Walking with the Waste Land is a community group which is part of a wider project at the Turner Contemporary exploring visual connections with TS Eliot’s poem for an exhibition opening in February 2018, Journeys with The Waste Land.

The Walking Group has spent much of the last three years exploring TS Eliot’s poem The Waste Land and developing connections to the poem with sites in Margate where much of this seminal poem was written.

As the Research Group finalises the selection process and design for the exhibition the idea behind this particular walk has been to introduce six selected artworks to fellow walkers without them being able to see the work. We will use chosen sites in Margate, readings from the poem and our own personal connections  to introduce the work. Through this process we hope to share some of our experiences working on the project and how we approached the selection of the art work.

The event on August 19th which has been included in the Margate Bookie program , will be followed by a viewing of slides of the six chosen artworks described during the walk, and a discussion led by Dr Richard Turney at the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

On Wednesday July 26th, we explored and developed our ideas  further the best way we know how, through walking.

What follows is a photo diary with some reflections from  last Wednesday.


Margaret Hall sets us on our way, reading a selected extract from The Waste Land

As I reflect on our experience last Wednesday, which I suggested as a walk to test out ideas that have been formulated over the last few months, it struck me that it was difficult to describe this as a trial run or experiment. The walk itself was so rich in contributions and discussion that  it reminded me that each walk is unique and you cannot replicate a walk.

Each event that we have undertaken with Walking with the Waste Land takes on it’s own momentum and develops from the contributions brought by those participating on it.This one was no exception.

For more about Walking with The Waste Land

I have sometimes described these walks as walking encounters

On Wednesday  the group was joined by:

Andreas Loizou the founder and organiser of the Margate Bookie,

Mirka Kotulicova a Gallery Assistant  at the Horsebridge Art and Community Centre in Whitstable.

and Simon from Half Day Holidays

The initial idea was that they would be ‘guests’ who would contribute feedback to our core contributors who bring their creativity and performances, with associated readings to the walks.

I now feel hesitant to describe them as guests as I feel that they together with the Walking with the Waste Land group really created a wonderful walk which I will always remember.

I am often worried that the walks should not be over rehearsed as they are not about a performance, they are very much walking as research. Wednesday’s meeting  was no exception we did not follow the prescribed route, which was rather wonderful as the walking talking and reading led us in new directions.


A development from the discussion that followed  has been that  Jackie Elson will join us on our August 19th walk which is included in the Margate Bookie listed Program. Jackie is part of the wider research group and also a gallery assistant at the Turner Contemporary. She will bring her own expertise as a Turner Contemporary navigator, to describe one of the more challenging abstract artworks chosen for this walk.


We will also have use of the wireless sound enhancement system on the day, provided courtesy of the Turner Contemporary, with thanks to research curator Trish Scott.

Our walk last Wednesday has set us on a wonderful path of discovery , with thanks to, Judy Dermott (writer and academic researcher) , Margaret Hall (artist, reader and geographer), Jennifer Deakin (Photographer)  and Trish Scott ( research curator for Journeys with the Waste Land).

I am looking forward to The Margate Bookie on August 19th. If you would like to join us, this event is free but ticketed on Eventbrite:



A walk in July

A collaborative walk on July 12th with the Garden Gate Community Project and Walking with The Waste Land in Cliftonville, Margate.
A photo diary of a series of walks which we began in April. this is our fourth walk.

July seems to be the month for fruit and vegetables at the Garden Gate.

okra or ladies fingers

A pumpkin patch


Strange creatures

For our walk we took inspiration from ‘Precario’ (precarious) #ThreadandWord a walk in Edinburgh from Dundas street gallery to Inverleith house ( you can check this out in the previous blog entry:

This multifaceted work addresses the pressing concerns of the modern world; ecological destruction, human rights and cultural homogenisation. Cecilia Vicuña’s works often begin as poems, before transforming into images, films, songs, sculptures or collective performances – “hearing an ancient silence waiting to be heard”

Documenting the precarious nature of existence and the strength in fragility through our hand made ropes.

At the start of our July  walk I suggested we use ropes to gather found sticks, flowers and leaves   while we walked. As always the inventiveness and creativity of my fellow walkers is wonderful.
For more about ropes and how these fit in  with the walks please visit:


and so we walked;



Dahlias at North down Park House

A lovely path through the woods for a wander.


A record of this our July walk. I hope you can join us next time for our walk on August 2nd at 10am.

Walking with ‘The Waste Land’ is a community group founded by artist Elspeth Penfold in 2014. The group use walking as a research tool for locating TS Eliot’s The Waste Land and selected other poems in Margate. The group works closely with Turner Contemporary’s Waste Land Research Group who are developing Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’, Turner Contemporary’s first major exhibition of 2018, which will be on show from 3rd February – 20th May 2018, focused on connections between Eliot’s poem and the visual arts.