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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Ghosts of the Restless Shore: A Personal Pilgrimage

Collier, Mike (2019) Ghosts of the Restless Shore: A Personal Pilgrimage. In: Walking, Landscape and Environment. Routledge, London. ISBN 9781315209753

Item Type: Book Section


In this essay, I examine elements of my practice that might be described as pilgrimages, explored through my role as Principle Investigator of WALK . I introduce an artistic intervention that I call conversive pilgrimage and show how the idea of pilgrimage is closely linked to the activity of walking, suggesting that ‘the volume and depth and intensity of the world is something that only those on foot will ever experience.’ Following an introduction about the idea and experience of pilgrimage, the main part of my essay presents a series of linked, (one might say rhizomatic) notes and recollections of one particular project, Ghosts of the Restless Shore, presented as memories that collapse traditional ideas and experiences of time. Here, I focus on a four-day phenomenological walk in 2015 along the Sefton Coast were I was born and raised. The structure of this section is based on an eighteenth-century essay tradition in which friends set out on a walking tour, and discuss a range of subject matter from natural history to philosophy and culture. Central to this part of the essay are four text-based works listing everything seen and heard on the walk. Here, the lists presented can be seen as ‘memorials’; these very specific ‘lists’ of flora and fauna celebrate local ecologies and can be seen as ‘pilgrimage shrines’. Finally, I summarize my reasons for adopting conversive pilgrimage and walking as a creative and research methodology suggesting that the lists of flora and fauna created and shared on these secular pilgrimages embody the appreciation or understanding of “things in their singularity” - a way to bridge the dualism between culture and nature, allowing us to engage with ethical issues that confront us in the Anthropocene.

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More Information

Depositing User: Mike Collier


Item ID: 9394
ISBN: 9781315209753
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Mike Collier: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 13:45
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 11:45