Lottie Brzozowski (Carlisle, 1991) is a Visual Communicator based in the UK. Pre-RCA, Lottie has worked as a designer (agency and freelance), lecturer and also set up a Risograph print studio. Lottie graduated from Liverpool John Moores University with a BA in Graphic Arts in 2013.
My practice explores the methodological potential of Visual Communication — often through embodied processes such as cooking, walking and talking (for example). It’s speculative in that it doesn’t necessarily seek out final conclusions or answers. Instead, it looks to raise questions, create new conversations or contribute new ideas to existing ones. It is also something shared. Its participatory nature creates richer communication beyond my own experiences and gives it purpose, use and value for others.
I use these ideas and processes as a way of responding to circumstances around me, in order to mediate or counter particular issues. For example, my dissertation The Future of Rural Culture asked how creative practice can maintain and progress authentic local culture in rural Cumbria despite the effects of historic stereotypes and dominant heritage/tourist industries. Similarly, my work this year has continued to question hierarchical structures — especially within education. The effects of the pandemic on education and sharing knowledge in particular inspired workshops that looked to counter Zoom as a place for learning.
My final project, Walking Practice, builds on my interests in education and “knowledge production” by considering methods for embodied and participatory research during this moment of “disembodied” education. The pandemic has displaced many of us from our usual surroundings and changed the way we engage with our physical communities through travel restrictions, local exercise and social rules. Consequently, Walking Practice asks what walking in our immediate localities can teach and communicate, how this can be shared and to what end?
Walking Practice is an ongoing research project. Full essays and works can be explored on the website, while an overview of the project and particular extracts can be seen below.
This film comprises extracts from an essay about a walk taken through Cliburn Woods in December 2020 with footage of me retracing the walk many months later. The essay set the foundations for the project by reflecting on my personal understanding of walking as a way of learning and communicating. Specifically, it discusses walking as a way of connecting to your body (listening to it and learning from it) through movement and solitude.
A series of walks prompted new observations and understandings of walking as a method for learning and communicating. Some walks were explored through conversation and the knowledge that was shared (e.g. local history, culture and memory); while others were considered through photography or found objects — as a way of “interrogating” the walk and gathering knowledge.
Each walk was an experiment in trying to understand the potential for communication in walking. Walking connects you to your mind through reflection and solitude; to your body through movement and landscape and to the world through people, place and history. This position informed a series of "directions" which were designed to expand the research beyond a largely individual experience by inviting new ideas and observations from other walkers.
Each direction became the starting point for a series of walks. The walks were undertaken on a 1:1 basis between an invited participant and myself. They were conducted remotely but bonded by both walkers following the same direction(s) — creating a shared experience despite being physically apart.
Following each walk, participants would share their walks through conversation and discuss any observations, thoughts, actions and responses initiated by the direction. Through this process, new directions were generated — resulting in a shared, collaborative body of research beyond my individual limits. One conversation based on the direction ‘Catalogue what is made here’ centred around ideas of community growth and engagement which has since inspired the walker to take part in community food waste initiatives. A new direction ‘Make a difference on your walk’ was born from this conversation.
The conversation about each direction and walk demonstrates the possibilities of walking as a tool for communicating and learning. It facilitates mutual learning through sharing experiences and collaboration through thinking and making.
The conversations were recorded and transcribed as a series of PDFs. In this context, conversation becomes a way of understanding and reflecting, while its undetermined and open-ended nature opens up the possibility of chance and unpredictable outcomes.
Full conversations and research can be explored here.