As I Walked Out, Ric Bower
When the artist was 18 his father bought him a one way ticket to Spain. Within 24 hours of arriving he had all his possessions stolen and lost all his money. He subsequently undertook a journey on foot down the Costa del Sol along the same route that Laurie Lee had walked down 50 years earlier.
Bower returned to Spain 20 years later to document his memories of the journey, each image in the series alluding to a particular experience. Bottles of Piss refers to a derelict house which was filled with bottled urine; Three Quid is the sum the artist raised by selling his watch; Twenty Three is the number of hours spent confined to a cell each day in Gibraltar gaol; Six Inches is what he found to be the distance of his nose was from a human turd, upon awakening one morning.
The project centres on the rock of Gibraltar, which itself becomes a metaphor for the spiritual realm, its mysterious openings became irresistible to the artists, drawing them in, as did the living reality of Jesus Christ. They borrow from Caspar David Friedrich and Alberto García Alix to relay the claustrophobia of substance addiction and to convey the antithesis of the liberating road trip.
This project was in part supported by Arts Council Wales. Prints from this series have been acquired for the Ernst and Young Collection and the series was exhibited at Tactile Bosch in 2008.