Creativity has always been my outlet to keep myself well. My preferred medium is photography, which works perfectly with my other pursuit, walking and exploring our great county – Yorkshire. Being outdoors is living. Whatever the weather, a walk in the country, or by the seaside, is sure to make me feel so much better within myself. Visiting new places, learning the history, finding views that are transient and mine for that day. Remembering the smells, the temperature on my skin, the conversations, and journeys to get there.
In the last two years, I have lived with Multiple Sclerosis. My adventures to the Yorkshire countryside has become less.
With illness, and the change in my walking, my movement has slowed. When I walk for a distance I am pained, every step becomes a struggle, it aches my back, my gait has changed as I move forward, swaying, dragging my foot, my legs working harder as I lift them higher. I am behind everyone, as they speed along chatting.
With limited movement, I still find so much pleasure in being out walking, and slowing down, I have found my senses are heightened, I notice more. So although illness has kept me almost still, slowing down does not make me enjoy things less. My walking is my art, and this is something I really want to explore much more.
The images of the flowers were all taken in Abbey House Museum walled garden, where I walk my dog. Slow walking makes me stop and see every small petal, and discover the change in season. I collect natures typologies on my walks, and observe more, the marks on tree trunks; the lost tennis balls that never got fetched, mowed up by the machine driving round the common; ground churned up, dying, and growing.
Walking keeps me well, and no matter where I walk, and how far I walk, I will always see and feel my presence in my environment.
These photos are currently on display at Touchstone IAPT in Leeds. You can purchase original prints via my store.