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.



Remembering Artist Rachel Berman

June 9, 2014 | Filed Under Obituary, Photography | Leave a Comment 

Artist Rachel Berman 1

Artist Rachel Berman died in Victoria on May 28. I can’t claim to have known her very well but I had really liked her work and two years ago she agreed to let me photograph her. After that, we’d  often  run into each other on the street and have a chat. She  would encourage me to photograph other artists, making suggestions about possibilities, and chiding me (gently) for not doing so. She eventually moved back to Toronto for awhile and then I’d heard she had come back to Victoria. I kept expecting to once again come across her walking through downtown, but it never happened. A lovely memoir/obituary from Robert Amos in the Times-Colonist.



BC Almanac – 1970s Vancouver Photography

October 15, 2013 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Fine Art, Pacific Northwest, Photo Book, Photography, Photos, Publishing, Vancouver | Leave a Comment 

The BC Almanac, a 1970 publication of images by Vancouver photographers

The BC Almanac, a 1970 publication of images by Vancouver photographers

I finally found a copy of the 1970 publication BC Almanac, a library copy. Quite unique for the time, it consists of 15 booklets printed on newsprint and inserted into a cardboard folder. On the negative side, this copy only has nine of the booklets. On the positive side the booklets by Roy Kiyooka and N. E. Thing Co. (Iain and Ingrid Baxter) are in the package. The Kiyooka and NE Thing images hold up very well (two booklets at right) but some of the other photographs look very much of their time. In this day and age where self publishing is a given and quite simple to do it is an eye opener to see this ambitious and inventive project from a time when publishing was much more of a challenge and effort .



Vancouver Art Gallery FUSE July 2013

July 29, 2013 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Entertainment, Exhibition, Fine Art, Pacific Northwest, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

Took in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s July FUSE event on July 19, this one produced in conjunction with the Arrival Agency. Lots going all evening on the various floors.

Crowds outside the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013.

Crowds outside the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013.

Crowds inside the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013.

Crowds inside the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013.

Artist Paul Wong, left, chats with VAG Young Associate Spencer Denton at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013. Playing on the wall behind is a Wong presentation.

Art performance in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013

A view over Robson Square from the top floor of the Vancouver Art Gallery during the FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013.

Crowds outside the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE event on Friday July 19 2013

 

 



Photo Group Talks

June 19, 2012 | Filed Under Art, BC Photography Archive, Blog, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Careers, Daily Work, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Pacific Northwest, Photo Coach, Photographers, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island, Victoria, Workshop | Leave a Comment 

BC Ferries, Swartz Bay, BC 2012

I’ve spoken to a number of photo groups lately, showing some of my images and talking about the projects.

The audiences have been great, very appreciative and always lots of questions and discussion afterwards.

It’s a two way street though. I get lots of feedback on my images which is so helpful and it’s often a surprise which photographs resonate with an audience and why.

The other thing I find is that talking about my projects, both during the presentation and during the discussions after allows me to fine tune my own thinking about what I’m photographing and different directions I might take it.

In my main Pacific Northwest related project Salt Water & Rain I’ve been discussing as a way to find that within the local (landscapes, natural, manmade and cultural) that defines us, as opposed to the generic (chain stores and products) that makes us the same.However due to the presentations I’ve been thinking about more complex issues within that and trying to figure out how to present those. Issues like why certain cultural influences such as writing seem to be stopped by the United States/Canada border, especially since it is regional writing. Yes, the US and Canada are separate regions but the commonalities of the Pacific Northwest really do transcend the imaginary line that is the border.

So, thanks again to all those groups that have had me as a speaker.



Artist Rachel Berman – New Project Featuring Environmental Portraits

February 12, 2011 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Fine Art, Historical, History, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Portrait, Vancouver Island, Victoria | 5 Comments 

Every year I like to start at least one new project. I like to have a number of projects going at the once as I find that due to my full time shooting job my time for personal shooting is limited in both hours and time of day. Having a number of projects means I can usually shoot something in the windows that I have.

So, this year, adding to the mix is a series of environmental portraits of artists. I’ve done a large project featuring images of writers but hadn’t really worked on that much in the past couple of years. I wanted to introduce a new portrait project and figured focusing in on visual artists would be both interesting and challenging and would also have the side benefit of not only meeting new people but I’d get to see a lot of art.

I’ve started off with artist Rachel Berman who is local again after a couple of years in Toronto. I’d never met her before the session but had admired her work so called her up, explained what I was doing and we set up a time to meet.

Rachel works out of her apartment studio, a great place in an older building with bay windows that let in a ton of light. She was busy working on two projects, illustrations for a book and a show at her Toronto gallery.

A bonus at this shoot was the presence of Karl Spreitz, a long time local artist, photographer and member of the Limners, a long time Canadian art collective. It was my first time meeting Karl as well and I took the opportunity to enquire about photographing him at some point. Karl, as mentioned, is a stills photographer as well as a documentary filmmaker and he was busy shooting and filming during part of my portrait session.

I spent about an hour with Rachel, taking photographs, but also chatting and getting to know each other a bit.

I took Rachel a couple of prints last week and she seemed pleased with the images. It was, from my viewpoint, a successful shoot, I had a few frames I’m happy with. I got to meet two new creative people and I’ve got another project underway.

Rachel is represented by the Ingram Gallery in Toronto and Granville Fine Art in Vancouver. Toronto artist Sara Sniderhan has painted a portrait of Rachel that you can see HERE.



Artist Portraits

December 8, 2009 | Filed Under Photography, Portrait | Leave a Comment 

I really enjoying taking portraits, especially of creative people. It’s always interesting to try and incorporate their environment into the image.With tighter papers, every section is squeezed for space so we’re not running as many entertainment stories and consequently not as many portraits of artists etc.  Here are a few, fairly recent, images.

Hiscockweb

I really liked this image of Keith Hiscock at the Morris Gallery. They were just starting to hang his new show, those are his paintings on the floor, but behind him hung a couple of paintings from the last show, an exhibition from the estate of  Myfanwy Pavelic including a portrait of artist Maxwell Bates in his studio.

Artist Keith Hiscock VM 1

This probably showed off Keith’s painting better and I liked his expression but I still like the first image best. A tighter head shot with painting behnd actually ran in the paper.

Artist Mark Heine VM 1

Mark Heine in his home studio, it’s encouraging to see you don’t need a great big space to create.

Graffiti Artist Ben Westergreen LW 1

Ben Westergreen paints in his front room, it was tight and kind of dark so I just had him lie down on one of his paintings.

Noah Layne Painter KS 1

Noah Layne paints portraits, self portraits too. He’d just won an award for one.

Robert Amos 1

Robert Amos had been creating collages of artists in their studios. This was my attempt to capture him using his own technique. I think he does it better.

Robert Amos 2

Robert with some of his collages. He also paints, does calligraphy etc etc etc.



First Nations’ Art Unveiled

September 28, 2009 | Filed Under Photography | Leave a Comment 

It always amazes me how often that you’ll get a run of assigments that are connected. This past weekend the photographer working ended up at two events where there were dogs wearing sunglasses. Last Thursday and Friday I had an assignment each day that was centred around First Nations art. Thursday was the official unveiling of the Darlene Gait/Butch Dick designed murals on the Ogden Point breakwater and then Friday saw the Lt.-Gov Steven Point show off the latest additions to the Government House art collection. The Luke Marston healing pole (below) is just another example of this amazing artists work. Three other artists had work on display, all excellent, although Marianne Nicolson, who had a stunning show in 2008 at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria was the only other artist I was familiar with.

Breakwater Mural Blessing 1

Government House Art 2



Early Vancouver Punk Rock – Furies, DOA, Skulls, Dishrags, Subhumans and Rabid

July 15, 2009 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Entertainment, Fine Art, Historical, History, Literary Photographer, Music, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Photos, Portrait, Punk Rock, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Punk, Vancouver Street Photography | 9 Comments 

I came across a few prints and contact sheets I has tucked away in an envelope from the very early days of the Vancouver punk rock scene. Please send a note to correct me if I’m off on names etc. These were taken quite a while ago (1977ish? ) and I didn’t keep the notes I should have.

Furies

The Furies at the Japanese hall. I believe this was the second local punk rock show in Vancouver.  My first. Tom Harrison of the Georgia Straight used the photo. If memory serves me, the bass player is Malcolm Hasman, now Vancouver realtor to the famous.

Dishrags

The Dishrags. I think they opened for The Furies although this photo was taken at a later date.

Skulls Contact 2

Detail from a contact sheet of the Skulls playing the Easter Be-In in White Rock. I remember getting whacked by beer caps the unnappreciative crowd was flipping at the band. The Skulls metamorphed into DOA.

Skulls Contact 3

Another details from the Skulls contact sheets. A number of stalwarts from later bands were in this group, Joe ‘Shithead’ Keithley, Brian Goble, Ken Montgomery, Brad Kent.

DOA

Early photo of the classic DOA line up of Joe Keithley, Chuck Biscuits and Randya Rampage

DOA Contact

Detail from a contact sheet of another early DOA show or maybe they were still the Skulls at this point

Subhumans

Subhumans with Ken Montgomery playing guitar, Brian Goble and Gerry Hannah. Not sure of drummer.

Gerry Hannah

Gerry Hannah of the Subhumans

Dimwit

Ken Montgomery of the Subhumans. No idea why he had the stocking mask on.

Rabid

Rabid -Sid Sick and John Doe say my notes on the print



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