A Response to the ChalkUp21 Trail - Just Looking: a spontaneous walk by artist, Alma Tischler Wood with friends.

On Saturday, 28 July we set out for Dover by car, taking the A2 from South London. This is one of the UK’s main freight roads, once known as the ‘Dover Road’. It has been an artery between London and continental Europe ever since Roman times.

After a long, record-breaking heat wave, the breeze in Dover is comforting and refreshing. We start our walk at the seafront and I tell my friends about Tonkin Liu’s design of the esplanadeand the Start/Finish line for the North Downs Way Marker that I created around the same time.

In about three hours, we have made the transition from South London to St Margaret’s Bay. Standing on the cliff tops we catch a glimpse of France then walk around the Pine Calyx gardens. My friend mentions that the area used to be land and not sea. This reminds me of the fascinating talk a couple of month ago by geologist, Mel Wrigley, “Britain and mainland Europe were physically connected 500,000 years ago by this Land Bridge. Our Stone Age ancestors would have walked back and forth across that Land Bridge, as they hunted Woolly Mammoth and other large prehistoric (and now extinct) animals”.

By now we are all in our own world, silently absorbed by what we see. For me, it is usually patterns that interest me, once I have stopped looking. After looking out at the open, wide sky, clouds, hills, rocks, and inspecting the air bubbles in seaweed, I visualise the forms, shapes and colours in my mind’s eye.