Paul Gaffney’s research is aimed at 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, Gaffney’s practice proposes to communicate an experience of immersion in nature to the viewer.
Gaffney’s first self-published photobook, We Make the Path by Walking, was nominated for the Photobook Award 2013 at the 6th International Photobook Festival in Kassel, shortlisted for the European Publishers Award for Photography 2013, and selected for several ‘Best Photobooks of 2013’ lists, including Photo-Eye and The British Journal of Photography. The work was also presented as solo exhibitions at Oliver Sears Gallery (Dublin), Flowers Gallery (London), Ffotogallery (Cardiff) and PhotoIreland Festival 2013 (Dublin), and in several group shows in the United States, UK, South Africa, Ireland, Italy and China.
Gaffney released his second self-published book Stray in November 2015, a limited edition handmade artist book which was developed during a 6 week experimental exhibition at Belfast Exposed photography gallery. Stray was nominated by Bertien van Manen for the Best Photobooks Kassel 2016 Experts Selection.