Rachel Henson makes work for a solo walker. She is interested in perceptions of danger and vulnerability in outdoor spaces, the way walking charges a location, the hedonic qualities of heightened sensory alertness and adrenalin as a way into an altered state. She is currently developing a walk from an urban residential area to a found edgeland site.
When we walk outdoors our senses ‘go wide’ to take in information from the expanse of the place we are walking through. The residency at Blast Theory is to develop non-screen based navigation devices which draw our attention outward so that we become more alert to our surroundings, perhaps working with what we see, hear or feel on our skin as a way of indicating direction of travel. Then to add in tactile, sound and/or moving-image content, which feeds into the narrative journey.
Previously Rachel has made site-specific films viewed on portable paper flick books which navigate a participant along a set route and layer in a visual narrative. More recently she’s made split-flap sequences using footage of people playing and working in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and installed them in the site as a layer of hand-cranked augmented reality.
This research period has been funded by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts and supported by The Nightingale and Home Live Art.