WALKING THROUGH THE LENS OF LIBI PEDDER
Libi Pedder, the wonderful photographer for ‘Walking in the rain’, shares her story of how pacing out on two feet creates a mind body connection that almost accidentally shapes her creative process.
“As a child, my family didn’t own a car, so regular walks, over long distances were unremarkable for us. I’m now very grateful for that because in my family, we’ve all remained dedicated and enthusiastic walkers.
For me walking is meditative. I use my daily walk to think, ponder, consolidate ideas, compose messages or conversations. I ask myself how I am, I think about the people I love and the people I don’t love and the people I’ve lost.
Over the years I’ve come to realise that not everybody is as accustomed to walking as I am, or even enjoys it. I am lucky though in that many of my friends share my appetite for a good stride out. We’ve often talked at length during our ramblings, conversation flowing far more easily, for my part at least, than it might if we were fixed on sofas.
The love of a good walk was one of the many things that first appealed to me about my friend Katie. Far more than me, Katie is a genuine country girl, having spent her formative years growing up on a farm. We both, as adults, retain and value those early connections we’d formed to nature and the outdoors. We both continue to walk regularly, not only for transport and a nod to fitness but also for its uniquely therapeutic gifts.
I enjoy city street walks as much as being deep in the countryside. When I lived in London, I would make time, especially in Winter – to walk from my home in Wandsworth and head for Knightsbridge, via Albert Bridge, through Chelsea, and arriving at my destination just after dusk. Then, walking, detached and anonymous amongst shoppers, people leaving their offices, early evening parties meeting up and day trippers getting ready to go home exhausted, I’d enjoy simply carrying on through the throngs, going nowhere but with such purpose, just thinking and thinking and working it all out.
Landscapes and industrial landscapes in particular were an early obsession for me. As a photographic student, I would take a 5x4 plate camera (a substantial thing) plus tripod on the bus. Or, I would, walk great distances with the kit, exploring and shooting, exhilarated by what I’d discovered I could do and inspired by both the natural and the man made.
When I look at my images of the places that I’ve discovered on foot in particular, I think they’re very still, they’re serene and peaceful. I’m often surprised to find these qualities in my work because they may not reflect how I was consciously feeling at the time. Regardless, there they are, quietly confident, saying what I’m seeing and cutting through the noise.”
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See more of Libi's work here