For many years I dreamed of trip that would allow me to explore AMERICA in an unhurried way, devoid of schedules and “have-to’s”.
In 2000 I set out on the first of these trips with no itinerary, no route, and just a few ideas of places I would like to visit.
Traveling by car, experiencing the AMERICAN ROADTRIP through this slow method of travel, allowed me the freedom of flexibility in my route and timetable; it gave me the freedom to make u-turns, and the occasional “wrong turn”, which many times on the road, just as in life, may just up being the “right way”, or not.
I experienced cold days when it rained too much, yet even those days served to heighten my awareness and appreciationfor a hot cup of coffee, and a warm bed at the end of the day.
Mostly I experienced beauty – beautiful light, lots and lots of beautiful light, and a beautiful freedom to explore America, and myself.
Through these trips I discovered an appreciation for my free will and I came to appreciate many small acts that can too easily be taken for granted.
The freedom to choose the highway or not, to choose the chain motel or not, the fast food restaurant, or the local flavor of a Mom’n’Pop- these were among my choices, my freedoms, each day.
Throughout this project I saw places I hadn’t seen before, and I also saw something very important in me.
I discovered that photography affords me the ultimate freedom – the freedom of self-expression, and I have been fortunate to be able to embrace that process.
When I am with myself, and my camera, I exist in a peaceful state, and allow myself to just be: no self-censorship, just freedom to see, and to point my camera, and experience. Slowing down, being on the road helps me to attain and live in that state – allowing myself to be drawn to scenes by my intuition, without self imposed parameters. A freedom to trust my intuition, to create, and to embrace the act of photographing is a gift for me,
it is where I find my peace.
Only later, when I have a collection of images, am I able to look at them, and realize what has drawn me there. Looking at the body of work is like a combination of a self created Rorschachtest and the groogy morning reflection of last night’s dream ; the result is sometimes comforting, sometimes disturbing, but always telling.
I hope through these images you may experience the freedom and beauty that I have, and may you be inspired to find what it
is that allows you your freedom to just be.
– Mary Schilpp