BC Ferries, Green Turban, British Columbia 2016

July 1, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

 

BC Ferries, Green Turban 2016

Strictly visual, grey clouds, green turban. The view from a BC Ferries vessel.



Travellers Hotel and Swastikas, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2016

May 15, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Ladysmith, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Swastika, Uncategorized, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Travellers Hotel and Swastikas, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2016

The first time I photographed the Travellers Hotel in Ladysmith on the town’s main street my attention was held by the dilapidated hotel sign over the main doors. I really didn’t look up at the higher stories and facade which at a quick glance seemed to be just fairly plain brick. A closer look on a more recent visit revealed a line of swastikas girdling the building. It seems a strange, and offensive, symbol to find on the side of a Vancouver Island building.

The building was constructed in 1912-13 and at that time the swastika was considered a symbol of  peace and prosperity, not gaining it’s Nazi connection/connotation until the Second World War. There was apparently talk during that later time of removing the symbols because of  anti-German feeling but in the end the swastikas were left as is.

The late British Columbia artist ManWoman spent his career trying to restore the original meaning of the swastika. His body was tattooed with over 200 swastikas and he used the symbol in his art. Victoria writer Tom Hawthorn wrote the obituary in the Globe and Mail for ManWoman. It details his connection with the swastika.

You’ll note the continued deterioration, if you look at the 2012 image, of the hotel sign.

 



New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC 2016

January 30, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver,

As an exercise I sometimes try and photograph with an eye to preserving a view that will not exist in the future. The above is one such view. Shot from  Cambie Street and looking across Georgia Street to the north. The parking lot seen at the lower right of the image is the future site of the Vancouver Art Gallery. That new building will most certainly obscure the existing view that includes the iconic Sun tower with the  blue/green dome roof on Pender Street. The Sun tower was at one time home to the Vancouver Sun newspaper, hence the name. When it was built in 1912 it was the tallest building in the British Empire. The new art gallery will have a unique wood exterior and  the VAG site says work will commence in 2017.



BC Almanac and Presentation House Gallery

November 11, 2015 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Almanac, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Exhibition, Fine Art, Historical, History, Pacific Northwest, Photo Book, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Presentation House Gallery, Publishing, Vancouver | Leave a Comment 

BC Almanac 1

A while back I posted on a 1970′s publication featuring the work of a group of Vancouver photographers called the BC Almanac. That post is here.

BC Almanac 5

The publication was unique as it consisted of a series of mini-books/magazines, each one dedicated to one photographer’s work with the whole collection housed in a folder/cover. The one copy I was able to source and look over was missing many of the individual piece so it was difficult to get a sense of  the whole project. It was a shame as I felt it was an important part of Vancouver photo history and there seemed  no way to have a good look at that.

BC Almanac 4

The folks at North Vancouver’s Presentation House Gallery obviously thought the same thing and have mounted an exhibition of images and artifacts from the original work and publication and have republished the book, while this version does come in a folder, all the individual photographer sections/chapters are bound together in one big book.

BC Almanac 3

I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to take a look at the exhibition and purchase a copy of the book. The work, and some of it, as would be expected, holds up better than others, is still a great look at this time in Vancouver through the eyes of  a diverse group of photographers. An added bonus is the inclusion of work by some of the photographers that while not in the book is from the same time period. It was great to see Roy Kiyooka’s Stone D Gloves (or Stoned Gloves, I’ve seen it both ways) on the wall. I’d only seen repros in books before.

The BC Almanac book’s reproduction, like the original, is contrasty and grainy but again is a great record of a certain local photography that thanks to the exhibition we can once again access.

BC Almanac 2



Pink Pig Bank, Saanich, BC 2015

October 18, 2015 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Street photography, Uncategorized, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Pink Pig, Saanich, BC 2015  Don Denton photograph

An oversize, somewhat decrepit, pink pig piggy bank sits on the grounds of the Saanich fairgrounds. An image any visitor to the fairgrounds will remember. The grounds are host to the annual Saanich Fall Fair.



Local Bands Live, Victoria, BC 2015

October 9, 2015 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, History, Music, Music Archive, Pacific Northwest, Photographers, Photography, Punk Rock, Vancouver Island, Victoria | 2 Comments 

Recently I’ve managed to get out and photograph a few local bands playing live, something that at the beginning of my career I did a lot. It’s still fun and there’s nothing like a live performance in a small venue. I’d never photographed any of the three bands, pictured below, before and they were photographed on different nights. What I found most interesting was how the bands shared members.

The first band I photographed was Line Traps, I went to see them as I knew their guitarist Tiemen Kuipers.

Line Traps 1

The second band was 12 Gauge Facial  (love that name) as I’d met the vocalist Yasuko Thanh (who is also a novelist) at the Line Traps gig. The Line Traps’ drummer was also 12 Gauge Facial’s drummer.

12 Gauge Facial 1

The final band was Hank Angel and his Island Devils. Hank is the bassist for 12 Gauge Facial but I didn’t realize that the guitarist from 12 Gauge was also in Hank’s band.

Hank Angel and the Island Devils 1

 

 

Some people follow their history through their cultural interests, movies, books and music.



Roxy Theatre, Victoria, BC 2015

September 22, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Entertainment, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Street photography, Theatre, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

The Roxy Theatre, Waiting For Godot  Victoria, BC 2015

Currently the home of the the Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre, the Roxy was formerly the Roxy Cinegogue movie theatre. It looks more like an industrial or farm building than an arts centre.



British Columbia Photography – Art and Archive 2015

September 7, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, From The Archive, Historical, History, Kamloops, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Photos, Road Trip, Street photography, Tranquille | 2 Comments 

Tranquille, Kamloops BC 2015

I get asked the question, what do you?,  regarding my photography a lot.

It’s easy to answer when I talk about the photography that pays my rent. I am an editorial photographer who supplies images to accompany articles, illustrate stories and/or provide news, sports, entertainment coverage for newspapers and magazines. People get that.

It is much harder to explain the project work.

I often use the line (which is altered from an original sentence somewhere else I’m sure) that I am archiving British Columbia one image at a time.

That’s part of it but explaining it is kind of like the challenge of crafting an artist’s statement that encapsulates everything you do.

I do hope I am creating an archive of images, an archive that will have some sort of visual historical value. An archive that educates viewers about what a certain kind or part of life in this western/coastal part of Canada and North America.

I hope that the images convey something of the idea that I have that our immediate surroundings, be they physical, manufactured or social, shape who we are and save us from the commonality of global culture. I do think that despite the fact both I and a person living in Tokyo and another in Cairo could all be reading the Guardian on our iPhone while sipping a Starbucks coffee we are all fundamentally unique because of our own landscapes that we live and grow up in.

I also hope that the images stand on their own, simply as visual images, striking enough to hold hold your eye.

I hope they exist as both art and as archive.

The image above if from the site of the former Tranquille Institution in Kamloops, BC. It was at different times a home for the mentally challenged and a tuberculosis sanatorium. It has been closed as an institution for many years and now it is home to a small farm and vegetable stand but the many buildings on the site appear to be slowly wearing down. At the start of my career, working for the Kamloops News, I photographed my first photo essay ever at Tranquille, a series on volunteers working with kids with autism. It was the first time I saw the power of photography, having at the stage only read about it in photography textbooks, when the director called after the story had run to tell me about how people, moved by the images were calling up to offer their services as volunteers.

 

 



BC Transit Bus And Metal Scrap Yard 2015

August 12, 2015 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, Blog, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Photojournalism, Photos, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

BC Transit Bus at Metal Scrap yard 2015

A BC Transit bus lies at the bottom of a heap of scrap metal waiting to be torn apart and added to the pile in Victoria, British Columbia. The business sits on Victoria’s waterfront just on the edge of the city core. The city has voiced support for keeping industry on the waterfront but one wonders how long a recycling plant will stay (be allowed to stay) on shoreline property with amazing views..



Entertainment Posters Victoria, BC 2015

April 8, 2015 | Filed Under Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Entertainment, Fine Art, Pacific Northwest, Photographers, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | 1 Comment 

Entertainment Posters, Victoria, BC 2015

I like seeing texts in photographs, signs, billboards, posters, they all add  information about a scene or time.

Street signs can locate a photograph. Grocery store signs and cafe menus can show us familiar or unusual food and/or how much prices have changed since the image was created.

This photograph of entertainment posters in the window of a guitar shop on Blanshard Street in Victoria was taken this week.

It gives us an overview of upcoming shows. If you’re here you can take in punk,country, jazz, psychedelic or hip hop music. You can read books or take in a poetry reading at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Two weeks from now these events will all be history. Two years from now it’s likely some of these performers will be history as well.

The photo however will keep these entertainers and events alive (and hopefully still entertaining) for future viewers.

 

 



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