Claudia Zeiske’s Slow Coast 500 is a long-distance walk from Dunnet Head to Berwick-upon-Tweed along the entire coast of the North Sea in Scotland. The project borrows its name from the North Coast 500 route designed to attract tourists to drive around northern Scotland. Slow Cost 500 considers the role of tourism in making (or breaking) places. Often intended as a boost to local economies, tourism can contribute to problems for local communities and their environment.
Throughout the walk, Zeiske plans to use existing routes and explore new ones. Along the way, she is carrying an orange tablecloth the colour of an OS ‘Explorer’ map, using it as a picnic blanket to encourage conversation. Step by step and stitch by stitch, Zeiske is embroidering it along the long way to the Scottish-English border, questioning the role and impacts of tourism today. Zeiske is also sending a daily postcard home to Art Walk Projects in Portobello.
Claudia Zeiske is a walking curator, whose interest lies in path-making as a cultural practice. With friendship at heart, her walks combine a desire for a slower pace of life with socio-politically and environmentally sensitive issues. For more than a decade, her walking art projects have varied from short to long, in her vicinity or further afield, connecting places, communities and people along the way. Her walking prose promotes thinking aloud.
Projects include: Walking Lunches (2010-ongoing a play on corporate working lunches; Home to Home (2017), a Brexit-stimulated 1,800-mile walk from the artist’s home in Huntly, Aberdeenshire to her childhood home in Bavaria, Germany; Slow Marathons (2012-ongoing), annual themed group walks, questioning the competitive nature of marathons; and From Mountain to Sea (2022), a 150-mile walk across Aberdeenshire to mark the Covid period.