Statement
 
'In 2013 I decided to leave the frenetic traffic clogged flatland madness of Saigon, for the more subdued nature of Vung Tau, a nearby small coastal town abutting the South China sea and tucked up against forested hills.

For a year, I rented a room in a small hotel that faced the sea out front and behind ran a narrow lane that climbed gradually up and away from the ramshackle houses into a jungle clad bluff. The setting for my daily keep fit regimen, for after a brisk walk up the tarmacadam path that gave way to loose gravel eventually to a dirt track, and then finally a grassy ridge deep in the treeline, this tranquil and secluded spot afforded me wonderful views of the jade waters of the South China Sea and was the perfect setting for my yoga routine.

I began to walk this pathway daily both dawn and dusk, just 2 kilometers from bottom to top and back again, but I so relished the peace and quiet afforded at the high point of this short hike, I needed those two daily visits. For up there it felt heavenly, down below, noisy, chaotic. Dare I say, hellish!

As the days progressed I began to think of Dante's Purgatorio, and see the path, this short journey from top to bottom as visual allegory, not unlike Dante's seven terraces! Earthly paradise at the top, a kind of purgatory at the bottom. The more I walked the path the more it felt natural to think of it this way.

Certainly at the summit, it felt heavenly. The flame trees in blossom, the call of birds, butterflies on the wing mid morning, fireflies on the wing at dusk. Pristine, whimsical, untrammeled. Dare I say sublime. I could look around and imagine a world before mankind exerted his toll.

Then as I proceeded downhill, the first signs of mankind appeared just as the grassy path gave way to gravel. I would hear the bark of a dog, and then perhaps a little later the chime of a monk's gong well before I actually caught site of the Taoist temple set back in among the trees. Up here in the higher reaches it seemed humanity still held a certain reverence for nature. For the simple life.

As I descended further down, now to the gravel section of the path, things began to change. High walls erected. Golden ornate gates locked. Man claiming ownership of the land? Barring entry. Asserting his assumption that what he contains, he owns. Litter began to infuse the grasses and hedgerows. Yet further still, discarded syringes in the tree line, suggesting heroine addiction. Further down idle human banter! Giggles, guffaws, staccato voices, shouts, cries, screams. Finally at the base of the hill I would be shaken back into the 21st century by the rumble of traffic and blaze of neon lights. Alas man in giddy mode. Reveling in artificial lights. Concrete. Temptation. Gluttony. Animals caged for entertainment. Covetous indulgence. Overkill. Destruction'.

I realize re-reading this statement above that my intentions are only partly fulfilled both in these words and the idea and images can be construed as simplistic. Possibly simplistic is apt and relevant. I simply walked the path with a camera, allowed linearity, from summer to winter and back again, up and down the hill, back and forth, (and visited just one or two locations away from the path to give me the chance to shoot one or two important narrative pictures such as the monkey in a cage or fenced deer) and through mere observation developed the series of images which I hope seen collectively here will resonate. Resonate aesthetically. Resonate emotively. Resonate incompletely.

Path to Purgatorio
RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 1. In the Beginning God Created the Earth
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-001

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 1. Celestiality #1
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-002

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 1. The Ridge of Redemption
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-003

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 1. Celestiality #2
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-004

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 1. Scion
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-005

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 1. The Encroachment Route
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-006

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 1. Forest of Ferns
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-007

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 1. The Oceanographic World seen from the Upper Reaches
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-008

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 2. Pious
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-009

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 2. Flamboyant Tree
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-010

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 2. Taoist Temple Detail
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-011

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 2. Reverence
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-012

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 2. Eternal Sleep
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-013

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 2. “he who will not economize will have to agonize” ― Confucius
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-014

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 2. Kitchen caretaker
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-015

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 3. Canine #1
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-016

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 3. Canine #2
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-017

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 3. Canine Internment
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-018

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 3. Bird House
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-019

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 3. 1000 Steps
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-020

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 3. Forest Edges
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-021

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 4. Wild bird trappers appear
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-022

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 4. First Cuts
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-023

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 4. Mercury Pool
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-024

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 4. Autumnal Tarmacadam
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-025

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 5. The Beginning of the End # 1
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-026

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 5. Human Drama Initiative
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-027

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 5. Turn Night Into Day # 1
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-028

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 5. Gated # 1
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-029

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 5. Turn Night Into Day # 2
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-030

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 5. Gated # 2
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-031

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 5. Gated # 3
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-032

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Nature Caged, Nature Tamed # 1
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-033

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Nature Caged, Nature Tamed # 2
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-034

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Our Boxed and Packaged World
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-035

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Something has broken my world
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-035/A

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. The Beginning of the End # 2
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-036

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Turn Night Into Day # 3
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-037

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. The Beginning of the End # 3
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-038

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Turn Night Into Day # 4
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-039

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Turn Night Into Day # 5
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-040

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Leaf Clutter # 1
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-041

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Crap Hole
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-042

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Leaf Clutter # 2
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-043

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Cause and Effect. Diptych #1
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-044

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Leaf Clutter # 3
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-045

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Flotsam in the new age
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-046

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 6. Leaf Clutter # 4
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-047

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 7. Escape to Purgatory
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-048

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 7. The Syringe
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-049

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 7. The Departed #1
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-050

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 7. The Departed # 2
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-051

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 7. The Age of Extinction
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-052

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 7. The Abandonment # 1
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-053

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 7. The Abandonment # 2
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-054

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 7. Back to the age of the cave dweller?
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-055

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 7. Sandalized
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-056

NOT FOR SALE

RICHARD MARK DOBSON Path to Purgatorio
Level 7. In the End God abandoned the Earth
2013
Catalogue Number: PTP-057

NOT FOR SALE

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