Nottingham Forest Recreation Ground, 2017
Dog walking is often a solitary experience, a time to be alone with one’s fur-coated companion in the park or when treading the pavements. It provides a chance to find clarity, composure and calm, and a space to think and connect with oneself, with the environment and our chosen pet dog. Yet the experience additionally presents opportunities for connection with others, those who may equally be enjoying the same activity, or who may just like animals, interactions that would otherwise perhaps not take place. An open hand offered to a stranger in greeting is a familiar and acknowledged expression of warmth and conviviality, and dogs are often the recipients of such a tender and friendly gesture. For many it is difficult to resist a dog’s approach for affection, and the experience allows for pleasantries and informality between people. For a wet canine nose and wagging tail invites the welcoming touch of a stranger’s hand, and this contact initiates conversation with the humans present. The experience connects more than just human and canine strangers, as it allows people to meet and talk who may not otherwise have had the opportunity.
Dog Walking for Talking is a project to connect those who would not normally meet to talk around a particular theme or subject. This includes artists, local communities, specific demographics, and specific genders, amongst others. We meet, we go for a walk, we talk ; people and their dogs.