The photograph Buzzard captures a specific moment within, and in interaction with, the landscape during a 21 day walk undertaken by Hamish Fulton in late summer 1987. Walking from South Wales to North East England, his journey led him over seven hill tops and spanned 604 miles. The title evokes a buzzard sighting – the most common bird of prey in the UK. Words are often included in Fulton’s photographs, adding further layers to the impressions and narrative conveyed in the documenting of his experiences as a ‘walking artist’.
Fulton first came to prominence in the late 1960s as one of a number of artists exploring new forms of sculpture and landscape art. Fulton's time as a student at St. Martin's College of Art in London (1966-68) and his journeys in South Dakota and Montana in 1969, encouraged him to think that art could be 'how you view life', and not tied necessarily to the production of objects. In 1973, Fulton decided to 'only make art resulting from the experience of individual walks.' Since then the act of walking has remained central to Fulton's practice, including walks in the UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, Lapland, Iceland, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, The United States, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, India, Japan, Argentina and Tibet. He has stated 'If I do not walk, I cannot make a work of art' and has summed up this way of thinking in the simple statement of intent: 'no walk, no work'. Although only Fulton experiences the walk itself, the texts and photographs he presents in exhibitions and books allow us to share his experience.
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