Anywhere: A Mythogeography of South Devon and How to Walk It
Mythogeographer Phil Smith has been walking, exploring, photographing, filming, talking and writing about South Devon for about 20 years. He has absorbed it, and it him.
In Anywhere, walking and writing as Cecile Oak (a young PhD student of Symbolist art and performance who is invited to report on a Radical Walking conference in Paignton) Phil offers us an extraordinarily vivid portrait of a small part of South Devon - including Dawlish, Teignmouth, Paignton, Goodrington, Babbacombe, Dartington, Newton Abbot, Plymouth, Exeter and their surroundings.
The picture he presents is not always pretty but never short of startling and sometimes jaw-dropping detail. Ad it's all brought to exhilarating life in this account of a series of intense journeys that he has made on foot in these places.
Anywhere is an adventure, momentous and fleshy as any novel. It is also the first, detailed mythogeographical survey of a defined area. Its subject is the place, the landscape, the buildings, the history and the people. It sets in motion, around each other, its subject's geological instabilities, deep political fissures, legends and monsters, street generosities and unexpected histories.
This is Devon as it has never been seen before - Devon from deep within, mined and ploughed by a quarter century of investigation, treading its footpaths and pavements.
And Anywhere is also a way of looking and feeling: a lesson in how to be (and walk) in your own place, village, city, countryside, wilderness: a guidebook for anywhere. - See more at: http: //www.triarchypress.net/anywhere.html#sthash.XRHGrG4b.dpuf
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About the AuthorDr. Phil Smith is a performance-maker, writer and academic researcher, specialising in work around walking, site-specificity, mythogeographies and counter-tourism. With artist Helen Billinghurst, he is one half of Crab & Bee, who have recently completed an exhibition and walking project called 'Plymouth Labyrinth (funded by Arts Council England), a short walking project in the Isles of Scilly and a residency at Teats Hill slipway. They are currently engaged in a series of walks across the UK researching their forthcoming book, The Pattern (2020). With Tony Whitehead and photographer John Schott, Phil recently published Guidebook for an Armchair Pilgrimage with Triarchy Press. He is currently developing a 'subjectivity-protective movement practice' with Canada-based choreographer Melanie Kloetzel. With Claire Hind and Helen Billinghurst, he co-organised the 2019 'Walking's New Movements' conference at the University of Plymouth. As company dramaturg and co-writer for TNT Theatre (Munich), he most recently premiered 'Free Mandela', co-authored with TNT's artistic director Paul Stebbings, about the end of apartheid in South Africa. Paul and Phil are presently working on a book about TNT Theatre's transformation from tiny experimental theatre company to global touring organisation. Phil is a member of site-based arts collective Wrights & Sites, He is an Associate Professor (Reader) at the University of Plymouth.
Cecile Oak was born in Brianclose, Yorkshire. She was educated at the William Beveridge Community School and New College, Oxford. After graduating with a Double First in English, she worked in Paris as an independent curator and as creative director of the Les Nap gallery in the Chiaia district of Naples. After returning to the UK in 2005, she established herself as a leading agent and producer, notably with the Egalité agency. In 2013 she began full-time doctoral studies at Leeds University and was awarded a PhD for her thesis 'Heterotopian and chorastic trends in the progressive fatalism of Maeterlinck and Villiers De L'Isle Adam'. She presently lives in the south of Italy with her daughter, and lectures in Performance at the University of Tropea.
A.J. Salmon was born in Coventry in the English West Midlands in the late 1980s. Despite a happy family background, he left school at 16 with few qualifications. Moving to Bristol he featured on the performance poetry scene and worked as the tutor of a poetry class in Horfield Jail. In 2009 he was found guilty of stealing over a thousand books from local bookshops and was jailed for six months, enrolling in his own poetry class. On release, he moved progressively westwards. After working as a freelance proof-reader, he dropped from view around 2009 having told a local film-maker in Exeter that he would be on permanent pilgrimage. Since then reports of him are sporadic at best, but he continues to publish work in various magazines and with Triarchy Press, mailing his work from public libraries in Devon.