In the Fall of 2013 I got this crazy idea to go for a walk: a 540-mile walk through some of the most breathtaking primeval landscapes, ancient cities and near-ghost towns that still exist in our civilized world. Walking in the footsteps of Napoleon and Charlemagne, as well as those of the millions of pilgrims over the past 1200 years intrigued me. There is a kind of cumulative energy on the Camino that seems to resonate from all those who have traversed it.
El Camino de Santiago de Compostela has been a religious pilgrimage route - dating from about 800AD - that traditionally begins in a little village in the French Pyrenees and winds its way through Northern Spain, across mountains and plains for over 500 miles, ending at Santiago, Spain, near the Atlantic coast. It has a rich history as an important battleground and intermingling of all the world’s major religions. In 1987 it was named a World Heritage Site.
I decided to undertake this ancient pilgrimage, as had most Americans I met there, after seeing Emilio Estevez’ film, The Way. Recent increase in world popularity is due to numerous best-selling books about the Camino pilgrimage in Germany, Korea, Australia and the U.S. It has attracted over 230,000 people to walk it in 2013 alone.
My personal way of working over the years has been to explore and examine a particular place or area in-depth for what I call “found still lifes,” an important part of the residue that people leave in their wake of inhabiting or passing through a place. Series have included the quiet, intimate corners of both public and private Kyoto, Japan, coastal fishing villages of Nova Scotia, Canada, private estates, as well as capturing this ancient pilgrimage in the landscapes and medieval architecture of rural northern Spain.
Mr. Goodman is a fine art and product photographer living and working in Peekskill, New York. His fine art is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, The George Eastman House, the Pfizer Collection, among other international collections. He has a Masters of Fine Arts degree in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology and has been a visiting researcher, artist-in-residence and lecturer in Kyoto, Japan.