The name "Weald" is derived from Old English, meaning "forest". The series encompasses a view of trees in a non-romantic context. The more accepted photographic representation of trees presents them in their best horticultural form, sometimes flowering and generally in leaf. Even natural forest scenes are selected for the highest aesthetic representation of nature. The subjects in 'Weald' are generally unmaintained and as such present a complex variety of form. These trees exist on the fringes of roads, agricultural fields, gravel pits and urban areas. The series is a visual counterpoint to our romantic notions of nature photography.
The City of Buffalo was once the largest grain handling port in the world. Great Lakes grain ships came up the Buffalo River to unload at one of thirteen giant grain elevators built along its banks. From there the grain would be loaded onto rail cars and shipped out of the City. Buffalo reached its peak as a grain handling center in the mid 1940’s and started to decline in the following years. The construction of the Welland Canal in 1932 and the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959 meant that ships were now able to bypass the port of Buffalo. The elevator companies eventually went bankrupt and the elevators were abandoned along with the rail lines that criss-crossed the neighbourhood. The massive structures now stand as mute industrial artefacts, towering over the small houses that remain in the area. A number of the elevators have been demolished and the advanced state of decay in other elevators will ultimately lead to further demolitions.
‘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.
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.
Land of Plenty
Points of view
The Simple Explanation
A Common Goal
Salute for the Colonel
The Problem Solvers
The inventory process.
Move along Captain Schröder (The King has Spoken)
A measured response.
The Sacred Amendment
Time for Betty.
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.
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.