During winter through to summer 2021-22, artists Elise Ashby and Stephanie Whitelaw designed and delivered a series of monthly art walks, exploring peripheral sites on the edge of Portobello. The project explored the ecology of place and the potential of growth within unmanaged sites, cultivating a collective approach to caring for damaged spaces within cities.
A culminating exhibition in 2022 pulled together the various participant responsive drawings and writings, presenting a visual mapping of six months of walking together. Further drawing on the ecology and impermanence of place, the artists designed a series of indoor and outdoor works that explored the passing of time and materiality of a landscape. A guided walk through the sites was led by Elise and Stephanie during August 2022, reading texts and discussing unfolding themes.
As a collective, Elise Ashby & Stephanie Whitelaw, focus on ecological themes, in particular care for liminal spaces within communities and how they can activate dormant possibilities. Their practice is led by care, developing site responsive works that seek to support the agency of living life forms through reciprocal walking.
Elise Ashby is interested in the fundamentals of drawing – the interaction of materials leaving traces of activity and how this echoes the material relationship between our sensory bodies and our environment; She is interested in how drawing can explore the moral questions we encounter on the basis of existing materially now and historically.
Stephanie Whitelaw cultivates through her art practice personal engagements with local landscapes, both physical and digital, encouraging a deeper sense of understanding. Exploring themes of reciprocity, her work explores our dialogue with nature in both urban and rural contexts, through walking, site-responsive art and object making.
Peripheri was supported by Paths for All: Smarter Choices Smarter Places fund & Hope Scott Trust; part of Art Walk Projects ‘Landscapes for Change’ 21/22 programme.