Totem Photos

This series began in the summer of 2012 and has grown into a body of hundreds of digitally manipulated photographs. During my artist residency in New York that particular summer, I began to add various man-made elements to my paintings/drawings, turning them upside down and on their sides to add to and distort the narrative aspect of my abstract, nature influenced work. I moved to Harrison Hot Springs for the year long tenure as Artist in Residence at the former outpost Ranger Station in September of that year and began instinctively taking hundreds of photographs as a way of documenting my new surroundings. While exploring the area and formatting the photographs taken, I started to see the parallel between what I was doing in my paintings and what was possible with photography. I began rotating, flipping and mirroring the photographs as a way to take the immediately recognizable landscape, shift perspective and potentially build iconic monuments stemming from but not held in reality.

By calling them Totems I mean to give respect to the First Nations people who reverently build Totem poles to commemorate their ancestry, history, land and people.The word itself, although tied originally to the Algonquian people as far back as the 1700s, is most often associated with the west coast tradition of building and displaying these poles and it is both physically and ideologically what I am referencing -the reverence and connectivity to nature and human’s complex narrative around progress, growth and urbanity. These are, in a sense, my own way to express a deep love of my surroundings coupled with a concern for its welfare.

 So far, the photographs used have been taken in the Fraser Valley region (Chehalis, Seabird, Cheam and Papkum First Nations) of British Columbia with new pieces being added from Vancouver Island and the Southern Gulf Islands. I plan to continue this project to other regions of the province before leaving for the UK to attend Falmouth University for my Masters degree.

 These pieces are 7″ square and are available as archival prints on acid free paper or Facemount framed. They are also being featured as part of my fundraising campaign to help with the costs of furthering my education. See the Post-Grad Campaign page on this site or my website for more images and info!

Totem photographs

The Stories I Told Totem

Back Nine Totem

Back Nine Totem

How We Grow Totem

How We Grow Totem

Palaverous Totem

Palaverous Totem

A Little Fall Totem

A Little Fall Totem

Being an Island Totem

Being an Island Totem

Everlasting Totem

Everlasting Totem

Silhouette Growth Totem

Silhouette Growth Totem

Jericho Totem

Jericho Totem

I Am This Totem

I Am This Totem

Holding Totem

Holding Totem

My Paradise Totem

My Paradise Totem

3. wrapped totem

Wrapped Totem

5. shoreline totem

Shoreline Totem

7. wooded totem

Wooded Totem

9. old growth totem

Old Growth Totem

10. rolled totem

Rolled Totem

14. long day totem

14. long day totem

15. village totem

Village Totem

17. growing from centre totem

Growing from Centre Totem

19. where i stand totem

Where I Stand Totem

21. strength totem

Strength Totem

22. where we go totem

Where We Go Totem

23. highway totem

Highway Totem

25. full growth totem

Full Growth Totem

27. from winter totem

From Winter Totem

28. from whence we grow totem

From Whence We Grow Totem

29. swing on beautiful totem

Swing on Beautiful Totem

32. outreach totem

Outreach Totem

35. skyline totem

Skyline Totem

45. clear view totem

Clear View Totem

45. cloud thought totem

Cloud Thought Totem

47. breathe from centre totem

Breathe From Centre Totem



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