Once the degree show was done and I had graduated I decided that after six years of intense study I would take a break. Part of that break included walking the pilgrims' route El Camino Frances, from St Jean-De-Pied-De-Port in the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. This is a 790 km walk, embarked on by people with very different reasons for doing so and expectations as to what they will meet on the way and achieve at the end. For me it was simply to take time out, slow down the pace of life and clear the mind in preparation for what next.
I did not take any drawing material but took many, many photos. Art is really all around us. Often executed by those who unwittingly produce beautiful sculptures and installations in the messages and way markers they build or add to along the way. I may have some sympathy with those who disapprove especially I'm afraid with what is left at Finisterre. Not having enough time to walk the last leg from Santiago to Finisterre, I got there by car. It was the same disappointment as when I got by bike to John O'Groats from Lands End. What should have been an uninterrupted view across the ocean was hindered by offerings left by previous pilgrims. No doubt meaningful and symbolic to them but to my mind spoilers for those who came after. The old shoes, t-shirts etc left draped and often in the remnants of bonfires did nothing to enhance the serenity of the place.
However, the following images illustrate my first point that art is all around us if you look, made by folks who probably would never consider themselves artists.
And then there were the trees - beautiful sweet chestnut trees in the main. Some had shrines installed and you had to really watch out or you missed them.
In these photos, church architecture mimics the intricacy of nature.
Way markers, sculptures and signs.
Carol E Duff