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This paper focuses on how women have sought to engage alone in an aesthetic activity of walking and creating as an act of courage and defiance. In this presentation I share my research on the life, writings, and artwork of Emily Brontë, in conjunction with research on Canadian women artists who lived in, and explored, the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Discovering the Brontës in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, I immediately felt at home within their worlds depicted. As time passed and I became an artist, it was the presence of the landscape in their writings, and concurrently the northern landscape of my home, that sparked my artistic imagination. I longed to walk in the footsteps of the characters created by these women artists. Over time I have wandered trails, climbed mountains, and visually represented the experiences of being in a northern landscape through painting, photography, and film. It was on one of those journeys that I discovered that other women, like Emily Brontë, had been inspired through the act of knowing through walking. These women sought to engage alone in the aesthetic activity of walking and creating.  Stepping into the landscape of the Moors, or Rockies, they courageously acted in defiance of cultural constraints. In this action, they found freedom. What I saw in these lives lived, was an urgency to make a connection to one’s place, to foster memory and personal identity as women, and significant acts of courage through the creation of stories, images, and the public exhibition of the residue of their female artistic visions. The visual culture of women artists who sought to engage alone in an aesthetic activity will be shared, including a visual diary of a solo 120 mile walk across the landscape of Northern England.

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carole woodlock (United States of America) 10641
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