ISBN 978 1 910010 14 3
88pp, 234 x 142
paperback with flaps
Published by Uniformbooks Feb 2017
These slow-collage-word-terrains range language, and are to be read and performed
In The First Tigers: The Early History of Rock Climbing in the Lake District (1972) Alan Hankinson describes how it came to be that in 1881 the “father of rock climbing” Walter Parry Haskett Smith first decided to go to the English Lake District; “he plumped for the point on the map where the contour lines lay thickest together”. Condensations explored the residual contours of climbing in the Lake District following a residency at the Armitt Museum and Library in Ambleside, Cumbria. The writing I encountered and completed there forms the written ‘Condensations’ of this visual poetry.
"A powerful and energetic book, a tribute to art and poetry, dialect and nature. Reading it aloud feels as if the contents of the library’s bookshelves have been deposited out in the wilds to converse, as paper, ink, language, rock and mud scrabble to share their stories.
In Condensations, Walker has distilled the essence of this intermingled place and sent it out into the world to talk to you, through you, with you." - Sarah Bodman a-n News
The texts in Condensations are constructed by erasing material from pages of books and manuscripts from the Armitt library and archives and superimposing these partially erased pages. These treatments arrange writing on the following subjects: the history of rock climbing in the Lake District; Cumbrian (Cumberland and Westmorland) dialect; the industrial heritage of Cumbria; Westmorland mythology and rituals; and texts by and about cultural figures in Cumbrian history including exiled German artist Kurt Schwitters, mountaineer and magician Aleister Crowley and the historian T. W. Thompson. These texts have been collaged and written through with my own original writing, West Cumbrian place-names and transcribed conversations with my paternal grandfather (‘Wuky’) on his life on the mountains and specifically his experience of building a cairn on Knock Murton and a wall in his kitchen in West Cumbria.
This project was funded through the National Lottery by Arts Council England and Research funding from York St John University.