‘2,200 miles’ is an audio commentary tracking a 2,200 mile car journey from London to Scotland and back via Dartmoor. The audience ‘walks’ the length of the country from London to John O’Groats following the route on two large scale maps of mainland Britain placed ‘head to head’ at Scotland. In presenting the maps horizontally, the journey follows a linear narrative revealing facts, thoughts and soundscapes connected to the trip. The underlying noise of the car reinforces a sound many of us now spend our entire lives with, either through driving or proximity to roads. These two sounds (the spoken and the mechanical) establish the rhythm of the trip. Further words, ideas and noises come and go. The act of solo driving allows time for ideas to develop, memories to surface and plans to form.
The journey was made over a two week period as I revisited sites connected to my childhood. My dad was an airman in the RAF and I spent my first fourteen years regularly moving up and down the country. On this trip I stayed at people’s homes, in bed and breakfasts or camped. The commentary includes the names of all the places travelled through, revealing a rich regional history as distinctive as the landscapes of the country, yet regularly unnoticed as we speed along major roads, many of which are built on routes established over millennia, marking the passing of animals, people, trade and ideas.
Audio tour duration 20 minutes, personal CD players, headphones, two horizontal maps of the UK, length 26 ft
Photos: Steve Tanner & Sara Bowler