Past Exhibition


Paul Gaffney - 4 September to 17 October 2015

From the series 'Stray' (2015) © Paul Gaffney

From the series 'Stray' (2015) © Paul Gaffney

From the series 'Stray' (2015) © Paul Gaffney

From the series 'Stray' (2015) © Paul Gaffney

From the series 'Perigee' (2015) © Paul Gaffney

From the series 'Perigee' (2015) © Paul Gaffney

Paul Gaffney is currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at the University of Ulster, Belfast. His 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. Gaffney’s exhibition at Belfast Exposed will feature work from a number of recent studies related to this research theme.

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 proposes to communicate an experience of immersion in nature to the viewer. He invites the viewer’s active participation in this experimental and discursive exhibition, which will unfold and evolve over the course of six weeks.

Gaffney will be present in the gallery throughout the exhibition run, conducting experiments in print and display processes. A printer will be installed in the space, which will allow the artist to print work on site and visibly demonstrate the decision-making that underpins exhibition planning and development. As the weeks progress, the artist will apply different approaches to printing, framing, mounting, projecting and illuminating the work. Various sequencing and editing techniques will be utilised as a means in which to tease out the relationships between the images, thus enabling a layered narrative to emerge.

The key processes and changes described above will be communicated via social media so that visitors will know when each is due to happen. The audience will be invited to give feedback, and the exhibition will also be framed by a series of artist’s talks and critical discussions with graduate and post graduate photography students, community groups and Belfast Exposed training course participants.

The exhibition will open on 3 September with the artist in conversation with Belfast Exposed’s curator. There will be a closing event during the last week, in the form of a BX photo book club where Gaffney will launch a handmade limited-edition publication, which will be produced during the exhibition.


Paul Gaffney’s previous series ‘We Make the Path by Walking,’ explored the idea of long distance walking as a form of meditation and personal transformation. The project was released in 2013 as a self-published photobook, and was nominated for the Photobook Award 2013 at the 6th International Photobook Festival in Kassel, Germany and shortlisted for the European Publishers Award for Photography. The work was 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.


Stray is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.



Thursday 3 September, 6pm

A conversation with Paul Gaffney opening up the ideas behind Stray and discussing how the exhibition will evolve.

Friday 18 September,  4pm - 9pm 

Culture Night: Over the course of the evening, the artist will produce a book of his new work Stray.

Thursday 1 October, 6pm (Late Night Art)

Reading Rooms: A unique group reading experience based on the work of Paul Gaffney in partnership with Verbal Arts Centre 

Saturday 3 October, 12pm - 4pm and Saturday 10 October 12pm - 4pm 

Liminal Journeys: A photography workshop with Frederic Huska

6 October – 10 October:

Critical Conversations with students from University of Ulster and Belfast Exposed Training Schemes 

Thursday 15 October, 6pm

Closing event:  Book Launch of Stray