What can we learn from walking a watercourse? Between April and August 2023, Jonathan Baxter has been leading a series of monthly group walks in
collaboration with poet Helen Boden, artist Sarah Gittins and writer James Spence. These walks have taken a changing group of participants from the mouth to the source of three adjoining burns – Figgate, Braid and Bonaly – referred to collectively as the Braid Burn Watercourse.
Participants responded to the watercourse – and the found poetry of its name – through writing, silence, drawing and conversation. Integral to the project was the process of walking upstream into mystery, uncertainty and doubt; qualities we may need to cultivate if we wish to respond creatively to the climate and ecological crisis and the alternative futures it gives rise to.
Jonathan Baxter is an ‘artist and…’ He works across disciplines – both art and non-art related – using psychoanalytic methodologies and performative practices
to variously open up, challenge and propose what is.
Since 2009 Baxter has combined the roles of artist, curator and peer-educator
to deliver a series of participatory art projects and peer-learning programmes. These include Dundee Artists in Residence (2009-12), Dundee Urban Orchard (2013-17), On Site Projects, Dundee (2013-18), Arts and Communities Programme, Aberdeen (2016-17), Murmur: Artists Reflect on Climate Change, Ullapool (2017), and Future Fruit, Huntly (2019-20). Current projects include Jonathan’s ongoing work with Art Walk Projects and his embedded artist residency at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh. Both projects operate under the auspices of A+E.