Artathon is a weekly art marathon round a circuit of galleries. These are galleries I have been visiting since 2015 and were chosen from participants in Frieze that year.
Though there are hundreds of galleries in London, the selection of just about forty enabled me to follow their artists and those artists’ shows in public galleries with a greater understanding.
As the project reached the three year stage many galleries were reaching the end of a complete rotation of shows from their roster of artists and I began to see the now familiar artists showing for (to me) a second time.
At this stage galleryrunner took a break, lest it should end up repeating itself.
Recently I have developed the artathon, to create a new experience out of the running. The concept came from the problem of map making and how to represent a gallery run. I considered a tube-style map with short cuts which I had often taken myself but decided these would not be authentic on a map since every shortcut is spontaneous and is not constrained by tunnels or tracks. Therefore I decided instead to produce a map using a GPS tracker and let the labour of a hard day’s running replace the frustration of looking for clever solutions to the problem of map-making. As a result all the runs on the artathon are around approximately the same circuit with short-cuts effectively banned.
On the first artathon I photographed all the galleries, many of which were still shut when I arrived in the early morning. These form a frame around the map design.
My next run will take an additional excursion through this frame, to Limehouse and the week after to Hampstead, causing my GPS track to go beyond the confines of the enclosed map and indeed beyond the thirty mile mark. This would allow me to overwrite the gallery photographs surrounding the map with the coloured line of my extended route and labour, a form of graffiti if you like. It’s always good to leave a frame!