For a long time now I have wanted to photograph the dioramas of the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM). The desire was twofold: I had been to the RBCM when I was ten years old, and the experience always stayed with me. The other was in homage to one of my favourite photographers, Hiroshi Sugimoto, who had photographed the dioramas of the Natural History Museum, in New York City.
The RBCM, in Victoria, BC, is the province’s premiere museum for natural and human history. The depth of detail, artistry and craftsmanship that goes into creating the dioramas, trompe l’oeil background paintings, and all of the life size examples of historical settings of the way of life in BC used to be in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are fantastic.
In making the photos for this series, I gained an ever greater respect for all the thought and detail that goes into making each of the scenes seem so lifelike, enabling the viewer to immerse themselves in the sights, smells, and sounds. I wanted to make photos that honoured all of the efforts made to create these scenes, while trying to elect the feeling of living worlds.
The final photograph in the series is another homage to Hiroshi Sugiomoto – a sort of meta homage – to his ‘Theatres’ series of movie cinema interiors. The interior of the ‘Majestic’ cinema in the RBCM plays Charlie Chaplin’s, ’The Gold Rush’ on a loop. This allowed me to make my own long-exposure of the interior of the cinema aided only by the light of the projector screen, and some small wall sconces.
‘Behind the Plexi’
‘Behind the Plexi’ is a photo series focusing on the restaurant and food service industry, in Vancouver, BC, in a effort to raise funds to help support those in the industry who have been affected by the shutdowns and limitations currently in place.
As one of the four photographers on the project, these images constitute my contribution.
Restaurateurs are all working hard to keep things moving forward and to keep people employed. It goes without saying that they are all trying to save their businesses and, in doing so, to save the culture of owner-operated restaurants. It is this culture that they continue to cultivate that provide a sense of togetherness and vibrancy in their communities.
Partnering with ‘Breaking Bread’, and a other talented photographers, the combined images capture what life is like Behind the Plexiglas. With this project, we are hoping to capture the essence of this time period—a period of determination and resoluteness to keep going until we can all get through this.
‘Under the Bridge’
2015 – 2019
The Burrard Street Bridge is Vancouver’s most decorative bridge. Completed in 1932, the Art Deco styled bridge connects downtown Vancouver to Kitsilano. On the north side, Beach Avenue runs under the bridge where the face of the north pier is situated.
Over eighty-plus years, the concrete piers have effloresced, and scars of repair have appeared. The established right angles of the piers and the striations left by the wood slats of the concrete forms add a structure to what is essentially patterns of random weathering.
To me, it’s an abstract-expressionist canvas created by time and coincidence.