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Walking Library for a Wild City

posted on 13.05.2018, 00:00 authored by Angela Myers, Deirdre Heddon
Walking Library for a Wild City



European Championship. Festival (2018 : Glasgow, Scotland)


European Championship Festival Glasgow 2018


Tramway Hidden Gardens; Govanhill Baths; RSBC Glasgow Wildlife Garden Festival

Place of publication

Glasgow, Scotland

Start date


End date





The Walking Library for Wild City is a series of site-specific performances and exhibition commissioned by European Championship Festival Glasgow 2018 to bring people together to walk and read aloud from a library of books specially curated through suggestions from the public of good books for 're-wilding' the city and exploring the natural environment in an urban context.

Research statement

While walking has been an expanding field in the creative arts since the 20th century, now widely understood as a ‘true autonomous art form’ (Careri 2002: 121), its role as a mode of performance connecting people to the natural environment and to one another within an urban context is less considered. "The Walking Library for Wild City" aimed to addresses this through a form of walking art that is the first of its kind in this cross-disciplinary field and was established by Heddon and Myers in 2012 as “The Walking Library” project through a commission for the Sideways Festival in Belgium. The project has generated subsequent commissioned events and library collections curated and exhibited as place-based artworks, each original in conception and findings. The “Wild City” iteration of the project was commissioned through a competitive selection process for the European Championship Festival Glasgow 2018 attracting 47,500AUD in funding. The project was developed in collaboration with artist Alec Finlay and partnered with RSPB Glasgow Wildlife Garden Festival and Govanhill Baths, organizations both concerned with supporting diversity, that of wildlife with the first and of culture with the second. The 8 site-specific performance walks delivered through the project across different parts of Glasgow had direct impact of bringing together 250 participants including stakeholders of each partner organisation, inhabitants of Glasgow’s diverse neighbourhoods, and visitors to the European Championship Games and the prominent international art-space Tramway and Hidden Gardens, to join public conversations about the natural environment in urban spaces through engaging with literature and walking. The project generated a library collection gathered through 120 of suggestions from the public, 3 project blogs, a gallery exhibition, 3 related journal publications, and a book publication of photographs, artwork and creative writings documenting the wider 'Wild City' project.

Publication classification

J2 Minor original creative work


1 poster of performance series, 1 exhibition poster, 3 project blogs, 7 colour photographs of performance series