Walking on Images

Session Convenor: 

Michael Tymkiw (University of Essex) mtymkiw@essex.ac.uk

Please email your paper proposal to the session convenor using the Paper Proposal Form


For millennia, floors have served as an important site for displaying imagery, as evidenced by mosaic pavements, tomb slabs, rugs, and, more recently, floor-based works of fine art. In many cases, human beings have been encouraged to walk on such imagery – a mode of viewing that not only results in direct physical contact with images but also means that a spectator cannot view ground-based images without simultaneously seeing parts of his or her own body. In this respect, a spectator’s body at once completes and interrupts the imagery being viewed.

This proposed session seeks to explore a range of issues broadly related to the theme of walking on images. Some possible topics for consideration include:

  • the motivations for making and/or commissioning particular examples of ‘walkable’ imagery
  • the conservation and restoration of floor-based imagery that has been effaced through walking
  • theoretical or transdisciplinary discussions of the figure-ground relationship during the act of walking on images
  • the dialogue between figuration and abstraction in floor-based decorative arts
  • the extent to which the act of walking on imagery problematises the very notion of the image, which is closely associated with resemblance and similitude

Submit a paper

Please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenor above, using the Paper Proposal Form

You need to provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because the title is what appears online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenor.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 21 October 2019


BACK TO 2020 Annual Conference