Rita Soromenho – Peripatetic
“Walking can also be imagined as a visual activity, every walk a tour leisurely enough to see and to think over the sights, to assimilate the new into the known.”
Setting out on a journey without defined destination I walk across the city’s back gardens and wastelands picking flowers. Moved by real and fictional wanderlust, each walk is a meditation on its sites, sights and the passage of time. During each walk a bouquet of flowers is composed and from each bouquet a scannogram made. At the fingertips of an organic and digital process, the scan is an index of a unique object and the flowers an indexical trace of the walk. A trace of the scanned object but also of the scanned landscape, the project echoes the situational derive and other practices engaging with wandering and urban space. By walking I can yet decide my moves and control my own rhythms, subverting power structures as well as the modernist and capitalist logic of space.
Leyton Marshes Walk
Throughout the twentieth century and within contemporary art practice, women have equally engaged with flânerie, and went “botanising the asphalt” (Walter Benjamin) both as a comment on the male gaze and activities of the flâneur or simply as a way of experiencing the city. Picking, drying, pressing and arranging flowers are also memories of my childhood and my grandmother’s house. The ‘feminine’ art of flowers was an ‘approved past-time’ in an era when women had few opportunities to work outside of the family and the household.
New River East Walk
Lea Bank Walk
Like precious objects or haunted memorials, reminiscent of the Dutch flower painting tradition, the still lives reference the theme of vanitas. As well as pointing to the transience of human achievement and pleasure and the inevitability of death, the work is a meditation on urban regeneration and changing times.
Nature’s fragility and beauty, the past-times of Victorian women, Human struggle and strength, progress and the changing city, life, death and loss, are some of the thoughts I carry on foot and on into the pictures.
Hackney Marshes Walk
Stamford Hill Walk