THE PORTRAIT of a Clackmannanshire artist has been recognised in an online exhibition sharing stories of people who champion the joy of everyday walking.
Alloa-based Scott Simpson found his love for walking whilst completing his undergraduate dissertation. Weeks before it was due, he had an epiphany and realised his inspiration and artistic drive came from the outdoors.
When Scott is working on a new project or needs creative inspiration, he takes himself for a walk to be at one with nature and reflects on the sounds, smells and feelings experienced on his walk into his work.
The artist’s story is part of Scotland’s national walking charity Path for All’s “Humans of the Walk” online exhibition, launched as COP26 is underway in Glasgow.
The gallery of portraits and personal stories showcase the immense impact everyday walking can have on our health, wellbeing and the environment.
Scott said: “We are always rushing from one thing to the next so the outdoors gives us the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and see the world at your own pace.
“Being an artist, I can have hundreds of ideas running through my head at once so I find it really therapeutic to go for a wander to consolidate ideas. Often, I’m actually inspired by what I see around me which ends up being the final concept.
“Walking can give you a different perspective on life. As we experience new locations and surroundings it can open you up to new exposures in the society, instead of being confined to what we already know.
“I try to encourage people to get out as much as they can to enjoy the amazing landscape we are blessed with in Scotland. Walking should be something that we just want to do naturally, instead of having to force it upon ourselves.
“We all need to get out of the mindset that when we need to go somewhere we automatically jump in a car or catch a bus instead of actively travelling which is not just good for the environment but also our mental, physical and social wellbeing.”
Images captured by the talented photographer Rebecca Holmes and her team bring to life individual stories of overcoming challenges, connecting to our natural world and feeling our best.
Nine individual stories have been captured in locations all across Scotland from different ages and abilities.
Reducing car travel for short journeys is an important step that Scotland must take to tackle the climate emergency, as car journeys are responsible for 39% of transport emissions.
The charity is determined to promote walking and wheeling as the default choices for short journeys or as part of longer public transport journey to make a happier, healthier and greener Scotland.
Kevin Lafferty, Chief Executive Officer at Paths for All, said: “We can all ‘do our bit’ for climate change by walking or wheeling more often to reduce our carbon footprint, while improving our physical and mental health.
“As COP26 is taking place in Glasgow we want walking to be recognised for what it is – a planet-saving, health-improving force, free and accessible to everyone.
“As a charity, we want to revolutionise the way people use their cities, and stop our spaces from being dominated by cars. Scotland’s towns and cities should be a backdrop for people walking, wheeling, cycling or simply spending time enjoying cleaner, quieter, calmer streets.
“The people who have been featured in Humans of the Walk show just how wide an impact our own individual actions can have – so think of what we could accomplish together.”
Paths for All’s mission is to support people in Scotland to be active every day, everywhere.
The charity works to create more opportunities and better environments for everyone in Scotland, no matter who they are or where they live, to stay active through walking, wheeling or cycling.
To find out more about Path’s for All, visit: https://www.pathsforall.org.uk/