In a world that is moving towards a “post-literate” state, the image is key to carrying meaning, as vulnerable as it is to redefinition. Connotations exploits this instability by pulling images old and new from a variety of sources and juxtaposing them in miniaturized, ever-referential photo-collages.
By reprinting a mix of found and self-taken photographs on Polaroid-style instax prints, the series aims for an impressionistic approach to photography. Beyond the nostalgic sentimentality that instax prints grant the images, the scale encourages viewers to get close to the work, inspecting it carefully, looking beyond the contents and into the contexts. Rather than viewing the works as singular objects, we are encouraged to piece apart the meaning built from their interrelations, their grammar. This, of course, is modulated by the bodies of knowledge that we as viewers—as diverse interpreters of art and history—bring to the table.
In a time when political points are scored from easy answers to complex questions, this series reminds us that the intricacy of the world is inescapable, communicated not only in our images but also in our methods of organization. Our hyperactive, oversaturated visual culture invites this engagement with multiplicity, but how we confront it is ultimately up to us.
The Boat People
Land of Plenty
A Common Goal
The inventory process.
Points of View
The Simple Explanation
Move along Captain Schröder (The King has Spoken)
The Rolex Submariner
Salute for the Colonel
The Problem Solvers
A measured response.
An Unfortunate Occurance
The Sacred Amendment
Time for Betty.
The Concession series documents predominantly Toronto storefronts that reflect the city’s past and its rapid economic and cultural changes. These storefronts provide valuable insight into aesthetic and historic aspects of the urban fabric. The ‘designed image’ of current day commerce creates homogeneity across the City. Close examination of these older storefronts reveals a fragile wash of elements from various points in time, expressed in both the exterior surfaces and interior spaces. The photographs are taken at night when the equal balance of light captures the many external and internal details. These places captured in a single point in time require the viewer to determine for themselves what outcomes may be implied.
The blandscape series started as a response to the rapid consumption of rural Southern Ontario land for industrial and commercial developments. These small landscape gestures were a replacement for what was lost. There is a striking formality of approach that is in contrast to the insignificance of the landscape design.
‘Consumed’ is a visual survey of the development of warehouse structures and their impact on the landscape. Production, storage, and consumption of consumer goods are pertinent issues affecting both environmental sustainability and the character of the landscape. With the population of Ontario projected to grow by 4.2 million people in the next 28 years, we can expect a large increase in imported consumer goods to meet demand. Agricultural land on the outskirts of Toronto is already being transformed into major warehouse hubs. Proximity to highways and expansive flat topography make this land perfect for warehouses. Where we once consumed food produced by the land we now consume land to support our insatiable hunger for consumer products. This series received an Ontario Arts Council grant in early 2015 and is currently under development.
Eingehüllt is a study of the visual qualities of structures that have been modified by the addition of scaffolds and shrouds as part of a repair process. These temporary coverings create a change in our perception of the underlying objects. This effect has wider implications in our understanding of how we perceive things in general. The shrouds create a type of anonymous art, or in the language of this series ‘Kunst ohne Künstler’ (Art without an artist). Viewers are challenged to provide their own interpretations of the common forms beneath the shrouds.
The series was chosen for the 2012 RBC Emerging photographer award at RMG Exposed / Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Ontario.
The work was exhibited in a solo show at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in 2013 as part of the Toronto Contact Photography event.
These photographs are a subset of the ‘Consumed’ series. They are a record of the warehouses in their early stages of construction. In a positive sense they appear to me as large environmental sculptures on the land. Without walls, the views to the landscape create a depth that vanishes once construction is completed. The use of B&W allows a reading of form without the emotional impact of colour.