Hamish Fulton walks into concurrent shows at Turner Contemporary and Ikon Birmingham

By Mark Sheerin | 19 January 2012
Colout photo of a white cube gallery hung with large scale typographic works
Hamish Fulton, installation view at Turner Contemporary© David Grandorge
Exhibitions: Hamish Fulton - Walk, Turner Contemporary, Margate, until May 7 2012; Hamish Fulton, Ikon, Birmingham, February 15 - April 22 2012

Can a single artist be an art movement? Well, if that movement involves putting one foot in front of another and the artist in question is Hamish Fulton, then the answer is probably yes.

Fulton describes himself not as a land artist or a performance artist, but as a Walking Artist, which is certainly a less crowded field. But whereas land art might seek to leave a permanent impression on the planet, the Kent artist hopes to leave no trace.

An interest in sustainability goes so far that a press release from Turner Contemporary boasts that work has come no further than Fulton's studio in Canterbury. Meanwhile Ikon, who are showing the Kent artist's work concurrently, make no similar boast.

Yet it might have been said that both galleries are within walking distance for an artist who has walked the length of the UK and briefly been the oldest person ever to climb Everest.

While there can be few things less tangible than strolling around, Fulton does manage to assemble texts, photos, film and publications to commemorate his many solo and group walks around the world.

If it weren't for these you might have to take at face value his claim that he has more in common with mountaineers than other artists. Fulton says walking is an artform, but it takes an artist to make such a claim.

  • Turner Contemporary open 10am-6pm Tuesday-Sunday. Ikon open 11am-6pm Tueday-Sunday. Admission free to both shows.

Visit Mark Sheerin's contemporary art blog and follow him on Twitter.
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