On 21 February Lian Bell and I walked in circles.

She, in Paris, circling the pétanque pitch in the Jardin de Luxembourg; a circle ‘within the bigger circle of the park’s joggers.’

Me, in London, circling the AcelorMittal Orbit in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; a circle around school groups spiralling up Kapoor’s Orbit and down Höller’s slide.

We sent each other postcards before and after the walk.

AcelorMittal Orbit pre-walk

On circle four Lian’s pace slows; she hears ‘scooters, birds, kids, gravel crunch.’

On circle seven one of the Orbit employees approaches me and asks what I’m doing. ‘Walking in circles’, I reply.

Pre-walk postcard from Lian Bell (Wed. 21 Feb. 18 AM)

On circle eight I pass a woman and her children peeling bark off a tree. ‘I could peel bark here all day’, she says to me with a laugh.

On Lian’s tenth circle, ‘it feels [hers].’ A man smoking a cigar watches her. ‘It’s hard not to feel a performance.’

Post-walk postcard from Lian Bell (Wed. 21 Feb. 18 PM)

Lian walks knowing she’s being watched.

Path, Path.

Ground, Ground.

I walk knowing I am being watched.

On circle fourteen park security approaches me. ‘What are you doing?’

‘Walking in circles seven more times; it’s for an art project.’

‘Oh alright. You understand why we’re asking, right? Because of where you are…’

AcelorMittal Orbit post-walk

Paranoia or performance? It’s the panopticon either way.

Alexander ‘Twig’ Champion

Lian Bell

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