Australian Walking Artists goes ‘Way Beyond’

Molly Wagner and Kim V. Goldsmith have been instrumental in getting walking artists from Australia together. Forming the aptly named Australian Walking Artists (AWA) with a few dozen, or so, colleagues, they are currently running an exhibition in Sydney, Way Beyond, a national survey exhibition of Australian walking art.
Here, Molly and Kim discuss their journey, and the exhibition.

The new, evolving and very busy group of Australian Walking Artists goes way beyond all expectations in terms of enthusiasm, participation, commitment, creative contributions, and hard work of all the participating artists. It has been astonishing for us, co-convenors Molly Wagner and Kim V. Goldsmith, how quickly Australian artists have come together in the name of Walking Art. This rapid response shows that there is a hunger for a community, a group, where those who walk for cultural and artistic purposes in Australia can come together to share walks, ideas, and artworks. There is a rich history of Walking Art, and many International networks of walking artists, however, in Australia, knowledge and understanding of Walking Art is limited to a few artists and researchers.
We seek to change this, so that Australian artists can come together and, in the words of walking artist and researcher Dr Blake Morris, “…bring direct attention to how the medium of walking generates new relationships between people, the places through which they walk and the people they encounter in the landscape (both incidentally and by design).”

In July 2023, Molly attended the Walking Art Encounters/Conference in Prespa, Greece, where she was delighted to meet four other Australian artists. She asked if there was interest in coming together as a group of Walking Artists in Australia. All replied in the affirmative. With the help of many e-introductions from WLC co-founder Andrew Stuck, and Kim’s contacts in the Regional Arts sector of New South Wales and the international ecoartspace network, Molly hosted an initial online meeting of what has become the Australian Walking Artists.
The group of artists decided to have monthly online meetings and make a real effort to meet and walk together in person. Since then, there have been regular online meetings, and our membership, growing from week to week, now includes over 60 individuals.
The Australian Walking Artists are hosting an exhibition called Way Beyond, in Articulate project space, in Leichhardt (Sydney), NSW and will show it in the WayOut Artspace in Kandos, NSW, from 30 November to 9 February 2025. An AWA Instagram account  and webpage have been created to give the group an online presence and promote our activities. A Walking Art Retreat in Johanna, Victoria over the Easter weekend (2024) has been proposed by walking artist, Amy Tsilemanis. She envisions an informal time of walking, talking, making artworks, planning the next steps for the group, and celebrating the joy of walking together.
This enthusiastic and committed response highlights the desire for a greater expression of Walking Art here in Australia and the importance of artists coming together to share their walks and creative ideas.

Artist’s talk with visitors to the gallery. The online presentation allowed artists living far from Sydney to talk about their artworks. The conversation about walking and walking art was part of the public program at Articulate.

The Way Beyond exhibition brings together artworks inspired by walking from 20 artists who are members of AWA. It’s a comprehensive survey exhibition and is the first for our national network. Way Beyond began as a last minute, formal proposal for the WayOut Artspace in Kandos. When members of AWA were asked if they were interested, they quickly responded and  Molly and Kim were able to write up and submit the proposal in a matter of days. This is another testament to the enthusiasm and commitment Australian artists have for Walking Art.

Way Beyond opened on 10 February 2024 with great success. More than 50 people attended the opening and one visitor was heard to say, ‘I’ve found my people!’. This exhibition of varied and eclectic creative walks and artistic responses highlights the depth and breadth of Walking Art in this country. 

Sharne Wolff, arts writer and journalist, writes in her essay titled Way Beyond:

Traversing a broad range of media from textiles, photographs, video, performance, printmaking, sound recordings and effects, painting, collage, drawing and found and worn objects, ‘Way Beyond’ fulfills its intention to expand our understanding of walking beyond the expected. The viewer is invited to roam and encouraged to explore the wealth of possibilities presented in this show.

Way Beyond sets a historical precedent in Australia as being the most comprehensive exhibition of Australian Walking Artists to date. Not since the 2018 Lismore Regional Gallery exhibition From Here to There: Australian Art and Walking, curated by Jane Denison and Sharne Wolff, has the spotlight been on what is more widely recognised internationally as a significant act to create artworks and address the topics of our times. Walking events, ‘walkshops’, and artist’s talks are offered as part of the public program during the exhibition. 

The Australian Walking Artists has set a ‘cracking pace’ and we, Kim and Molly, continue to marvel at, and be inspired by, the commitment and generosity of all the artists who are helping build our own Walking Artists network. If you are interested in being a part of AWA please contact us at [email protected] and/or follow us on Instagram

And, we have merchandise, too! It’s available here, and here.

If you’re close to Sydney, come look us up at Articulate project space, or join us at one of our online meetings.

Molly Wagner

Molly Wagner

Online Jury 2023 Online Jury 2024

Molly walks in the urban, suburban, and rural landscapes using a variety of media to evoke the complex interactions intrinsic to walking. She is intrigued by the artistic, sensory, speculative, and critical potential walking brings to art. Walking cr...

Kim V. Goldsmith

Kim V. Goldsmith

Online Jury 2022 SWS Grand Jury 2023 SWS Grand Jury 2024 SWS23 shortlisted

I'm an Australian-based interdisciplinary artist whose creative output uses sound, video, and writing to explore layers of nuance and complexity within the rural and regional territories in which I work. I'm listening for new voices and perspecti...


One thought on “Australian Walking Artists goes ‘Way Beyond’

  1. Pingback: Amy Tsilemanis

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.