This past weekend was another successful outing. But before I get into details, last Friday, March 18th I had a studio visit with Scott McLeod, the director of Prefix Photo Magazine. I have to give a big thank-you to Amanda White for giving me her slot because she thought it would be more suitable for me as a photographer. Overall, the visit went really well, and he had a really positive attitude towards my current direction that my work is moving. In fact, he even asked me to send him an image to keep on file. But with every visit comes some criticism, and his main one was to stay true to realism, or in other words, avoid as much distortion as possible due to the panoramic process. Yes, yes Bryan you were right… I have to admit it.
Later that afternoon I was scheduled to go for a motorcycle ride with Zeke Moores - one of the sculpture professors at the University, but we were both busy so decided to reschedule for Sunday morning as the weather was still suppose to be nice. So when I showed up at 10:00am, I was a little bit groggier then usual as it was a Sunday. Zeke seemed a bit apprehensive that I would be able to hold my own, and I’m pretty sure he told me about 3-4 times not to lean with the bike, and to hold on so I didn’t fall off. But fair enough, as I’ve never been on a motorcycle before.
After driving down Huron Church Rd. to get gas, I’m pretty sure to take me on a trial run to make sure I wouldn’t kill either of us, we headed towards the core of Windsor, Ford City. Our first stop was Drouillard Rd, at the International Tavern. Professor Rod Strickland recommended Zeke take me here because it is the bar that would become filled with autoworkers in overalls leaving the Ford Plant at shift change. I like the fact that you can see the Ford Power House in the background, one of the locations that Tokio had taken me the weekend before, and the mattresses in the upper windows of the building.
After taking a pano of the International Tavern, we drove to Richmond Street, once the industrial centre of Windsor, including motor vehicle and parts services. Here I shot a pano of some of the old buildings that once serviced the auto industry, but now lay in rubble after being torn down. Zeke, and his partner Lucy Howe, once had a studio near this spot on Walker Rd and Richmond Street, but it was destroyed in a fire, an occurrence that seems to happen regularly in the area.
It wasn’t a long drive from here to Central Avenue, another area of town that services the auto industry. The one building that stood out the most here was the yellow building of Central Stamping - a metal stamping manufacturer. I shot a pano of it, and the yellow building against the blue sky created great contrast. Having been out for 2 ½ hours at this point, we stopped at Taloola Café to get a coffee and warm up. It was right near here that I took a portrait of Zeke’s motorcycle next to an old abandoned building, with half of the windows broken in it, that apparently had once been an art studio. We then headed back, and although the coffee warmed me up a bit, I was still pretty chilled, and this was apparent as people in the Lebel building kept commenting on my blue lips.
I had about a ½ break before Cyndra MacDowall, one of the photography professors at the University picked me up to go out. I have to say, the heat of the sun in the car was really what I needed to warm up, although it did take about 2 hours to get all the feeling back into my hands. We immediately headed out of town on Walker Rd. Cyndra is doing a series on salt domes of Windsor, so we were initially searching for a new one she hadn’t seen before. It was located just outside of the township of McGregor by the Sutton Creek Gold & country club. Cyndra took some images of the inside of the dome, but we decided to stop here on the way back to shoot the exterior in the hopes that the light would be better. I did take a portrait of her car at this location though.
Maybe a kilometer from here, we came across ABC’s Auto Recycler Lot. This was the lot that Jim had mentioned, the guy that Natalie Sinn and myself came across at his shop ABC Auto Parts near the airport. Although he had said that if I wanted to shoot anything of his I needed his permission, I ignored this comment, and trespassed to get a pano that I am quite happy with.
From here we continued driving south, and stopped in the town of Harrow for a bite to eat and have some tea. It was getting late, so we headed back towards Windsor, but did stop at the salt dome to take some photographs. That evening, Cyndra made me dinner, in return for me helping her with some computer software. Again, good conversation were had throughout the day with both Zeke and Cyndra that otherwise would not have occurred within the confines of the Lebel building.
On a side note, a few other things that occurred later this week were a visit with some students from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. Although this was a group of metal smiths, they brought some interesting ideas about my work to my attention. One being that my work does not address the auto industry, but car culture. I’m still not sold on this idea, but something to consider. I also had a studio with professor Jennifer Willet, and her main concern was my idea of mapping. I agree with her on the fact that right now it is not resolved enough to be considered part of my body of work, and maybe it never will be. It may just be my process of gathering images when all is said and done.
Finally, there was been an article recently published about my show at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon in Verb magazine, and written by Meagen Thomas. Although the article is written very well, they cropped my image, and I am struggling with this. Was it wrong of them to crop my image without my knowledge? Should I address this issue with the editors? Or just ignore it and let it be… hmmm
Article, and Uncropped Image: