This is an ongoing collection of images I’ve made mainly in New England. The title of the work, The Long Road Home, refers to the exploration of the question of where we are going, and why.
artist: Molly D'Arcy
project: The Long Road Home
I’m interested in the coming and going of the people I encounter while photographing. In my imagination, our exchange often feels like a brief interlude on their journey toward some large, very important destination. I sequenced this work while holding in mind the journey of a singular being, taking various forms through birth and death. Multiple, endless, infinite journeys home.
It feels nearly impossible to describe how or from where this project originated. Pieces of the project have been collected from many experiences in my life, though the idea of “a long road home” has been in the back of my mind since I began to cultivate a photographic practice. A significant piece of the project took form during my stay at a Zen Buddhist Monastery, when I realized that denying or detaching from life was not my ultimate goal, at least at that stage of my growth. I realized I was not ready for a monastic life, and a friend came to pick me up at a back gate. I learned that I wanted to use my spiritual practice to embrace physicality and material form, and that I could use image-making as one way to engage with the world, to externalize the many internal desires I still held.
This project is shot nearly entirely on film, as working within the analog tradition is an extremely necessary component of my work. I love the care and quality of attention called for when shooting and developing film. Each exposure still matters so much to me, and I can always sense the physicality of the process in the end result. Today, images can be seen as nearly valueless, due to the quantity and ease of which they are produced and altered. It feels important to me to remember that image-making is an art, and one that still requires deep levels of presence, engagement, care, and preservation. I want to uphold and honor the tradition, and know that it is not lost.