I have always been fascinated with small structures. My earliest recollection of shelter was as a 6 year old growing up in Trinidad. It was a guard house for our neighbour. No more than three walls and a lean to roof, it was a simple solution to shade the harsh sun and protect from tropical rains. These shelters, built by individuals with available materials, inspired me to take notice.
I moved to Montreal in the sixties and built snow forts and backyard igloos. Back then the snow was so deep that school cancellations were a normal occurrence. Come summertime, I rallied with friends and hammered together tree houses, without plans or fear of heights.
Through my photographic studies of Garbage Bins of Wasaga Beach (2003-2005), Chip Wagons of Ontario (2002-2010), and Tobacco Drying Huts of Delhi (2012), I discovered a kind of rural, home grown architecture. Aided by the rigor of working for many years with a large format camera and 4 x 5 sheet film, I have adopted a classic visual style influenced by mid-century masters Bernd and Hilla Becher. My typologies allow images to be read together as a series, where similarities and differences can be easily compared.
My Ice Huts series (2007-2017) explores a seasonal, off the grid, architectural form that must be transportable, while still being weather resistant. This ability to endure extreme winter cold is a complex challenge with unlimited solutions, each as personal as it's owner.
My Ice Villages series (2010-2017) is informed by early landscape master George Barnard who overlapped several images to extend a viewpoint beyond the single frame. These panoramic images explore the need for community, sometimes structured, often random. By returning to the same locations, over time, I have witnessed regional growth and decline.
The images in this series are dedicated to the resourceful people, engaged in ice fishing culture, making our winter-white landscape a little more colourful and infinitely more interesting.