“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time” — T. S. Eliot
The statement yields exploration of home as a place. It is important that one loses the sense of the identity and uniqueness of a place by exploring and returning and seeing it from the outside. Home is the place we are trying to leave or escape to discover the world outside it but it is important that we return to it to find oneself and expand the exploration.
On the other hand, road trips and journeys can be a challenge and one can be inspired to take beautiful photographs. There are lots of photographers that took their best photographs during road trips and journeys.
Stephen Shore’s photographs that he took while traveling and exploring create what Alec Soth called “this pure experience of looking at the world“. Shore took photos on a road trip photographing places around the world, he shot his hotel television, bed and such neglected objects and impersonal spaces where a viewer wanders into them.
Shore travelled to new cities such as Hebron and Abu Dhabi but his most interesting projects took place at home. Shore is sometimes compared to Robert Frank which I wrote about here because both took road trips.
The Novelist Jack Kerouac got inspired by road trips too, his work “On the Road” which was written in 1951 recounts his trip across America. He typed the words over three uninterrupted weeks. I watched the film “On the Road” which was made as an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s novel of the same name and stars.
Irish photographer Paul Gaffney worked on a series of walking trips about five hundred miles. He then took trips to Spain, Portugal and France. Gaffney created a series of meditative calming images capturing the essence of his journey through walking trips.
We are asked the following in this section:
Where would you choose to do a project of this scale given the chance? What would you choose as your subject matter? What worlds would you like to create?
I would love to do a project of such scale as Platon Antoniou if I am given the chance. I would have loved to photograph the poor people of Srilanka when I was there, their life and living conditions to create a world of awareness to such matters.
Bibliography / References:
Craig, B. Then I Found Myself Seeing Pictures All the Time [online]. New Republic. Available from: https://newrepublic.com/article/115243/stephen-shore-photography-american-surfaces-uncommon-places [Accessed 5 July, 2017].
O’Hagan, S. America’s first king of the road [online]. The Gaurdian. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/aug/05/fiction.jackkerouac [Accessed 5 July, 2017].
Ti Pi Tin (2013). We Make the Path by Walking by Paul Gaffney [online]. Ti Pi Tin. Available from: http://www.tipitin.com/shop/we-make-the-path-by-walking-by-paul-gaffney [Accessed 5 July, 2017].
Yi-Fu Tuan. Space and Place: Humanistic Perspective [online]. Available from: http://geog.uoregon.edu/amarcus/geog620/Readings/Tuan_1979_space-place.pdf [Accessed 5 July, 2017].