Paul Gaffney : Perigee

Exhibition dates: October 12 to November 18 2016

Artist’s Talk: Paul Gaffney will give a public talk about the making of the work on November 16 at 5pm. Admission is free, all welcome, book here

For the past number of years, Irish artist Paul Gaffney has been investigating different ways of experiencing and representing landscape. This exhibition features two recent bodies of work, which have been photographed entirely by the light of the moon.

Perigee refers to the point in the moon’s orbit at which it is closest to Earth. Walking through forest landscapes by daylight, Gaffney documented his wanderings using polaroids. Later, he re-explored some routes after nightfall, to photograph under the light of the full moon. Bathed in its soft otherworldly glow, the forest’s narrow steep valleys evoke a mysterious, psychological wilderness in what is, in reality, a highly managed man-made environment.

A related body of work, Stray, was photographed in a dense pine forest in almost total darkness in late 2014, and is exhibited here using multiple slide projectors. The dark immersive installation evokes an experience of being at the edge of one’s comfort zone and cautiously moving through a disorientating and constantly changing environment, where our visual sense is so limited that our other senses become extremely heightened.

Drawn with light that is barely perceptible to the eye, Gaffney’s photographs emerge out of intuition, coincidence, and an underlying longing for connection and stillness. And although it’s tempting to call them landscapes, they are created through different ways of knowing a place – ways that acknowledge the moving, feeling body, rather than the distanced and distancing eye, as the foundation of our experience. – Eugenie Shinkle, January 2016

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