This past weekend my partner Wes was up for a visit from Halifax and we did some scouting for Underdogs. These are the old roads accessing the mud dumps, or coal cuts, behind Minto.
In preparation for my residency at the Barracks next week, I spent an hour walking around down town with my 1972 Minolta SRT 200, and my trusty digital camera that Wes gave me. I need reference photos for drawings and collages that i'll be working on next week.... It was an interesting experience walking a mile or two in Wes's shoes. Dragging around 2 cameras and gear, sweating profusely, getting glares and curious stares from city officials and passers-by as I expolored interesting bits of graffiti and construction zones. I was drawn to the Westmorland street bridge and couldn't snap fast enough the strange and engaging perspective of pylons underneath. My goal was to explore perspective and vanishing points. Here's my favourite from the day, which will turn into a half painted/half cut paper collage next week:
I am very pleased to announce that I've been awarded a 2014 Creation Grant from artsnb for the project titled 'Underdogs'. This new body of work will be completed in 2015, in collaboration with Wes Gould, a Halifax based photographer. Check out the project description:
Underdogs is a collaborative project created by myself (mixed media visual artist) and Wesley Gould, a Halifax photographer and camera maker. The work will explore three main themes: memory, landscape and evolution.
Wes and I grew up together in a dying coal mining town in rural New Brunswick with bleak living conditions and doubtful futures. Fifteen years after graduation we reunite to document our starting point, our evolution and the respective cities we've claimed as home.
This project explores our place of origin (coal cuts, high school, town), Fredericton (psychiatric hospital, walking bridge, downtown), and Halifax (harbor, granite barrens, North End row houses). The selected locations are significant to our identity development: challenges battled, such as mental illness, but also growth and new beginnings. Changes to our hometown, development or degradation, will be recorded and likened to our changes over the years as individuals. The camera is our tool of exploration and recall, a “time machine,” offering visual evocation of roots and memories. Wesley’s photographs are generated using a handmade pinhole camera. The photographs will then be re-interpreted by me through collage, adding elements of painting, drawing and found objects and will be approximately 18"x60"; the resulting work will be a synthesis of a shared dual history and current perspective.
All work will exhibit together as a whole. We will be proposing the exhibit to Fredericton and Halifax galleries, with the intention of conducting artist talks and workshops for high school students on camera building and mixed media painting. I am a self-taught photographer and all the reference for art work is taken by myself. With support from this grant it will help push my practice into a new phase of strengthening my painting and drawing in architectural subjects by studying the depth and shadow of Wesley's photographic methods. Underdogs will provide us valuable opportunities to learn about each other's artistic techniques and together this opportunity will allow us to expand our professional networks by exhibiting in new venues of Fredericton and Halifax.