches artists can employ when evaluating the value of their project-based work with participants and for funders, whilst they simultaneously hold down their lives outside the project as a data consultant for a construction company and raise a month-old baby.

Groundwork 2018 hosts a 3-month programme of workshops, film screenings, talks, professional development sessions, performances, walks, residencies and mentoring sessions, culminating in a 3-day festival taking place between 14–16 September where eleven unique artist projects will premiere new work, softly animating the city, gesturing towards the inspiring creative and cultural sites that can be found by every grassy verge; in its grid formations, underpasses, trees, and people too.
Tracing the Pathway (2018) What Do You Want It To Be? Groundwork 2018, [opening event]. Photograph by Ashleigh Bowmott

Thank You and Closing Event
with Tracing the Pathway

29 September, 4–6.30pm
Free, all welcome

Beer (courtesy of MK Biergarten), juice and light vegetarian nibbles will be provided.

Here we invite all to join us as we say thank you. Thank you to all who have made Groundwork a possibility, to all who have been involved, to all who have created work, attended events, showed an interest and helped challenge and progress this project in ways unimaginably provocative, helpful and fruitful.

We welcome others to offer their own thoughts and thanks, to set intentions for the future and to consider what is next and what may come. Whilst this is a closing we’d like to refresh endings into beginnings and consider what pathways we now wish to tread into the coming months and years. What prospects are on the horizon? How can we make the most of these opportunities? Or, indeed when there are none how do we create our own?

As we began Groundwork so we close: beer (courtesy of MK Biergarten), juice and light vegetarian nibbles will be provided. We hope these will whet the appetite of reflection to consider whether the intentions we set on the 2 July 2018 at our opening What do you want it to be? have been upheld, broken or altered as we review what changes have been made, what has remained the same – for better or for worse, what Groundwork has achieved and what more needs to be done. We can already say this couldn’t have happened without you so thank you, we hope you’ll join us as we shout out loud and proud thank you to all.

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Milton Keynes
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