Sonia Overall


Credit: Thierry Bal

‘Loci’ is a site-specific project of walking, words and speculative situations in the Sunken Gardens. In this re-envisioning of place, strange mutations take root, entangling past and future to erode our present certainties. ’Loci’ is made up of three elements, the first of which are reinterpretation of plant labels. Here they act as markers citing lost, potential and never-to-be plant specimens, constructing a ghost gallery of imagined and fantastical flora. Visitors are invited to take a misguided tour of these botanical placeholders to consider the site’s deep past and speculative future, and to join Overall for a performative journey around the garden for two live walks. The final component is an immersive, ambulatory poem recorded by Overall to re-enchant the Sunken Garden. Created through attentive walks around and intensive dwellings in the site, this piece examines suspended moments of experience to conjure a palimpsest of place. Listen at home or on site to add another layer.


View PDF transcript here


Sonia Overall is walking writer and psychogeographer. Her practice creatively interrogates place, seeking out synchronicities, alternative histories, fragments of poetry and overlooked narratives. Sonia uses attentive and attitudinal walking to reimagine and re-enchant the everyday. She combines this with ambulatory writing methods to produce performative and experimental text. Sonia also produces walking scores: short invitations and provocations for alternative walks.


Sonia Overall (PhD SFHEA) is a writer, psychogeographer and writing tutor living in East Kent. Her published writing includes novels, poetry, short stories, academic articles and features, many of which touch on psychogeography, spirit of place and aspects of the weird. Her latest short pieces can be found in Streetcake and Neon magazines; her books include the poetry collection ‘The Art of Walking’, the walking-writing manual ‘walk write (repeat)’, and the hybrid memoir ‘Heavy Time: a psychogeographer’s pilgrimage’.

Sonia is a member of the Walking Artists Network and founder and curator of Women Who Walk, a network for walking academics and creatives. Her walking projects include themed public and performative walks, temporary labyrinths and the lockdown walking project on Twitter, #DistanceDrift. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, where she runs the MA in Creative Writing.


Etching production: Lasercraft Creations, Margate
Workshop assistance: James Frost