Images and reports from Tom's activities. Some profound, mostly not.
On this Remembrance Day I look back to things as they were. Mostly to acknowledge how beautiful parts of life then were and how they inform who we are now.
Life here has gotten very real since the election in the USA. There is tangible shock and anxiety here as there is everywhere, that America is about to convulse under the acting out of an unleashed underclass of racists and bigots bent on establishing a fatherland based on the values of the ignorant and fearful.
I’ve never been more glad to live where I do. Among people who by comparison are among the best in the world as a collective. We have our own special underclass of right wing would be dictators and reactionaries. But by and large Canadians tend to not scare the Hell out of me. Most of the time.
The biggest drama I tend to face on a daily basis these days is the impending winter and the constant struggle to find my way home after work because of construction delays and collapsing infrastructure development such as last evenings collapse of the LRT tunnel (the third) at uOttawa.
Looking forward, I find myself bolstered by the energy and effort put forward by the artists, mostly younger than I, who continue to speak out and create work that advances the cause of celebration and acceptance. Such as a play inspired by the abuses of women by a CBC radio host and former pop singer. Such as those people, not just artists, who spoke out against the racist comments by a senior Ottawa police officer who disparaged Inuit Canadians in social media and has been charged with discreditable conduct following the death of a revered artist whose body was discovered in the Ottawa River recently.
All in all we live in interesting times. A curse to be sure. But in a land considered by many to be dull but which is an aspirational destination for Americans who found and find themselves under threat from slavery, through the Vietnam War draft, and through this current rise of fascism, I can live more or less securely and safely and without the anxiety and fear of civil war.
Not too much to ask for from any civilized society I should think.
Because it’s 2016. After all.
Ever since wireless communication came to the bay, Tom Evans Photographer has not stopped checking in on and reporting to the world what he sees through his mobile smartphone.
Time was, when one came north to the Bay of Islands you gave yourself over to the remoteness of the place. Technology gave you hydro power, outboard motors for your boat, a party line telephone shared among the other islanders of the bay, and that was about it. Unless you were a Canadian, American or European (excuse me, British. They’re not Europeans anymore) millionaire and had satellite communication from your remote island compound, that was your technology limit.
Now the millionaires are dead and gone, replaced by their descendants with their jet skis, marble counter top kitchens, and manicured grass properties where windswept pines once dominated.
Their fibreglass Boston Whalers or stainless steel Stanley’s replacing the requisite cedarstrip inboard / outboards or steel utility boats with 25hp Johnson’s.
The bay was a place of solitude or high drama. Mostly based on what the weather was like. A strong north wind put your dock at risk of being torn from it moorings. The incessant west wind that bent the pines in surrender to its perpetual flow would make passage in the bigger water of the main channel uncomfortable at best and risky at worst.
Only the days of relative calm allowed significant exploration. At least to Tom and his hosts here at their camp. A family place with a bare bones infrastructure and a utilitarian … everything, really.
But particularly the boats. Powerful and large enough to get you from the dock on the mainland to the island, but insufficiently large or capable enough to venture out safely on any exploration outside of the immediate vicinity.
This was the camp built by Tom’s wife Heather’s father and mother. A camp built on an island purchased from the Government of Ontario in the 1950s and gradually added to by hand over every year that followed.
Incidentally at this writing, the cottage has been sold out of the family. This brings a regrettable end to a potential family legacy brought about by an unfortunate series of circumsances and decisions.
But that’s another blog post ..,
So, Instagram. After 30 years of visiting this place, straddling the 20th and 21st centuries, with all the changes in communication and media that brought, a visit to the camp and the urge to document and share the stories of the unique and powerful place, Tom finds it more and more difficult to find the solitude once imposed on him here.
The self indulgent habits of life in the city intrude here.
“Look what I saw today” the Instagram posts declare.
“Oh, it’s 6:00, and time to make dinner. Where did the day go?”
to be continued…
Recently I posted this photograph on Facebook as my profile picture. Some people were surprised to know it was a self portrait shot with my cell phone. Others were curious about how I created such drama in the image. Still others thought it read like a painting.
If you are interested in knowing how I created it I will be posting a step by step illustration here of what I did, using another frame from this shoot.
Stay tuned. All will be revealed.
All Content Including Images are Copyright © Tom Evans – 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Lately I have been swamped and find myself falling behind on assignments. You know who you are if I have outstanding work for you and I apologize.
One thing I was able to complete was more documentary work for the supremely talented clay artist Cynthia O’Brien
Wonderful work and a joy to photograph. (If sometimes challenging).