Louise Ann Wilson
Dr Louise Ann Wilson is an artist/scenographer-researcher who creates site-specific walking-performances in rural landscapes that give-voice to ‘missing’ or marginal life-events – with transformative and therapeutic outcomes. Her work has addressed terminal illness and bereavement, in/fertility and childlessness by circumstance, (im)mobility and memory, and the impact of change – personal and topographical. Each performance is transdisciplinary and developed in close collaboration with people who have knowledge of the chosen landscape and/or the underlying life-event subject matter, including those experiencing it.
Her methodology is underpinned by seven ‘scenographic’ principles that are inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth and her female contemporaries’ approach to walking and landscape and theoretical concepts relating to the feminine ‘material’ sublime and therapeutic landscapes.
She is the author of the book Sites of Transformation: Applied and Socially Engaged Scenography in Rural Landscapes(2022). Works include: Walks to Remember During a Pandemic (2020-21), Women’s Walks to Remember: ‘With Memory I was there’ (2018-19) and Dorothy’s Room (2018), Mulliontide (2016), Warnscale: A Land Mark Walk Reflecting on in/Fertility and Childlessness(2015), The Gathering/Yr Helfa (2014) and Fissure (2011).
In 2017 Louise was awarded a PhD from Lancaster Institute of the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University.
WOMEN’S WALKS TO REMEMBER: ‘WITH MEMORY I WAS THERE’ AND DOROTHY’S ROOM
Creator, Designer, Writer and Film Maker
Dorothy’s Room: Rydal Mount, Ambleside (and tour). Women’s Walks to Remember: The Lake District, Cumbria
Women’s Walks to Remember: ‘With Memory I was there’ and Dorothy’s Room celebrates Dorothy Wordsworth’s walking legacy the walking-lives of present-day Lake District women by collecting significant walks that can no longer be walked but are vividly remembered and longed for.
Dorothy’s Room is an immersive installation originally created in Dorothy Wordsworth’s bedroom at Rydal Mount in which she was bed-bound, due to physical ailments and dementia, and explores how she used memory to re-enter the landscape she had once walked. Dorothy’s multi-sensory remembering was therapeutic, enabling a healing process that brought joy and calm and kept her from the ‘wilderness of her mind’. Centred around a bed, in the installation objects mentioned in her Rydal Journalsnest amid twisted and disordered bed linen that are hand-stitched with extracts of the later entries including a working-draft of her poem Thoughts from my Sick Bed: ‘No need of motion, or of strength, Or even the breathing air; — I thought of Nature’s loveliest scenes; And with memory I was there.’A film, layered and edited to create an almost dream-like experience, brings the landscapes she longed for into the room.
Women’s Walks to Remember: ‘With memory I was there’ re-walks significant Lake District walks that present-day women are no longer able to walk them. To create the work Louise invited each participant to draw a memory-map of a longed for walk, which, acting as a substitute or surrogate-walker, she then used to follow in their footsteps before returning with treasures – photographs, films, sounds, words, poetry, drawings and objects– to share with each woman. These materials were then distilled into a series ofmulti-layeredguides that others can use.
Liz Bagley, Catherine Bartlett, Lois Kirtley, Jean Simpson
Louise Ann Wilson
Jill Peel mapping her remembered Black Combe Circuit Walk: ‘I envy you going for a walk.’
Margaret Crayston, Jill Peel, Wallace Heim, Harriet Fraser, Joanna McLaren, The Tuesday Walkers (led by Sue Falkner) and Harold Potter