Winding Paths, the largest collection of writer Bruce Chatwin's photographs yet published, is a visual feast of an accompaniment to his unclassifiable and unique books--In Patagonia, The Viceroy of Ouidah,On the Black HillThe Songlines and Utz. "Life is a journey through a wilderness", wrote Chatwin, and his extraordinary images record his sojourns in his own particular wilderness. Captured with his masterly eye for colour and beauty, we follow him to the markets of Istanbul, where fish heaped upon fish gleam as if with the freshness of a painter's brushstrokes, to the rich ochres and merciless sun of Mali and the aching, unreproduceable blue of the mosques of Iran where his quest takes him "in the footsteps" of the early 20th-century traveller Robert Byron. Then there is the human element: the black-and-white, almost 19th-century quality of his studies of the Welsh community in Patagonia, Argentina, which inspired his first book; the desert people of Mauritania, the camel drivers of the Sudan. Chatwin was "one of those rare and daring souls" writes Roberto Calasso in his introduction to Winding Paths "to open one's eyes and look is the primordial, irreducible prerequisite of knowledge." These photographs certainly pinpoint the clarity of Chatwin's vision and his belief that "to rediscover his humanity (man) must slough off his attachments and take to the road." --Catherine Taylor
Throughout his travels, Bruce Chatwin took thousands of photographs. They demonstrate his legendary "eye" at its best, showing a sense of colour and surface, an ability to find beauty in the most mundane of objects or prosaic of places.