PORTAL WALK 3
Walks connecting countries
United States of America and the United Kingdom
26th February 2022
A collaboration between Lalitha Bandaru and Sally Stenton
10 people took a photo as a simultaneous gesture during a walk from their homes. This experiment in connecting places through walking and gesture was made possible by the enthusiastic participation of 5 people in USA and the UK who were paired before the walks took place as follows:
Vickie and Chrisoula
Rachel and Debra
Michelle and Silvi
Chris and Vanessa
Lalitha and Sally
Highland Park, Garvanza Skatepark: A site of perpetual excavation and modular community spaces. This serene neighborhood has provided me safe refuge and pockets of quiet dwellings during the pandemic. It will be challenging to bear the reality of moving away from here in the coming months.
As I contemplate on anticipating change, I approach a threshold and soon find myself in a drastically disparate environment, my senses struggling to adjust just as I imagine they would to embrace the impending flux of uncertainties ahead this year. I am now engulfed in a different kind of serenity. Beholden by the manifestations of my mind to reflect feeling calm on rainy gloomy day.
Looking straight ahead, due west, leaving behind the grey wintry scene in the city, I’m imagining a purple-orange horizon with calming green parks in neighbourhoods filled with aromas of spring coming.
Yes, Debra, we are all under the same sky, indeed. Such an appropriate thought for this moment. I too wish we all knew this...always!
For me.... walking into the picture of the shore and sea in Florida from a Victorian street in Sheffield was moving from something tightly bounded by hedge, wall, castellated structure..... to air, light and openness, away from human folly. Combining the two made the house become buoyed up. Perhaps it would become light and float away, filled with sea mist.
We are all under the same sky.
That's what I thought when I took the photo, and it was my first thought when I looked at the fused photo. It was a lovely thing to do: stop everything, be present, and connect. I wish the rest of the world would do this, too!
[response to Rachel] Such a lovely vision you've given me: a man-made fortress of stone, filled up and made buoyant--and perhaps floating away--on the power of sea mist.
You are a poet. Thank you for your words--you've captured our portal, Rachel.
The combined images created a haunting scene. In entering the photo in California, the park is not so different from a park here and I can imagine that I might be stepping forward in time into the summer in the UK.
Looking at the image taken in the UK and overlapping with the one taken in LA, I felt a sense of opening, offering and opportunity – the sun rising on one side of the world and setting on the other. This brief opening where our souls could meet and rest. I am thankful for these cosmic connections and alignments.
Both images have verges that fuse together inviting the viewer to step into a world of tranquility or the surreal. Both speak of nature but neither show the natural world. Thus, I feel it would be effortless to bridge the divide without breaking stride.
I find that this portal draws me to the phrase "chaotic calmness." There is a significant push and pull between worlds of excess and the serene, as if it is a true form of urban nature.
Stepping into your image, it makes me feel both closer to you and nostalgic. I had lived in the UK for a year during my graduate studies. It was one of the best years of my life. I was young, independent and inspired. This bridge reminds me of the daily walks I had taken alone reminiscing the day’s inspiration. Walking on the road here, looking at the horizon, I see that the bridge isn’t that far and seems like it’s just past the hills. This overlay is a reminder that my past self isn’t far gone...
I step into one of the tunnels under my bridge and out onto your tarmac road. Drawn by the view of water ahead with mountains and brighter skies in the distance I am walking towards a lake. Your lake merges with my flood plain. When the rain fills the river, the meadow on the other side of my bridge transforms itself into a beautiful expanse of water. Your photo makes me think of this transformation and next time the grass is submerged I will imagine the water in the two places merging.