Hello, and welcome to Abney Rambles! This website hosts the practice-based element of my PhD thesis – a series of four audio walks through Abney Park Cemetery.
In addition to my walking practice PhD project, this site also hosts audio walks I’ve written for other cemeteries, blog posts, a gallery of my cemetery photography, and a live feed of my abneyrambles Twitter account, which is a daily digest of cemetery commentary and news from around the world.
A bit about my PhD project…
The four audio walks that you can find on my homepage were created with an aim to engage the local community of Stoke Newington, where Abney Park Cemetery is located, with the cemetery and offer perspectives on what a cemetery can represent within its local community. The audio walks are an invitation to expand perceptions of what the Victorian garden cemetery can mean to an individual on a personal level, and to the community as a use-space. As a method for showing visitors to Abney Park Cemetery the various worlds that exist simultaneously, layered and alongside one another within its 32 acres, I chose an audio walking format. The disembodied voice in the listening walker’s ear creates a relationship of intimacy with between my, or my actor’s, guiding voices and the walker, while at the same time offering privacy for the listening walker as they walk alone through the audio worlds I have created.
Visitors can take these audio walks independently in their own time, which allows for a more private experience and space for personal reflection that a guided walk usually could allow. The four audio walks offer a peek into four various worlds I have discovered through my research that coexist in Abney Park Cemetery: nature reserve, outdoor archive, mourning heritage, and ‘earth mystery’. Each audio walk is an invitation to explore each of these worlds. The audio walks are positioned as doors of perception across various borderland landscapes within Abney Park Cemetery.