Solitude and the art of Walking. In conversation Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, Nadav Kander, Iain Sinclair, & Dr Gilda Williams

15 April 2020, 6.30 - 7.45pm
Royal Academy of Arts
The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre,
Burlington Gardens,
Tickets: £15

Inspired by Léon Spilliaert’s night-time walks, our panel – including Director of the Smithsonian National Museum Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, contemporary photographer Nadav Kander, and author Iain Sinclair – explore the importance of solitude and walking in relation to creating art.

Solitude, melancholy and a sense of silence are frequently conveyed in Léon Spilliaert’s paintings, with his early works created in response to night-time walks he took through his home town of Ostend, Belgium.

Our panel, chaired by art critic and author Dr Gilda Williams, and including Director of the Smithsonian National Museum Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, contemporary artist Nadav Kander, and author Iain Sinclair, use Spilliaert’s work as a springboard to deliberate how solitude and walking can inspire or impede creativity and how artists represent these experiences in their work.

Dr Gus Casely-Hayford is the Founding Director of the Victoria and Albert East museum scheduled to open in 2023. From 2018 to 2020 he served as Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. His series, Tate Britain’s Great Art Walks, continues to be featured on Sky Arts television.

Nadav Kander’s photographs emphasise the importance of contemplation, inviting the viewer to pause and pay attention to the fundamental issues of today. From his award-winning series Yangtze: The Long River through to his intimate portraits and nudes, Nadav Kander’s photographic work alludes to the quiet and emotive aspects of human experience.

Iain Sinclair has lived, worked and walked in East London for more than fifty years. Walking became his preferred method of urban exploration with books like London Orbital and Lights Out for the Territory. His latest project set in Peru is called The Gold Machine.

Dr Gilda Williams is Senior Lecturer on the MFA Curating programme, Goldsmiths College, and longtime London art critic for Artforum. Her most recent books are ON&BY Andy Warhol and the best-selling artbook How to Write about Contemporary Art, now in six languages.