Palimpsest of Psychogeography


Mapping is the core root of Alison’s art practice. The allure of maps evolved in her past while frequently hill walking in Scotland. Dyslexia hampered her navigation skills, which developed into an intrinsic fear of becoming lost. Notably this has defined what she is creating, underpinning research into psychogeography; a deliberate disorientation of urban routes.

Inspired by psychogeographers and the personal cartography of Jeremy Wood, Susan Stockwell and Greyson Perry, Alison challenged her trepidation by taking a Chichester map to Guildford, a city she does not know. In her mind she followed the Chichester ring route as she navigated her walk, tracking her passage with a GPS, drawing her route for use in the studio. In Alison’s memory she circumnavigated the city. In fact she travelled in the opposite direction, into the suburbs. This is to do with perception. The actuality of Alison’s defined walk and what she believed she had done was not compatible. On reflection her cognitive thoughts were correct for Alison arrived back at her starting point after walking 7 miles.

Alison explored her cognitive journey home from university, leaving a trail of paper on route. This reflects the steep learning curve she has travelled whilst balancing education, home and work.

This research manifested itself in the studio creating the Palimpsest of Psychogeography series, layering obscure ambiguities, a palimpsest of processes and various excursions.

The author, Sonit (2001) states:

’and each walk moves through space like thread through fabric, sewing it together into a continuous experience’. (pxv)

Solnit,R (2001) Wanderlust: A History of Walking London: Verso