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Historical Hillwalkers to exhibit in public

Date: 03/07/2008           Category: Arts and Libraries

The Band of Historical Hillwalkers, led by Medway artists Dave Wise and Billy Childish, will exhibit work from their 2008 field trips at The Brook Theatre Gallery, Chatham from Tuesday, 15 July to Saturday, 2 August. Featured work, spanning pinhole photography, watercolours and oil paintings, will document walks in Krakow, The High Atlas and Marrakesh. The two intrepid leaders selected these locations from a longer wish list. "We were looking to travel to places that have a lot of things of interest," explains Dave. "Krakow boasts an intact, medieval town and Auschwitz is very near by - a place that guarantees emotion and as an artist, it helps to have emotive subjects." The Atlas Mountains and Marrakesh proved to be equally inspiring and gave Wise and Childish the opportunity to experience conditions in a similar way to travellers of an older generation. "I get no joy from the European Alps," continues Dave. "You travel everywhere by ski lift but when I was young, in the adventure stories I read, people would load up the donkey and set off. It gives you time to take everything in." In Morocco, Wise and Childish hired a guide and two mules, travelling into the mountains wearing tweeds, wools and leather boots. "We're not looking to the past for the sake of it," says Dave. "We're looking to what works best. As an artist, travelling the routes on foot was essential, so we could experience things properly and we contributed to the local economy. The clothing is also much better than man-made garments; you sweat less, you feel more comfy and you stay warm. It's the same for the pinhole photographs. A digital camera misses things but the pinhole captures emotion." Since returning to England, The Band of Historical Hillwalkers have been continuing their trips, taking in routes around Medway. Anyone can join in with these walks and learn about the artists that originally inspired Dave and Billy - Danger Bill Henderson and Rick Bisonsson. The Brook Theatre exhibition closes with a special event on Saturday, 2 August. Visitors to the gallery, between 3-4pm, will get to take away their favourite pinhole print for free, when they buy one of the books on offer. The exhibition is sponsored by Awards for All and Urban Fox Press. For more information visit www.historicalhillwalkers.com. For more press information, phone Steph Coole on 01634 338309 or email stephen.coole@medway.gov.uk.