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Taking a walk with Jo Fong

Radio Platfform Porth Station Coordinator, Molly Palmer took a walk with Creative Associate, Jo Fong as part of her 'Come Rain or Shine' project.

"Where does it start? Underneath these words CREU GWIR FEL GWYDR O FFWRNAIS AWEN, IN THESE STONES HORIZONS SING" are the words I read on Jo’s website when I was preparing to go on this walk.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was excited to see what Jo, one of our Creative Associates had put together for her project ‘Come Rain or Shine’.

So, that’s what I did. I made my way to a very windy Cardiff Bay and met Jo beneath the inscription.

When I arrived, Jo handed me two pieces of paper, one in Welsh and one in English that had 'Do we have the capacity to imagine?' written on them. “Hold onto these,” Jo said as we embarked on our journey.

We headed around the side of the Senedd and down towards the Norwegian Church. Jo and I hit it off instantly; there was something about Jo’s company that made me feel very safe as we asked each other lots of questions about life, work, our journey as creative people, the past, the future and the present.

We put the world to rights, passed Gloworks and took a right down towards the barrage.

There was something very cathartic about the weather on this particular day. As we strolled down the barrage the wind was crazy and it started to rain, but this, paired with our very interesting conversation, somehow made me feel 10 times lighter than I had at the beginning of the walk!

As we walked back, Jo asked me to pull out the cards from my pockets. She proceeded to set a timer for six minutes where we had to try and answer that question, 'Do we have the capacity to imagine?'

Six minutes felt long, but as we walked, I found myself having lots of time to really think about my answer.

Jo gave me space and prompted me to think about imagination in a way that I'd never done before. I loved that Jo did the same; whatever exercise Jo practiced with me, she also participated in herself.

By the time we got back, we were both drenched and even though my coat was heavy with water, I felt almost weightless after this experience. Jo is a great listener and an amazing story teller.

What I took from this walk is that it can be whatever you want it to be — Jo has created the space for you.

Jo Fong is one of our eight Creative Associates whose work is very much about bringing people together. Face to face contact is something that is embedded in her work.

Jo does this through connecting, having conversations, listening, learning and unlearning. Jo uses these methods throughout her work whilst supporting and being supported by artists here in Wales, in England and further afield.

The way that Jo works was very clear during our walk, and these techniques were a really good way to get my brain ticking. It was almost like a massage for the mind!

If you want to just go for a walk and talk to someone without time feeling like it’s dragging by and have a little space in your day to think and feel free, I highly recommend joining Jo for a walk.

Jo Fong's next walk takes place on Wednesday 30 March 2022 at 11am, starting outside the main entrance to Wales Millennium Centre. For more information, visit Come Rain or Shine  – Jo Fong.