Lockdown in Lancaster and Morecambe: Walk, Run, Pedal, Push, Map
Created by Louise Ann Wilson.
Technical Mapping by Douglas Andrew Wilson.
Project Commissioned by Lancaster Arts at Lancaster University as part of the Breathing Spaces Programme.
Exhibit: Digital film showing how paths and routes accumulated week by week over the duration of Lockdown 1 (mid-April to end July) into an abstract map of networks. This digital map makes visible the paths and places we visited. (platform for this in exhibition context tbd).
Project Overview: Lockdown in Lancaster and Morecambe: Walk, Run, Pedal, Push, Map is a participatory project that captured and made visible walks, runs and bicycle rides in an around my home city of Lancaster (and nearby Morecambe). Contributors mapped (digital or analogue) the routes they found and followed during their one hour per day of permitted. Many, myself included, found routes and places they had not known about pre-lockdown. It was these discoveries and the need for emotional, physical and mental breathing space that inspired the project.
Project Participants: participants came from across Lancaster and Morecambe captured their lockdown run/walks/cycles either digitally via Strava or other mapping platforms, or analogue by drawing and sending maps to me that were then digitised. Together, we created a joint map and became a temporary lockdown community linked through shared paths and breathing spaces. All of the mapped routes were then combined into a single Lockdown in Lancaster and Morecambe: Walk, Run, Pedal, Push, Map digital map.
Project Background: During my hour of daily exercise taken during the COVID-19 Lockdown of Spring-Summer 2020, I found and followed new paths that took me to parts of Lancaster that I didn’t know were there and had not explored before. I became more aware of how the city connects, where tracks, streams, waterways, roads and the river meet and cross. I found allotments, prisons and graveyards, followed narrow bluebell-lined tracks through woods and into high-up places where the view across The Bay or The Lakes opens up and lorries on the motorway push past. The pull of fresh air, warm sun or the whip of the wind is irresistible as is the need to stretch my legs and body, and clear my mind – and have some physical, spiritual and mental breathing space. I was not alone in these findings and revelations and soon invited others to join me in recording our lockdown routes. This connected me – at a distance – with friends and strangers alike.