Back in 2012, artist David Blackmore set himself the seemingly impossible challenge of walking from Mizen Head in the south of Ireland to Malin Head at the northernmost point, without passing a single pub along the way. As I’m sure you’re aware, there are a lot of pubs in Ireland, and on the many occasions he encountered one during his travels, David would have to make a detour so as not to pass it.
The inspiration to undertake such a task came about after seeing a plaque outside a pub in Co. Clare. The plaque, known as the James Joyce Pub Award, was presented by Bloomsday Publications to a number of authentic Irish pubs on Bloomsday in the year 2000, and reads: “A good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub.” The quote is taken from Modernist writer James Joyce’s seminal work of stream of consciousness fiction Ulysses, and despite proving difficult for Joyce fans to accomplish whilst visiting Dublin, Blackmore decided to take it one step further, or more precisely, 735km further by crossing Ireland.
David documented his solitary expedition via social media, in particular Facebook and Twitter. The images are snapshots. They are not composed in an attempt to elevate the pubs he avoids from the distance or the things he encounters to individual works of art. Rather, the art is in the walk and the creation of a narrative, the photographs existing solely as a document of the experience.