I haven’t given any thought to the Hipstamatic app on my phone for years. But I was looking through my archive for source material for a zine and landed upon sea views taken back in the day with my iphone 3 and this app. I then wondered if the app was still functioning, and there it was on my current phone. I fired off a few snaps sitting where I was, and kind of liked the altered perceptions. The last image, the misfire is my favourite as it conjures up a mystery.
I found these cyanotype cards at an opportune time to use in my February mail out to Francis, Kim and Mike. They are also reminding me of the satisfaction of making cards by hand and how cyanotype is a great method to sensitize paper for image printing.
I often walk along the beach near our house which looks south over the Salish Sea towards Trial Island and the Olympic mountains. I feel a strong emotional connection to this interface of land and sea, which I am constantly interrogating with the images that I make. Perhaps I’ll eventually make an artist’s book of these images.
After we put together the most recent Call and Response zine (2021.1), I was thinking of all the images that were created during the project that didn’t make it into the final zine. We had a wealth of material but had decided to give ourselves a strict limit on the number of pages for the zine after having a certain amount of remorse about the behemoth issue that was 2019.1 which weighed in at a massive 134 pages.
I thought it would be interesting to challenge each member of VI to “remix” the 2021.1 issue with no set specifications and specifically allowing the use of all images that we had created for the 2021 zine project. Kind of the way that musicians invite others to remix one of their tracks.
I’ve been working on my remix on and off for the past couple of months – mostly off as opposed to on. I had grand ambitions at the start, but am finding that I’m not being too adventurous or ambitious in my design. But I am introducing some poetry inspired by the four mini-sequences that I created from a mix of images for the “official” 2021.1 zine and images from the larger pool.
One aspect of my remix links back to this idea coming from the music world – I used the poem above to write a song “Call the Birds Home” and created a music video using the sequence images, which I have shared with the group. Perhaps one day it will make an appearance in this blog.
I need to finish this remix in the next two weeks in time for our meeting to share our remixes. I plan to have copies printed for each of the VI members. I am eager to see what everyone else has come up with for their remixes.
This was my first experiment in reimagining my prints. This image of driftwood started as a darkroom lith print that was subsequently scanned and printed large using an Epson 3800 printer. This print was divided into three equal strips that were folded into accordions with pop-outs and cut-outs.
I’m getting interested in how taking a large print and using simple book forms can expand and transform the viewer’s experience of the print. My experiments were prompted by Francis’, Kim’s and Mike’s mail exchanges over the late summer. More to come…
Monte Lake Store 1976/7
I’ve been once again going through some older archives of images, sorting, editing, keeping, trashing, an ongoing Covid isolation activity. The pics that I deem worthy of keeping I’ve been making one off prints, 10 inches long side on 11×14″ paper, using a variety of papers as I determine which stock is best suited to each image. These I am storing in archival portfolio boxes which over time I will sort into loose projects, sequence, title and jot down brief notes pertaining to the origins of each photo.
This particular picture is from 1976/7—I stopped at this store numerous times on my way to or from Kamloops where our family lived off and on from 1973-1979, on day excursions exploring the surrounding area or travelling to and from the Okanagan region. On this particular day I was travelling with my young daughter Faro, and when travelling together passing by this store we would always stop in for a small break and a treat of ice-cream.
Contrary to the reports of the store being lost to the fires that devastated the Monte Lake region this past summer, it in fact survived!
(Photo: Nikkormat FTN, 35mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak Tri-X film)
Almost since the upset of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of VI have been creating and sending photographs to each other by mail, as Paul explained in his blog “This Side Up?” (March 28, 2021).
Here is one of the many beautiful gifts that I recently received from Paul. His accompanying note reads, “Some scenes from the UVic trails, printed with piezography inks.” A photo of photos cannot do justice to the delicacy of these images. They have a softness and at the same time one can almost see every leaf. The warm tone of the inks is subtle, yet lush.
I learn a lot from my colleagues and I’ve been learning so much during the last year and a half with the opportunity to have photos in hand to study and enjoy at my leisure. However, a while ago, I began to display the various photographs sent by Mike, Paul, and Francis. They have graced my living room and often end up on the fireplace mantle, as this picture illustrates. But I have not quite been happy with just leaning the individual photographs or laying them flat. So, I asked my partner Stephen to build me some interesting little stands. Now I have a Miniature Gallery that changes up every now and then.
VI has been making slow and steady steps toward our next zine over the last seven months. We’ve assigned ourselves four photowalks; chosen in turn and conducted sequentially – and it has been a lovely way to share some of our favourite local spaces with each other.
Here’s a peek preview with a few photos that won’t be included in the upcoming Call & Response 2021.1 zine.