Paul Gaffney

For the past number of years, Paul Gaffney has been investigating different ways of experiencing and representing landscape. His research is focused on developing a meditative approach to landscape photography, and explores how the act of image making can enable and disrupt a sense of connection with one’s surroundings. 

Drawing on Arnold Berleant’s theory of a ‘participatory approach’ to landscape, in which the artist, environment and viewer are considered to be in continuous dialogue with each other, his practice proposes to communicate an experience of immersion in nature to the viewer. 

Gaffney holds an MFA in Photography from the University of Ulster in Belfast, and a Diploma in Documentary Photography from the University of Wales, Newport. He was recently selected for the Arts Council’s ‘Next Generation Bursary Award’ 2016-17.

His acclaimed photobook, We Make the Path by Walking, focused on the idea of long distance walking as a form of meditation. His second publication Stray was photographed by night in a dense Irish forest during an artist residency in 2014, and his latest project Perigee was made in the Ardennes in Luxembourg under the light of the full moon.

His books have been nominated for the Photobook Award at the International Photobook Festival Kassel (2013 & 2016), shortlisted for the European Publishers Award for Photography, and selected for several ‘Best Photobooks of The Year’ lists.

Gaffney’s work has also been presented as solo exhibitions at the Centre national de l’audiovisuel (Luxembourg), Flowers Gallery (London), Gallery of Photography (Dublin), Belfast Exposed Gallery, Ffotogallery (Cardiff), Oliver Sears Gallery (Dublin) and in group shows and festivals in the US, UK, South Africa, Ireland, Italy, France and China. 

His images have been published internationally in print and online periodicals including American Suburb X, Harvard Design Review, Creative Review, The New Yorker, European Photography, DU Magazine, Katalog, PaperJam, Source, Photomonitor and Landscape Stories.

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