We Make the Path by Walking
‘By walking we escape the idea itself of identity… The freedom experienced when walking is about not being anyone because the body that walks has no history; It just has an eternal current of life.’
– Frédéric Gros
The continual repetition of walking allows forgetfulness. It can allow a peacefulness, a certain fragility created by one simply, being alone. The moments between your own body and the earth become silently connected.
There is a particular intimacy which Paul Gaffney’s project ‘We Make the Path by Walking’ acknowledges, the feelings that every person experiences but does not slow down to understand or allow themselves to accept.
We are welcomed into a journey of what seems like a meditative solitude, yet we are not made to feel as if we are intruding.
The seduction of misty fields and tracks leading to the unknown lures the viewer in to discover the presence Gaffney had within this vast landscape.
These images originate from a journey of walking over 3,500km and they form the self-published photo book, ‘We Make the Path by Walking.’
This book immerses the reader as if we are on this exploration across the landscape with the artist himself.
The images are mysterious; challenging us to contemplate our own journey, the choices we make and the experiences we encounter on the way. There is a delicacy to his work; such as the intertwining of fragile cobwebs hanging in greenery, or a sheer sheet tangled amongst tree branches.
Each image tells a story of the essence of this long journey. We are able to read into the quiet, subtleness of the metaphors connecting each photograph to the next. There is a sense of strangeness and the unknown, yet no sense of fear.Through these images we delve deeper into the personal pilgrimage Paul Gaffney took and discover his immersion in the nature of this ever-changing landscape.
More of Paul Gaffney’s work here.
Text by: Clare Callaghan.