Wednesday, December 18, 2013

New Show - Ferry Building Gallery - January 28th

I'm happy to announce a solo show at the Ferry Building Gallery in West Vancouver. Located on the shore next to Ambleside Park, the Ferry Building Gallery is a heritage building and a great, intimate space for an exhibition. I have printed four new portraits for this show and they will be large format works, measuring 24" x 36". 

There are three events associated with the exhibition:

Opening Reception - Tuesday January 28th 6-8pm

Official Book Launch for Portraits: Found and Taken  - Thursday January 30th

Meet the Artist: A chance to talk about the work - Saturday February 1st, 2-3pm

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Musicworks Cover Photo

My portrait of Giorgio Magnanensi is on the cover of Musicworks magazine. Here is a link to the full article.

Congratulations Giorgio!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Press sheets for the new book arrived a few days ago.

I put together a special signature of images to test the printing of the images in duotone. The press sheets arrived from the printer a few days ago in a very heavy mailing tube. I am pleased to say that the sheets look fantastic— rich, crisp, and with considerable depth to the greys and blacks. 

It is a very exciting time.

Even without the book finished yet, sales are good. Pre-order your copy here:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Peter Braune

Peter Braune, printmaker, taken February 8, 2013

Photography is the easiest medium in which to become competent. Almost anybody with a point and shoot camera can take a decent picture. But while photography is the easiest medium in which to be competent, I think it is the hardest medium in which to have a distinctive personal vision.

Chuck Close 

Peter Braune runs New Leaf Editions and is a motivating force behind the Biennial International Miniature Print Exhibition or BIMPE.

Here is an index of portraits.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Thirty-Four

Book Thirty-Four
January 2005 - December 2005
Hardcover Workbook
Kept while in Grantham's Landing, Roberts Creek, Calgary and Vancouver, Canada
5.25" x 8.25" 106 pages. 

Moleskin Sketchbook.

I used to begin each year by making a calendar in the beginning of a notebook. It was the work notebook for the year. The task held the peculiar pleasure of organizing future time.

This is a dried jellyfish found on a piece of driftwood. I was on a kayak trip with my daughter. The day was stone-grey. We hauled the boats up onto the sand beach and looked around. It is odd to find something on the beach that will fit easily into a notebook. And, yet, here it was. You could write a letter on its translucent skin and send it back into the sea.

Sometimes the books are concerned only with work and they lack character. Like a man too busy to notice the passing of time.

Look inside.

Here is a list of books.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Exhibition Review - Coast Reporter

A review of the show "Facing the Light: Portraits" now showing at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery has just been published in the Coast Reporter.

Here's the link:

Sunday, August 4, 2013

GPAG Opening

Yesterday afternoon was the opening for Facing the Light: Portraits at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery. Thanks to all who came out. It was an honour to hang these images in the Eve Smart Gallery. I knew Eve and her bequest has enabled artists to partake of this wonderful new space.

The show is up until September 3, 2013. It features 10 large photographs (2 x 3 feet) mounted on aluminum sheeting. Two works on paper (3 x 4 feet) and some smaller works. The publication of the book has been delayed slightly - it is expected in about 2 weeks. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sophia Danai

Sophia Danai, singer, taken January 24, 2013

But the most difficult thing for me is not street photography. It’s a portrait. The difference between a portrait and a snapshot is that in a portrait, a person agreed to be photographed. But certainly it’s like a biologist and his microscope. When you study the thing, it doesn’t react as when it’s not studied. And you have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt, which is not an easy thing, because you steal something. The strange thing is that you see people naked through your viewfinder. And it’s sometimes very embarrassing. 
I’m always nervous when I go to take a portrait, because it’s a new experience. Usually when taking a portrait, I feel like putting a few questions just to get the reaction of a person. It’s difficult to talk at the same time that you observe with intensity the face of somebody.

Henri Cartier-Bresson: Living and Looking
from a recently discovered 1971 interview by Sheila Turner-Seed

Bits of this shoot shows up in Sophia's video 2:13 in

Sophia Danai was a joy to work with: dedicated and very present. She also has an amazing voice. Find her music here: 

Among her other talents, Sophia puts out a magazine called Wishing Well. The last issue featured co-ehibitor from the Havanna Show, Sophena Kwon. Read that issue here:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Book Thirty-Three

Book Thirty-Three
January 2004 - December 2004
Hardcover Workbook
Kept while in Grantham's Landing, London, and Vancouver, Canada
5.25" x 8.25" 106 pages. 

Moleskien sketchbook

In amongst the things that would pass away – Fugichrome Sensia 100 slide film, lists of phone numbers kept in a book, hand drawn calendars with letraset numbers marking the days (as if each day were not an entry in an endless database, but was rather something you could bring into being with your hands, with the marks of a pencil or pen, something you could inscribe into reality), in amongst these things we find my copies of sketches done by an artist, who, working in the style of the Group of Seven, visited our family cottage on the shore of Georgian Bay and simplified the endless complexity of tree branches and hills into clear lines.

When I look at it I like these drawings most. Just as I like the idea of a weekend trip with no purpose other than to sketch or write. The threshold is so low for such trips that we hardly ever make them. Two days, some paper, a couple of pencils or pens. Escape what you want to escape and go where you want to go.

Look inside.

Here is an index of books.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Kevin Head

Kevin Head, artists' paint maker, taken January 23, 2013

To make art with a photographic portrait is always a collaborative act. As with any duo the balance tips often, sometimes to the photographer, sometimes to the subject. It is the peculiar nature of this relationship that the results, the mixture of observer and observed, are inseparable. If this were theatre we would be unable to separate the actors from the play. If it were life drawing, it would be as if the subject's hand reached over the paper and corrected our lines.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Upcoming Exhibition - Gibsons Art Gallery

I'm happy to announce a new show scheduled for August, 2013. The portraits will hang in the Eve Smart Gallery in the newly renovated Gibsons Art Gallery. The show will run from August 1 to September 2, 2013.

There will be a reception on Sunday August 3rd from 2-4 pm. This reception will also be the official launch of my first book. Portraits Found and Taken is a hardcover edition containing 144 pages of black and white portraits from the past three years. The book features a preface by Vancouver writer, photographer, and publisher Stephen Osborne.

The book is produced in a limited edition of 300 copies, signed and numbered. Subjects will each receive a copy. If you would like secure a copy before the release date, I've made the book is available to pre-order online here.

I look forward to seeing you at the show.

Tim McLaughlin

Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Thirty-Two

Moleskine accordion book.

The plumeria is a difficult blossom, thick, gooey in its drying, and difficult to fit into a book. Disappointing also, as its colour and caramel-sweet fragrance slip away. This particular bloom, whose creamy petals caught my eye, was picked off the ground in Hawaii. A christmas get away. A few thick pages later, there is bark from the eucalyptus forest and a tiny perfect silver leaf from the crater of Haleakalā. Some large tropical leaf, glossy and veined, found on a sand pathway, has been cut to fit in exactly.

What must it have been like to arrive at the Hawaiian archipelago as a naturalist? Surely you would have the desire to complete a herbarium - trying to catalogue or collect everything. Would you hope to be exhaustive, an exuberant ambition that you would abandon in the face of reality, at which point you would settle for cataloguing only the strange and unusual?

The desire to make a book of the plant world is not new. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew apparently have a manuscript page with dried plants (a herbarium sheet) made by Ptolomy that dates back to 305 BC.

Perhaps rather than photographs, we should document the passage of time with an index of plants.

Look inside.

Here is a list of books.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Colin Whitworth

Colin Whitworth, technician, taken November 7, 2012.

I think a book of photographs is the most coherent way of putting across your ideas, some argument you are making about the way you see. Putting a book together, for me, has been the strongest way of using photography. But I also love the experience of a print, standing in front of something which is at an appropriate scale, so that you can dwell again in the experience. Photography has this incredible characteristic of illusion, presenting an illusion of deep space with many things going on. It stills time in such a way that if you can stand in front of it and immerse yourself in the experience it describes, you can loose yourself in there. I look for that kind of opportunity, where the photographer has been generous enough in how they have been entranced in their moment, that I have an opportunity to stand in their shoes.

Joel Meyerowitz 

Here is an index of portraits.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Thirty-One

Book Thirty-One
April 2003 - January 2004
Hardcover Notebook
Kept while in Grantham's Landing, London, Canada and Hawaii
5.5" x 3.5" 192 pages. 

"The task of writing consists primarily in recognizing the distance between oneself and the things around one. It is not sensitivity one needs but a yardstick." 
"'To those of gloomy spirit come only gloomy dreams. And those with even gloomier spirits don't even have dreams.' Thats what my grandmother always said. 
"The night my grandmother died the very first thing I did was reach out and close her eyes. And as I drew her eyelids down, the dreams of her seventy-nine years quietly dispersed like a passing summer shower on a shopping street, leaving not a thing behind."

Haruki Murakami Hear the Wind Sing

Look inside.

Here is an index of books.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Francisco Toledo

Francisco Toledo, artist, taken November 28, 2012.

In an impressive display of cultural ignorance, I arrived in Oaxaca City with no idea who Francisco Toledo was. It would be a little like landing in New York City having never heard of Andy Warhol. Worse perhaps, as Toledo has gained his considerable reputation through not only his art and graphic works, but also through his concerted efforts to prevent the unraveling of the fabric of Oaxacan (and Mexican) culture.
He's a vessel in which the heritage of his people has been aged into a fine brew and [it] now pours through him in an astonishing array of work. Rita Pomade.
Toledo began his studies in 1957 with another Zapotec artist, Rufino Tamayo. Three years later he was in Paris learning the graphic arts of etching and engraving with Stanley William Hayter. He worked in a concerted, almost obsessive way. Everywhere he went, he seems to have been a conduit for inspiration. In 1965 he returned to Mexico with the foundations of an international reputation firmly in place. Rita Pomade summaries his life mid-career:
Toledo returned from Europe and immediately integrated himself into the artistic community of his native state. He immersed himself in an incredible array of media which included lithography, engraving, sculpture, ceramics and painting. He even designed tapestries with the craftsmen of Teotitlan de Valle executing his designs. Though his work was "Mexican" in style, it was executed from a new ideological and aesthetic perspective. 
His reputation as a world class artist spread quickly. In 1973 he had a show at the Carl Finkler Gallery in Paris, and in 1975 he showed at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York City. In 1977 his work was exhibited at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Oaxaca, and a lot of what we think of as representative of Toledo - cats, dogs, bats, insects all in his native landscape - came out of this period. During this period, he also started to experiment with semi-erotic male figures, often with faces that were like sketches in geometric form similar to ancient masks. 
By 1978 his work was being shown throughout Europe, the United States, Asia, Mexico, and South America, and he was well represented in public and private collections from London to Oslo. By 1980 he had such an impressive collection of work that the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City had a retrospective of his painting. Somewhere in that prolific output, he also managed to illustrate books.
I met Francisco Toledo by chance at a former cotton mill, now a centre for the arts. I was helping Charllotte Kwon with research for Maiwa and we were walking the wide stone plaza of the colonial building. Our mutual friend, Stephanie Schneiderman set up the opportunity and negotiated permission, I directed Mr. Toledo to the north facing shade and three frames later it was all over.

As we walked the streets of Oaxaca City in the following days, Toledo’s influence and contributions were in evidence almost everywhere. We visited the Instituto de Artes Graficas de Oaxaca (IAGO). During the teacher protests and strikes of 2006 this building was set up as a first aid post. Toledo, with wry humour, commented that “Never have we had so many visits.” On the other end of Oaxaca City’s picturesque core is the Museum de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca (ACO) and the Patronato Pro-Defense y Conservacion del Patrimonio Cultural de Oaxaca, which houses a library for the blind, a photographic center, and a music library.

Toledo was also instrumental in keeping McDonalds out of Oaxaca’s main square. When Reed Johnson of the LA Times asked Toledo what the difference was between Oaxaca City’s Zocalo and other historic city centres like Paris and Barcelona (where the golden arches have made substantial incursions), Toledo replied "The difference is that I live in the historic center of Oaxaca, I believe it's a personal thing." Johnston explains the outcome and tactics of the resistance:
Oaxaca's tactics in opposing the new burger barn reflected its cultural self-assurance. No irate farmer drove a tractor through a storefront window, as happened in France. No protesters battled with police, as in the resort city of Cuernavaca, south of Mexico City, over Costco's plan to level an old spa-casino and a grove of ancient trees to build a warehouse.
Instead, during the peaceful, months-long campaign, opponents covered the proposed locale with "No McZocalo" signs and handed out traditional Oaxacan tamales, examples of the region's distinctive cuisine. In public meetings, officials wisely used the occasion to solicit residents' input on the zocalo's future development.
I left Oaxaca City after only a short visit. I had located a number of Toledo's books and seen much of his work. I was developing a love for Oaxaca City. Much of my affection for the place seemed to be owed directly to the man I had photographed but not recognized, its most famous artist, indeed the man many kept calling "Mexico's greatest living artist," Francisco Toledo.


Here is an index of portraits.


McDonald's loses a round to Oaxacan cultural pride by Reed Johnson in The Los Angeles Times
(accessed April 8, 2013 origionally published in the Los Angeles Times January 5, 2003)

Artists lead comeback from Oaxaca political strife by Reed Johnson in The Los Angeles Times
(accessed April 8, 2013 origionally published in the Los Angeles Times January 4, 2007)

Francisco Toledo by Rita Pomade in Arts of Mexico (accessed April 8, 2013)

Francisco Toledo by Dore Ashton in Latin American Masters (accessed April 8, 2013)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Thirty

Book Thirty
January 2003 - December 2003
Spiral Workbook
Kept in Grantham's Landing and Vancouver, Canada
8" x 6.5" 128 pages. 

Book 30 is a workbook. It is similar to book 29 both in terms of use and content. It was filled in 2003 and contains something in the last pages you will never find today -  a list of phone numbers.

On the cover, Book 30 features a postcard from the 1965 film, Alphaville (made the year I was born). The image shows secret agent Lemmy Caution standing in front of Natacha Von Braun. As the lights fade up and down she repeatedly obscures his vision with her hand. It is a stylized formal scene set in a surrealist detective movie, yet it is one of the most powerful images in the history of film. Natacha also reads from The Capital of Pain by Paul Éluard. I tried for years to find those poems in translation.

Lemmy Caution is fighting against the abstract and disembodied Alpha 60. A massive computer which controls everything in Alphaville and quotes Jorge Luis Borges "Time is the substance of which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along. But I am time. It's a tiger, tearing me apart; but I am the tiger."

Alphaville is a strange film. I am certain that, aside from cinemaphiles, it makes sense to few people. But still, the film is able to combine philosophy, poetry, beauty, love and foolishness and wrap them up in an absurd film noir plot.

Book 30? Book 30 is just a notebook.

Look inside

Here is a list of books.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Laxmi Duclos

Laxmi Duclos, Banjara Embroiderer, Taken October 28, 2012.


The story goes that Alfred Stieglitz, well known proponent of photography as a fine art, and founder of the Photo-Secession movement, was outraged by a review of his work. The offending reviewer, Waldo Frank, had claimed that the strength of Stieglitz’s imagery was in the power of the individuals he photographed.

It is a fundamental concern in photography - to come to terms with the relationship between the quality of the subject and the quality of the photograph. In Stieglitz’s case that quality was power, but it may just as well have been beauty or any other attribute.

Rather than untangle the subject from it’s representation, Stieglitz chose to redefine the entire act of creating and appreciating photographs. He embarked on his now historic project of “Equivalents.” In direct response to his critic it seems, Stieglitz chose subject matter that was as pure and as abstract a possible: a series of clouds. As if he were attempting to relocate all creative force within himself rather than the subject.

What interests me are not Stieglitz’s equivalents, the cloud photographs themselves (though they are beautiful) so much as the entire system of thought that came into being from them. The idea of equivalence was taken up again and described by Minor White in 1963:

To outline this theory (we hardly have space to discuss it), we will refer to "levels" of Equivalence. The term covers too much ground for a linear definition. At one level, the graphic level, the word "Equivalence" pertains to the photograph itself, the visible foundations of any potential visual experience with the photograph itself. Oddly enough, this does not mean that a photograph which functions as an Equivalent has a certain appearance, or style, or trend, or fashion. Equivalence is a function, an experience, not a thing. Any photograph, regardless of source, might function as an Equivalent to someone, sometime, someplace. If the individual viewer realizes that for him what he sees in a picture corresponds to something within himself—that is, the photograph mirrors something in himself—then his experience is some degree of Equivalence. (At least such is a small part of our present definition.)
At the next level the word "Equivalence" relates to what goes on in the viewer's mind as he looks at a photograph that arouses in him a special sense of correspondence to something that he knows about himself. At a third level the word "Equivalence" refers to the inner experience a person has while he is remembering his mental image after the photograph in question is not in sight. The remembered image also pertains to Equivalence only when a certain feeling of correspondence is present. We remember images that we want to remember. The reason why we want to remember an image varies: because we simply "love it," or dislike it so intensely that it becomes compulsive, or because it has made us realize something about ourselves, or has brought about some slight change in us. Perhaps the reader can recall some image, after the seeing of which, he has never been quite the same.

When it was first conceived the idea of equivalents was almost a type of emotional transference through images, similar to the effect of trying to communicate pure feeling through abstract painting. It focused on the non-representational. An equivalence was made to something within the person, rather than to something in the world. Perhaps to be in the presence of Stieglitz’s clouds was similar to being in the presence of Rothko’s Chapel.

On the other hand, the equivalence (as Minor White defines it) works with any image. And so I would apply it to the representational as well. In this way, for me, Laxmi's portrait is an equivalent - but not because it is a likeness.

Why do we want to remember an image? In a world that is increasingly mediated through the portal of the computer screen, a world increasingly dominated, not only by images, but by images that are stripped of their referents (and with tumblr this includes their creators, publishers, origin, and context), it may be the only mechanism left to us to re-engage the image in a meaningful way.


Laxmi Duclos is a Banjara Embroiderer and co-founder of Surya’s Garden. She visited Vancouver as part of the Maiwa Textile Symposium in 2012 with her husband Jan Laxmi and their infant boy Solal.


Here is an index of portraits.
Stieglitz's reaction to Frank's review is detailed in Richard Whelan's 1995 work: Alfred Stieglitz: A Biography. Published by  Little, Brown and Company.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Twenty-Nine

Book Twenty-Nine
January 2002 - December 2002
Spiral Workbook
Kept in Grantham's Landing, London, and Vancouver, Canada
8" x 6.5" 128 pages. 

This one is a workbook. And so it contains notes on software, specifications for print designs, contact phone numbers and so on. It contains a wide array of quite distressingly messy writing. As if the person holding the pen were being attacked by a mad flock of crows.

The book itself was made by Kathy Kristmanson who's father appears here. The metal plate on the front shows a bear, carved out of copper with a very fine coping saw. In fact, the most remarkable thing about the book may be the plate I just described.

It also contains the odd literary fragment or idea. Here is one example:
He was the type of person who, when he entered a room, filled it with hope. Not the hope that everything would be alright, taken care of, and arranged, but rather the hope of achievement - as if the gates at the far end of the canal lock were opened, but what filled the passage was not water but resolution. 
In the same way when he departed what filled those left behind was a feeling of abandonment and sudden depression, as if someone had told you the exact hour of your death, or a beautiful inland lake had suddenly disappeared. 

Look inside.

Here is a list of books.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lee Roberts

Lee Roberts, artist, taken August 17, 2012.

One of the biggest challenges of photographing someone is to not have them look like they are being photographed. It is a subtle quality that is almost impossible to define, but easy to see. To this end I usually engage the subjects in conversation during the shoot. Invariably people have interesting stories. Often so interesting that I'd like to pause from taking pictures and start taking notes.

This was the case with Lee Roberts. So, instead of taking notes, when it came time to prepare this post, I sent him a list of questions about subjects that had come up during the shoot. The result is this interview. Lee has generously supplied photos of his wire sculptures to help illustrate our conversation.

--- - ---

Where were you born?
I was born in Woking, in England, and grew up in North Wales.

You had to change schools when you were young and it had quite an effect on you. Can you tell me that story?

I received a scholarship and attended Lowther College, at Bodelwyddan Castle, for most of my schooling. It was originally built as a shelter for the Royal Family. It was set in 250 acres of parkland with a golf course, many formal gardens, practice trenches from the first world war, 3 different libraries, (reference, fiction and general) and there was original artwork throughout. Academia was not really the priority of the school. I was most interested in architectural drawing, art, and being a member of the ornithology club. The students were from all over the world and being one of a handful of lads amidst 300 girls was good fun too!

Unfortunately, Lowther School closed and I was moved to the local high school which was and entirely different experience — 1700 kids and a concrete playground. Fortunately for me, Lowther had a strong emphasis on physical education and I faired well at the many initial challenges I faced from school gangs. After a few solid fights, a desk top being hurled at me, and successfully besting the kid with the worst reputation I was left alone.

At Lowther, art was viewed as purely a recreational activity, so coming top of my class was relatively unimportant. In this new school it was different, and my art teacher almost immediately identified with my art and really encouraged me to follow a creative path.

Despite the academic teachers encouraging me to go in other directions, my art grew and was my real focus. At 15  I took my paintings of birds and an abstract of David Bowie to art school and applied for the Higher National Diploma. I was accepted and (after debate with my parents) left home and rented a room in Wrexham - a few miles of the college.

You apprenticed as a sign painter. What did you learn from that and how did it influence your future work?

From the age of 14, I built and painted commercial signs to earn money and support my studies at art collage. I learnt by trail and error, but did a good enough job to be asked to come back and retouch the signs over the next few years – some would age or be damaged. It wasn't my intended business model, but it was a good one, and I left college without debt. 

When did you move to Canada?

I came first to Canada when I was 22.

My Great grandfather was Canadian and my grandfather told me that "If you go to Canada, you won't come back, its a marvelous country."  When I was 16 at art school I had to write an essay about what I saw myself doing. I said that “I was going to be an artist in Canada"  

When did you start the Goldmoss Gallery?

Goldmoss Gallery was opened in October, 2010.

What are your feelings about Goldmoss - your philosophy behind it? It is, in my opinion, built and run on a very professional level. Running a space like that is a lot of work. What is it that keeps you at it?

A belief in Art. Enthusiasm. Patience and energy … lots of energy!

Actually, the decision to open Goldmoss as a commercial space happened quite organically — it was done to foster long-term creative and collaborative relationships. The art industry is a transient one, and we (myself and Bon Roberts) liked the idea of a consistent base to meet and create from. We're now in our third year. Its very rewarding: seeing artists, including ourselves, develop and produce, and then introducing works to new people and witnessing them build an understanding and appreciation of the work.

We share the Goldmoss gallery spaces without commission or fees to the artists, so essentially, we're all artists sharing the space.

About the birds.

Why birds? 

While I paint and sculpt many other forms, I studied bird bone structure, have collected skeletons and feel very at-ease incorporating them into my art. Four years of life drawing classes at art collage has meant that the human form and the avian form can work together (or separately) for me.

Wire sculpture - Lee Roberts

The wire sculptures are a remarkable combination of drawing and sculpture. How did you come up with that idea?

I make little things with whatever is in my hands. I've made hundreds of things out of, say, match boxes, or out of the wire from wine bottles, or materials I come across. They are just little 3d sketches that I like to make. People seem to be attracted to them. The combination of wire and drawing is very natural to me. The wire I use is about the width of a pencil line. I draw every day, but I think three dimensionally. 

Wire is wild and unwieldily stuff though, and it's so easy to loose the form of a line. It is very easy to have it look like wire - rather than a drawing.

How would you describe the wire sculptures that are part human, part bird?

I feel like a bird, a raven actually. Not from choice or desire, I just resonate with their approach to life. When I put a bird head on a human body in my art; I don't have any real challenges with the transition — which still surprises and delights me.

They really do fit together as one, when I draw, carve, cut, or form them out of wire. This means that they can talk to people, without the obvious identification of features, and be more universally communicative with the viewer.

Wire sculpture - Lee Roberts

If I recall correctly, one of the bird-people was modeled after your father - can you tell me about that and his reaction to the finished piece?

Yes, it was a small piece, about 14" and it made everyone that saw it smile. This is how I see my father: a light, whimsical, and fun loving spirit, with a bit of a peck. It sold the first day it was shown so my Father didn't get to see the real thing. I sent him a picture of it and it's the first piece he didn't comment on almost immediately. I think ... it was a bit of a shock for him initially.  But he gets it now, and he is a big fan of the Bird people.

Wire sculpture - Lee Roberts

What are your hopes for the future?

Bon and I are working at developing our own paths as artists in painting, sculpture and installation.
Collaboration is huge for us, and we work together, as well as with other artists almost on a daily basis. I see this getting more formalized and growing nicely.

Without expectations ... or a ceiling to the limit of our abilities to contribute to the world, to the art world directly, or the artists we share our space with ... we just try our best at what we choose to take on. There are always surprises and truly memorable events and encounters at Goldmoss, we deeply cherish these and are always open to them, and the changes they bring.

The Sunshine Coast is a place where we love to be close to nature and free from the mundane, so far — so good!

You can find the Goldmoss Gallery online here:

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Twenty-Eight

Book Twenty-Eight
February 2002 - November 2004
Handmade Book
Created in Grantham's Landing, Canada
11" x 6.75" 144 pages. 

Above - a mammogram of a sunflower. It is but one of the peculiarities of this book. On the cover - the bridge from my cello is firmly attached. It makes the book somewhat awkward and uncomfortable on the bookshelf. But I like how this book has worn over the years. Sometimes the patina of age is the best thing you can put on a book.

The opening page contains the following text:

Stones. Yesterday Esme and I went to secret beach to collect stones. It was a bright, sunny, windless day. We could walk along the beach, then sit on the shore and drink in the sun. She was happy to be on the shore, out of the house, and she stuffed the pockets of her duffle coat with large round eggs of speckled granite. They sparkled in the sun and she declared the stones that she chose as the special ones.

Stones. When you walk along the shore the stones that you choose to pick up and carry are the special ones. Some have veins in them - like ariel views of highways through the desert. Some are the faintest light hairs on a black field, like the strange patterns formed in the search for sub-atomic particles. Maybe they are fragments of maps. Maps that show a geologic territory, a land distant and unfamiliar to us as we walk the beach in our brief time, our inconsequential shoes.

We take the dog also. But the dog has no interest in stones or rocks unless they are thrown in the water and there is some potential to chase them. The beach has no sound and the stones are a collection of mineral eggs, giving birth to smaller versions of themselves as the waves grind them, endlessly, into each other.

Sometimes you can pick up one of these cartographic stones. A stone with a map, and if my five-year-old companion does not throw it into the sea, or if it does not get left behind on a large piece of driftwood while you talk, resting in the sun, looking at the water which is deeper than any daydream, you can take it home and put it on a table. Days later you may pick it up, curious, as to where its lines directed you. Sometimes you can think yourself into the stone, into its landscape and dwell there for a while. Some may think all stones dull and slow. Inanimate. Yet this day proves them wrong.

Look inside.

Here is a list of books.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Masami and Arthur Yesaki

Masami Yesaki November 5, 1951 - January 10, 2013
Photo taken June 29, 2011

All photographs stop time, it is this quality and this quality alone that makes each one melancholy.

In the summer of 2011 I invited Masami and her husband Arthur into the studio. Masami was fighting cancer and we needed to juggle scheduling around treatments and days when she found she had little energy. I asked her if I could photograph her because there was something indomitable in Masami's personality that the illness had polarized.

When I look back to the shoot it does not surprise me that I was disappointed with almost all of the images. Whatever was happening, whatever it was that came across so strongly when in Masami's presence, it was not visual. I don't know if you can photograph strength of will.

It never left her. I had a chance to visit with Masami for the last time a few weeks before she passed away. She commanded a brightness in the room. The light and the conversation flowed from her to everyone else.

And so now, I am left with this photo, and an absence, and a wondering how it can be that people persist in their photos when they are gone. When I think like this I am always called back to Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida

"All those young photographers who are at work in the world, determined upon the capture of actuality do not know that they are agents of Death. This is the way in which our time assumes Death: with the denying alibi of the distractedly "alive," of which the photographer is, in a sense, the professional. 
"With the photograph we enter into flat Death. One day, leaving one of my classes, someone said to me with distain: "You talk about death very flatly."— As if the horror of Death were not precisely its platitude! The horror is this: nothing to say about the death of one who I love most, nothing to say about her photograph, which I contemplate without ever being able to get to the heart of it, to transform it. The only "thought" I can have is that at the end of this first death, my own death is inscribed; between the two nothing more than waiting. I have no other resource than this irony: to speak of the "nothing to say."
"In 1865, young Lewis Payne tried to assassinate Secretary of State W. H. Seward. Alexander Gardner photographed him in his cell, where he was waiting to be hanged. The photograph is handsome, as is the boy. He is going to die. I read at the same time: This will be and this has been; I observe with horror an anterior future of which death is the stake. What pricks me is the discovery of this equivalence. In front of a photograph as my mother as a child, I tell myself: she is going to die: I shudder, like Winnicott's psychotic patient, over a catastrophe which has already occurred. Weather or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe. 
[I've slightly edited Barthes, removing references to terms he defined earlier in the text]

Here is an index of portraits.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Book Twenty-Seven: Psychic Roadtrip

Book Twenty-Seven
June 2001
Handmade Book, Edition of Three
Hardcover book, one hand-sewn signature,
envelope containing photographs.
Created during roadtrip to Nelson, Canada.

Creation ex nihilo, a phrase most often found in religious dogma, can also be well-appplied to social situations.

In your theology of choice the term identifies how the deity (who almost always exists outside of time and space) creates the cosmos from the primordial vacuum. Creation ex nihilo — the creation of something from nothing. Skilled practitioners of the art in a social setting can also create something from nothing (although in this case they have much more raw material to work with). They create narrative tension, drama and foreshadowing from the seemingly random events of the day. Skilled practitioners of this are are wonderful to hang out with - because everything that happens to you means something.

In the summer of 2001 I went on a road trip to Nelson BC with two friends. It is surprising how pregnant with meaning the events of the day can be if you only let them. Take away rigid predetermined plans, let chance play a part, and open your mind to the re-interpretation of events and signs and before you know it you are being manipulated by an unseen hand that guides you to where you were meant to be ... as if you were not on an ordinary journey but rather ... a psychic roadtrip!

This book commemorated the event. Books like these are what happens if you spend too much time with a wonderful set of dover publications on bookbinding.

Here is a list of books.