Paloma Dooley grew up in New York and earned a BA in photography from Bard College. In 2016, she completed a one month artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center. In 2017, her work was featured in “Too Good to be Photographed,” (pub. Lugemik, ed. Paul Paper) a book about the strengths and failures of photography as a medium. She currently lives and works in upstate New York. She uses a large format view camera to photograph predominantly in the landscape at home and on the road.
Edges / Passageways
In my ongoing project Edges / Passageways, I investigate the strange and often arbitrary ways people draw lines over the land. I am drawn—over and over again—to fences, barriers, walkways, paths, highways, and walls that, together, form a visual vocabulary of movement, ownership, belonging, and division between person and person, or between person and land.
I am fascinated by the ways in which people make decisions about space and ownership and, through photographic exploration, I want to look at the ways movement is permitted or prohibited and the ways in which land is divvied up and parceled out.
A freeway is a passageway to many, but an edge/barrier for some. This dual state of existing is what I am searching for—that an edge can separates two things or places, or serve as the passage between them. Freeways are often presented as projects that will serve as connectors across a city, or between cities—effective, efficient: a force for good. Often, though, their construction necessitates the destruction of entire neighborhoods by bisection.
In looking for ways that land is fenced in and movement is controlled, I also see the ways that people find their inevitable ways around walls. I find the ways that people make—people create ways through, people improvise, people track. Fences fall and barriers can fail. Walls outlive their usefulness. Foot-worn pathways—“desire paths”—prevail, and lowly vines can overtake highway overpasses. I am interested in picturing the borders and barriers that people erect arbitrarily and enforce haphazardly, but I also want to look at the ways that people undermine and evade systems of organization and control.
Hillside with Shadow
Highland Park Hill
Landscape with Trash
Home Under Overpass
To view more of Paloma Dooley’s work please visit their website.