David McCreath

Walks With Annie

watercolor paper, gouache, MDF, poplar, three-ring binder clips, piano hinges

project info

About this project

Walks With Annie is an atlas of sorts with maps of every morning walk that I took with my dog Annie from the time we moved into our house in Albuquerque until she passed away eight months later. The piece is a hinged box similar to a box that you might find maps in, which can be opened flat so that leafing through the individual walks is easy. Each walk is a separate piece of translucent fabric with the route walk drawn on it. In a pocket inside the cover of the box, there is a hand-painted street map of our neighborhood which can be leafed between the route pages to show the streets we took. There are 235 walks mapped.

What is not apparent at first glance is that every walk is identical. This walk was part of our routine. Every morning before breakfast, usually around 6:30 or 7:00, we would take this walk. Except for a handful of other early morning regulars, we were generally the only ones out and we could make the entire 2 mile walk without encountering other people or dogs. Morning traffic had not ramped up and it was a very quiet time.

Walking, especially on a regular path or circuit, is used as a practice in contemplation and meditation in many cultures. Even absent a spiritual element, that kind of consistency and routine can be a helpful tool in anchoring one’s day. This atlas considers the concept of memory and memorial through routine repetition, not only in the walks illustrated on each walk but in the act of creating the pages, which were drawn by hand.

  • Mapping
  • Documentary
  • Journaling

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