Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Running in art

A lot of people reading these posts may be more interested in the 'art of running' rather than 'running in art'.  However,I recently visited an exhibition at the Baltic.  The building that houses the Baltic is an old flour mill and forms a backdrop to the BUPA Great North Games which are held on the Newcastle and Gateshead quaysides in conjunction with the Great North Run weekend.


The Baltic
Great North Games 2010  
Although the exhibition I went to see has nothing to do with running, it did get me to thinking about instances where running features in the world of art, and to be honest I could not think of many.

From a historical point of view, as founders of the Olympic Games, running and sport featured in the art of Ancient Greece.


In more recent times the Tate Britain in 2008 featured Martin Creed's Work No 850, in which a single athlete ran at speed through the Duveen Galleries, every 30 seconds, all day, every day (sounds like a good rep session).  Creed proclaimed that the appeal of the running figure is simple:

"Running is a beautiful thing.  You do it without a pool, or a bike, it is the body doing as much as it can on its own."

Back to the Great North run,  in 2005 BUPA Great North Run Culture was set up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of what is the worlds largest half marathon and each year has worked with artists to provide an insight into the race through art.

This year David Blandy has been working with 13 (one for each mile) GNR participants for a film entitled 'Run a mile in my shoes'.

Previous commissions are:

- Girl Blue Running Shoes (2010)
- Parade (2009)
- Run for Me (2008)
- About Running (2007)
- Runner (2006)
- broken time (2005)

These short films can be found at www.greatnorthrunculture.org/moving-image

The picture below represents a marathon runner running in the wind.  I wonder how many of those running in the high winds during Sunday's Edinburgh Marathon can empathise with it?

Running against the wind
by Dale Wicks


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