Friday, April 19, 2024

Urban Food Mapping: Making Visible the Edible City

On 19 March 2024 Routledge launched their latest title 'Urban Food Mapping: Making Visible the Edible City'. This is a particular pleasure as my co-writer (Nina Yiu) and I have a chapter included in the book.

As Routledge states on their website:

'With cities becoming so vast, so entangled and perhaps so critically unsustainable, there is an urgent need for clarity around the subject of how we feed ourselves as an urban species. Urban food mapping becomes the tool to investigate the spatial relationships, gaps, scales and systems that underlie and generate what, where and how we eat, highlighting current and potential ways to (re)connect with out diet, ourselves and our environments.

Richly explored, using over 200 mapping images in 25 selected chapters, this book identifies urban food mapping as a distinct activity and area of research that enables a more nuanced way of understanding the multiple issues facing contemporary urbanism and the manyfold roles food spaces play within it. The authors of this multidisciplinary volume extend their approaches to place making, storytelling, in-depth observation and imagining liveable futures and engagement around food systems, thereby providing a comprehensive picture of our daily food flows and intrastructures. Their images and essays combine theoretical, methodological and practical analysis and applications to examine food through innovative map-making that empowers communities and inspires food planning authorities. The first book to systematise urban food mapping showcases and bridges disciplinary boundaries to make theoretical concepts as well as practical experiences and issues accessible and attractive to a wide audience, from the activist to the academic, the professional and the amateur. It will be of interest to those involved in the all-important work around food cultures, food security, urban agriculture, land rights, environmental planning and design who wish to create a more beautiful, equitable and sustainable urban environment.'

Book Cover Image

Further details on the book can be found on Routledge's website here.

...or on Amazon's website here.

It has been quite a journey for us from the initial exploratory walks within the Phu My Hung area of District 7 in Ho Chi Minh City (previously Saigon), Vietnam to the eventual publication of the book chapter that is included within this wonderful compilation. All the work that has been done, including drafting, drawing, revisions rewrites...have all been worth it and the two editors, Katrin Bohn and Mickey Tomkins should be very proud of this contribution to the field. The final pleasure now is for us to read and discover the work all the other contributors have been engaged with. 

The abstract to our chapter runs as follows:

Walking out for Dinner: Discovering and mapping food choices in Saigon


This chapter outlines a perambulatory project undertaken in District 7 of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, in which the two authors set out to discover the extent of food choices that are discoverable on foot within a local area of the city. 
The project builds upon previous work mapping the varieties of ambient colours that could be recorded while walking within the same part of Saigon. This information was collated into a map of the area indicating where each colour was collected. 
It is intended to collate the current project data into an alternative map of the same area within the city.
District 7 is a relatively new area in the city, developed to cater for the growing population of the city. This district is comprised predominantly of wealthy Vietnamese with the addition of a large percentage of Koreans along with numbers of Taiwanese, Indian and Western expats.
Developing out of a series of walking-based art projects, the plan is to set out on foot each day during the same week, Monday to Friday, in order to discover the incidence and popularity of different types of food available to cater for the multi-cultural nature of the local residents. 
At the end of the week, the collected data will be combined into a map displaying the geographical location and the number of each type of food establishment discovered during the five walks. The resulting cartographic image would employ colours and graphic notation to differentiate the various cuisine choices. 
Keywords: Walking Art, Conceptual Cartography, Psychogeography

The completed book revealed 

Friday, March 8, 2024

'40 Minute Diameter Leeds' - Terminalia Festival 2024

 As part of 4WCoP 2022 (Fourth World Congress of Psychogeography), Mathilda Guerin created a project entitled 'Walking Webs', inviting people to participate by creating a walking web of their own city and I created my own walking web in Leeds, my home town in the UK. 

My walking web was created, according to the supplied instructions, by walking from a selected starting point, North, South East and West. Along each of these axes, we were asked to walk for 10 minutes and 20 minutes respectively and to take a photograph at each of these points. It was then possible to connect up all four of the 10 minute points and also the 20 points.

My walking web, and the photos taken after walking for 10 minutes and 20 minutes can be seen here:

Walking Web showing the Starting Point, 10 Minute and 20 Minute Points

Walking Web showing the photographs taken at all the points

I try to participate in the annual Terminalia Festival each year and so for the 2024 edition I chose part of the walking web I had created previously as this conveniently marks out an area of the city with a perimeter roughly 20 minutes from the centre

On Thursday 23 February 2024 I started walking from the northern point, at the north side of the Sheepscar Junction, walking clockwise.

40 Minute Diameter Leeds Walking Route

North to East Section

Sheepscar Street North - Barrack Road - Roundhay Road - Bayswater Road - Gledhow Road - St. James's Hospital - Alma Street - Beckett Street - Stoney Rock Lane - Torre Road - Rigton Drive - Haslewood Drive - York Road

Barrack Road, site of the old Chapeltown Barracks, constructed in 1820, largely demolished in 1988

David Beevers Day Unit, St. James's Hospital. I previously worked in the David Beevers Operating Theatres between 1978-1980

The Fountain Head pub, formerly The Florence Nightingale, opposite St. James's hospital on Beckett Street. I visited this pub many times when I finished my shift working in the hospital, 1978-1980. The Florence Nightingale eventually closed after a large gas explosion

The former Regent Picture House on Torre Road opened in 1916, designed by Frank Mitchell (Leeds Architect). The final film shown was The Bounty Hunters, starring Yul Brynner before it closed in 1971

East to South Section

York Road - Pontefract Lane - Oxley Street - Clark Lane - Temple View - Easy Road - Cross Green Lane -  South Accommodation Road - Grape Street - Jack Lane - Parkfield Street - M621

York Road, on screen

The former Princess Cinema on Pontefract Lane opened in 1923, designed by J.P. Crawford (Leeds Architect). The final feature film shown was Roustabout starring Elvis Presley before it closed in 1965

A rainbow above Echo Central following a shower

Crossing the River Aire, South Accommodation Road

Ambassador House, former home of the Environmental Health Services

Former headquarters of the Hunslet Engine Company, 1864-1995, in Jack Lane, closed in 1995 with the last order being a batch of narrow gauge diesel locomotives for the tunnelling on the Jubilee Line Extension of the London Underground

South to East Section

M621 - Jack Lane - New Princess Street - Holbeck Moor Road - Domestic Street - Spence Lane - A58 - Old Roundhouse

Holbeck Moor, a fork in the path...Leeds United fans would take the path to the left, which leads to Elland Road, I took the path to the right toward Domestic Street

'We're gonna stay with you forever' by Burley Bansky. MOT. This area has many other examples of his work

Footpath under construction alongside the Armley Gyratory road junction. at the present time it resembles an outdoor installation of site specific art pieces and is probably more visual interesting than the final state will be

East to North Section

Old Roundhouse - Wellington Road - Marlborough Street - Burley Street - Park Lane - Hannover Square - Kendal Lane - Victoria Street - Clarendon Road - University Road - Cavendish Road - Woodhouse Lane - Blenheim Walk - Blackman Lane - Leicester Place - Carlton Hill - Oatland Lane - Oatland Road - Meanwood Road - Barrack Street - Sheepscar Junction

Hanover Square is a Georgian public square consisting of at least six buildings that are Grade II listed

Part of the churchyard wall, All Souls Church in the Blenheims area of Leeds. It is as though the earth breathed and revealed humankind's inflexibility

A fallen tree in Blenheim Park...the latest, unplanned addition to the children's playground facilities

Monday, February 26, 2024

'Let Us See You' - APS Gallery, Air Place Studios, Kirkstall, Leeds, UK

The opportunity to exhibit the sculpture Breaking Ground 2023 came along in the form of the exhibition Let Us See You, organised by the Air Place Studios on Kirkstall Road, Leeds, UK.

This collective comprises creative studios, workshop spaces and a gallery space can be found on Kirkstall Road, opposite ITV Yorkshire (Television House) and Kirkstall Brewery. 

Breaking Ground was initially made for the exhibition Borrow Pit, an exhibition organised by the Yorkshire Sculptors Group. The concept behind the work was not to create a piece of work that has a fully resolved, fixed state that will not change or transform anymore. On the contrary, the idea behind this work was to allow further changes and transformations to occur as and when the need arises, and for slightly different configurations to be attempted according to the space and environment. It is therefore expected that this particular work will gradually evolve and change over time.

The exhibition opened on 23 February and will continue until 22 March 2024. Visiting times at the APS Gallery are on Fridays, 11am-3pm. Please contact the gallery to book a visit here:

Breaking Ground, 2023 (Installation photo)

Breaking Ground, 2023 (Installation photo)

Aire Place Studios have been providing accessible creative spaces for artists, freelancers and small business since 2015, supporting over 1500 artists and a home for small businesses for around 340 individuals. Recently, the buildings in which APS have housed their studio spaces and gallery have been sold to developers and APS have initiated  a crowdfunding drive in an attempt to secure new premises, retain its staff and support its studio members.

If you would like to help APS survive and continue the work they have been doing in Leeds, please visit the crowdfunding page here:

Sunday, December 17, 2023

'Motus Mori: Corpus' at Leeds Art Gallery

A literal translation of Motus Mori could be 'Movement that is dying (out)' and is the name of an institute formed by choreographer Katja Heitmann.

The stated aim of the institute is 'an attempt to archive human movement before it disappears. Propulsed by the desire to find what connects us, we are embarking on a long-term process to collect, preserve and share this most elusive part of our humanity. This is an archive for everybody, everywhere, to investigate the body as a repository or memories and emotions. What moves you?


'Corpus' (the body) is a new version of the Motus Mori archive, the premiere of which was held at Leeds Art Gallery from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th December 2023. 

The performance-ritual was created with a group of people in Leeds aged from 20 to 86. 

Concept and choreography by Katja Heitmann, music and creative production by Sander van Der Schaaf, artistic assistants and performance by Eleni Ploumi, Julia Drittij, Ornella Prieto and Ida Osten.

The Leeds performers were: Sonja Miller, Lara Woodhouse, Philip Harvey, Marion Small, Kath Morgan-Thompson, Tamsin Spain, Helen Thompson, Mike Thompson, Janetta Maxwell, Debra Lane, David Hutchinson, Irandokht Monfared and Lewis Anderson.

The duration of the performance was approx. 30 minutes.

I attended the 2:00pm performance on the first day instead of the premiere at 11:00am as previously planned due to unforeseen reasons. Before the performance itself began, there was a brief session of preparation which seemed to be aimed at encouraging relaxation and preparedness in the performers.

The performance began by introducing each performer's method of relaxing, a particular pose or stance that is adopted whenever the individual is resting or deep in thought. Each pose was introduced verbally as all the performers sat in a line at one end of the performance space and collectively adopted and experienced each of the poses in turn one by one. Once this had been completed, the performers rose and moved to previously marked locations within the performance space. Now, two or more performers joined together, partnering to remake those poses, sharing them so that a particular pose now was adopted by the input of two or three performers instead of one, the way that was demonstrated at the beginning. 

After a while, some participants moved away to join together with others to share and participate in their poses too. This sometimes left poses half completed so that the audience could compare the two states of being. Once several combinations had been tried out, many of the performers moved out to draw the audience into the performance. A lady sat next to me and shared her pose with me: a way of relaxing that she inherited from her mother. She placed her elbow onto her thigh, with her other hand wrapped around the elbow for support and rested her face onto her palm. Then she suggested that we could attempt to share the pose. She placed her elbow on my thigh while my hand supported it. I then rested my face in her palm. She asked me if it was comfortable and it was.

During the entire performance, besides the initial verbal descriptions of the poses, rhythmic music seemed to link all the sections of movements together, including the pauses, it acted like a pulse or heartbeat. 

I enjoyed this performance and it physically worked well, flowing comfortably and logically. Some parts made me think of the work of Tino Seghal, as his work is also about making connections, team work, sharing...

This was a great event organised by Motus Mori, Yorkshire Dance and Leeds Art Gallery and formed part of the Leeds 2023 Year of Culture. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

'No holiday', Cathedral Quarter, Norwich, UK - 9th December 2021

 After a ridiculously long time I finally managed to set aside enough time to edit the recorded footage taken of the 'No holiday' performance enacted in the Cathedral Quarter of Norwich, UK on 9th December 2021.

The ambulatory performance began on Quayside, along the River Wensum, turning into Wensum Street and then right down Elm Hill. After crossing Princes Street, the walk continued on Redwell Street and turned left down Queen Street, eventually emerging on Tombland.         

On the other side of Tombland, the walk continued down to the entrance to the grounds of Norwich Cathedral, along the main facade and then left down The Close. The Close eventually merged into Ferry Lane which led to Pull's Ferry, once again on the River Wensum. It was here that the performance ended. 

What was not recorded was the aggressive approach of a swan that was seen in the closing seconds of the recorded version of the walk. This was unexpected and surprising given that the swan did not seem to be defending cygnets or a mate. 

We found Norwich a lovely city despite the poor weather on the day of the performance. One particularly pleasant memory was the lady singing arias from various operas in the doorway of Jarrolds Department Store on Gaol Hill, opposite Norwich outdoor Market.

For the recorded version of this walk, a selection of the most visually interesting sections were chosen to be included and also as a means to keep the duration of the recording from becoming too long.

The walking map showing the route taken

River Wensum, close to the start of the walk

Walking across the facade of Norwich Cathedral

Pull's Ferry, and the home territory of the grumpy swan

The final recorded version hosted on YouTube

If the video recording embedded above does not play, please view it via the YouTube Channel here.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Ferens Open Exhibition 2023

The sculptural relief,  'District 7, 11x8, White Relief' has been on show at the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull since 21 July, an open group exhibition that will continue until 1 October 2023. 

The 'Ferens Open Exhibition' is an annual exhibition held since 1967 and which this year presents the work of artists working in the fields of painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, video and performance.

'District 7, 11x8, White Relief' was previously exhibited in Wakefield Cathedral from 16 July until 29 August 2022 as part of a display of work by members of the Yorkshire Sculptors Group.


The work evolved out of investigations relating to the 'Weaving Experience Into Memory' project, conducted in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and which culminated in an exhibition at L'Usine, Crescent Mall, Phu My Hung, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. 

Having missed the opening private view (unfortunately arranged mid-week) it was a couple of weeks later when I finally got to Hull to see the show. As is often the case with these 'open call' large group exhibitions, an effort has been made to include as many works as possible and so the individual pieces are often placed in close proximity to each other, more so than would be the case in smaller shows. This throws up issues that affect the interpretation of the work, I find. 

When colours are experienced in juxtaposition with other colours, their qualities are altered and we 'read' them differently. Albers discussed this 'simultaneous contrast' effect to great lengths in his tremendous book 'Interaction of colour'. Something of a similar vein happens when works are shown together and the more works that are shown, and the closer these works are placed to each other, then the more pronounced the effects are noticed. The way we start to read each piece is affected by the other pieces around it.  

I would like to present some installation shots I took when visiting the exhibition, and allow you to consider how the piece appears here compared to how it appeared when on show in Wakefield Cathedral. It's fascinating. 

Details of the piece 'District 7, 11x8, White Relief, and the exhibition in Wakefield Cathedral can be read here.

Monday, September 11, 2023

4WCoP 2023

The Fourth World Congress of Psychogeography 2023 was held on 9 September 2023, from 10:30am to around 2:00pm, under the theme of ‘Watch This Space’.

This annual event has been running since 2015, beginning in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire and subsequently moving online in 2020, where it has remained since.

This year the submitted presentation concerned work arising from Patrick's current PhD study on the Victorian Arcades of Leeds, focusing especially on the first of the reflective art making projects that aim to investigate the movement and behaviour of people within those unique spaces.

The 10-minute presentation introduced the focus of the overall study before explaining how drawings made in the field recorded the exact pathways taken by 25 individuals through Thornton's Arcade. The pathway drawings were combined onto a single map, which is currently undergoing enlargement to make individual pathways more easily traced.  

Introducing the study 'The Leeds Arcades Project'

Inspired by Walter Benjamin

The presentation can be viewed here.

The 4WCoP website can be viewed here.