This is the fictional story of a young man, William Henry Quinn, who is walking from the south-west of England to the far north of Scotland in post Second World War Britain.
Although fictional, the work is in response to the real experiences of men and women post-trauma, both in the early twentieth century and now. The life changes imposed on each generation by conflict and global socio-economic collapse as well personal tragedy produces a constant stream of people left untethered in the world, often literally travelling in any way they can, to find a new home, a new purpose and to rebuild their place in the world.
As we follow Quinn on his odyssey, we travel with him on a physical and metaphorical journey mediated by the British landscape, which is both changed and unchanged since the 1940s. The ancient byways along which he and others have traveled remain as they were then, and yet with the immutability of change and the unremitting nature of time passing, lives and memories change and fade. As we walk alongside Quinn and learn his story, we may perhaps come to understand more about our own search for existential meaning, and ponder our own purpose in life.
The work consists of large-format photographs, moving image pieces, ephemera and text, created to be viewed and read side-by-side, to take the viewer through a multi-dimensional experience; much like reading a novel, visiting the theatre, and going to the cinema at the same time. Quinn is a meditation on grief, loss, loneliness, the human search for meaning, and the possibility of redemption through time and landscape.
To experience the project in its entirety, please click here to listen to Samuel J Weir narrating Quinn's diary as you look through the images and moving image pieces.